Paying Down the Debt

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post; looks like that one was just as I was getting seriously into the training at my new job. Will have to do a personal post soon, but today, I want to talk about the debt and what’s being done (or not done) about it. Let’s go back a decade. For the first time ever, the debt clock (which displays a running total of America’s outstanding debt) was actually running backwards, as the federal government was paying off its obligations. In 2001, of course, a number of policies changed: taxes were cut, spending was increased (over the next eight years, the size of the federal government would double), and of course we got involved in several wars. When the great recession started in 2007, the sputtering economy certainly didn’t help matters. After Obama took office, Congress attempted to set up a deficit reduction committee, which would propose a plan that Congress would have to have an up or down vote on; it would have been the best chance at actually balancing the budget, since Congress wouldn’t have had a chance to sneak unrelated things in to buy votes. Unfortunately, the republican party filibustered the bill; while the president implemented the commission anyway, he had no authority to force Congress to vote on the commission’s recommendations. Those recommendations (and those of the...

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