Some information for this post is taken from the Concord Coalition

Business, corporate, government or individual fiscal year calendars and planners for the US fiscal year 2018 as defined by the US Federal Government, starting on October 1, 2017 and ending on September 30, 2018. The calendars cover a twelve-month period and are divided into four quarters. With that being the case, once again the clock begins ticking elevating our national debt.  As of 2 October 2018, at 0900 hours our national debt was about $21.5 trillion dollars.

As you can see, a trillion is a one with twelve (12) zeros behind it.  We have twenty-one of these to deal with.  The chart below was “shot” at sixteen (16) hundred hours (4:00 for you civilians) on 2 October 2018.  If that debt is allocated for each citizen and each taxpayer, the debt becomes $65,447 or $176,475 respectively. We all had better have a really really good year.

Right now, our debt is approximately ninety-four percent (%) of our gross domestic product (GDP).  In 2050 that debt is estimated to be one hundred and fifty percent (150%) our GDP, which is considered to be unsustainable.   The chart below will give you some idea as to how quickly our debt has risen.

Well, if misery loves company, we are not alone with issues of national debt.  The following chart give debt of the top twenty (20) countries with significant debt.  Not a pretty picture.

WHAT IS THE CURE FOR US NATIONAL DEBT?

Entitlement Programs – When social security was first enacted the life expectancy in the country was sixty-three (63) years old.  Today that life expectancy is in the late seventies (70’s).  If we’re to get our entitlement programs back into line, we should think about changing the eligibility age for social security and Medicare to at least the early seventies (70’s).

We should also change social security disability and loosen the eligibility for those who are over sixty-two (62) years old.  Those who can’t continue to do hard labor (construction) type of jobs would be eligible to collect earlier.  We would also have to make sure that medical insurance companies use community rating so those older Americans could get medical insurance at a “reasonable” price until they reached the age of eligibility for Medicare.

The Military – It makes no sense that the United States should spend more than the next ten countries combined for national defense.  We have significantly more firepower than we need and as a result we tend to trot this ability out to other parts of the world and work towards “nation building”.  It’s time that we go back to the levels of military spending we had under previous administrations and even make larger cuts.  We just can’t afford the size military we have and the interventionists policies that we’ve developed.  We really cannot protect the entire world endlessly.

Tax policy – It’s not only the rich.  We do need to change tax policy on the richest Americans.  They do need to pay more, but so does everyone else.  Right now, we have close to fifty percent (50%) of Americans not paying any income taxes.  This just isn’t fair.  If we’re all to participate in the good things that our country has to offer, then we all need to participate in paying a “fair” level of taxes to support those activities.  Everyone should have “skin in the game”.

Public workers compensation packages – Thirty years ago people went to work for the government knowing they were going to make less money, but their job security was going to be very strong.  Today according to John Mauldin, we have a situation where government workers are paid on average forth percent (40%) more than their private sector counterparts.  This is more than unsustainable.  There is no reason government workers should have this sort of bonus and it needs to be brought under control if we’re to reign in our government debt issues

CONCLUSIONS:

The above suggestions and possible solutions are only the tip of the ice burg.  The problem is: WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING and do it quickly—like this year, right now.

 

 

 

Advertisements

OBESITY

February 8, 2014


About two (2) years ago I posted a blog relating individual obesity to our national debt.  I made the correlation based upon lack of discipline from a personal level relative to lack of discipline relative to the national level.  This past week, Congress passed the long-awaited farm bill.  I am quoting from the Congressional Record as follows:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, on July 11, 2013, by a vote of 216-208.

In looking at HR 2642, you will find it replete with entitlements representing pay-offs for votes given and corporate welfare.   It is highly unlikely that taxpayers will reap any so-called “savings” from the almost $1 trillion spending bill. H.R. 2642 marks a 49 percent increase in cost over its 2008 predecessor and is packed with new crop insurance subsidy programs intended to lock in returns on commodities at record-high prices. These alone have the potential to cost taxpayers billions on top of the bill’s baseline. For example, corn prices have dropped nearly one half from their record highs in 2011 and 2012 when the farm bill was first being written.

We really have not learned our lesson at all.  Well, we are failing the test on a personal level also.  Let’s take a look:

  • One out of three children are overweight or obese
  • Two out of three adults are overweight or obese
  • $190.20 billion dollars (approximately) is spent each year on medical issues resulting from obesity-related illnesses.
  • 21% of annual spending for medical purposes is obesity-related.
  • $4.30 billion each year is lost by businesses due to obesity-related absences
  • 37% of adults are pre-diabetic.
  • 8% of adults have diabetes
  • In the years 1971 through 1974, the average number of calories consumes on a daily basis was 1,996. From 2005 through 2008, that number was 2,234.
  • On any one given day, 30 to 40 % of children and adolescence eat fast food.
  • 20% of the weight gain between 1977 and 2007 is due to sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages.

We are actually killing ourselves slowly but surely on both fronts.  We just can’t quit spending and we just can’t quit eating. Now, in some ways this is like the pot calling the kettle black.  I exercise six (6) days per week to keep this boyish figure.  It ain’t easy but at the tender age of seventy-one, I know it can be accomplished.   I welcome your comments.

%d bloggers like this: