The Elephant In The Room

As we continue to navigate through numerous issues facing our republic, both domestically and internationally, we need to be aware of the elephant in the room. Clearly, Islamic terrorism and foreign policy issues are in the forefront of many these days. There is no doubt that we live in an increasingly unsafe world with numerous bad actors eager to bring harm to the United States. The Islamic State, Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia are all areas of concern and should be. But maybe our most dangerous enemy is right here in front of us and yet we either choose to ignore it or just pass it off as not really important.

The enemy I speak of is our looming national debt. We currently have a $20 trillion debt and it keeps growing. Mr. Obama doubled the debt in just seven years in office, from $10 trillion when President Bush left office, to $20 trillion. The federal debt is expected to increase from $20 trillion to $92 trillion in the next 30 years. It is projected to more than quadruple. To put it in perspective, our current debt breaks down to $58,000 for every man, woman, and child living in the United States. If you are a family of four, your part of the national debt is $232,000. Unlike other bills, such as a mortgage or car loan, there isn't a bill sent to each home to view and make scheduled payments to pay it off. If the government sent each one of us a bill for our part of the debt, it might get more attention. Unfortunately, ignorance and apathy by the American people have led to this growing debt.

We currently live in an era where most people have checked out on being actively engaged in politics and current events. We have allowed our political leaders to be trusted to manage the finances of our country, and like most of America, they have not been fiscally responsible. It isn't a revenue problem, it is a spending problem. The government has continually taken in record revenues, but they have not been able to live within their means. Roughly 6% of our national budget goes towards paying the interest on the debt. Another 66% of the budget is eaten up by entitlement spending, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. Obamacare by itself, if it remains intact, will add another $2 trillion to our national debt over the next ten years. The entitlement spending on social programs is the core of this elephant in the room.  Clearly, political leaders want no part of addressing this. Limiting or fixing Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are political suicide and thus not really up for serious debate and reforms. It needs to be addressed, and sooner rather than later.

If our current crop of political leaders and legislators won't stand up and offer a logical set of solutions to the debt, then we will have to try our best to reverse the trend. One such way to do this is through a convention of states. A convention of states is a convention called by our state legislatures for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States. They are given power to do this under Article V of the Constitution. It is not a constitutional convention. It cannot throw out the Constitution because its authority is derived from the Constitution. At least 34 states are needed to call a convention. Currently, there are five states that have passed an application for the Convention of States Project. Those are Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Alaska. Ideally, many types of amendments could be debated and proposed limiting the federal government and their power. You could offer up a hard cap to spending or not allow any deficit spending as two possible amendments. It is a last resort to getting our country back in the hands of the people.  Here is a link to the Convention of States Project for anyone who wants to learn more about it and become involved in the process.

The elephant in the room is growing and will continue to grow larger unless we address it. We are in a race to see whether we will be killed by terrorism and foreign enemies or go bankrupt and end up in a civil war. The question is whether or not the American people really care or whether ignorance and apathy are so deeply rooted in our country that our grave is already dug.


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