Don’t Forget the Debt, Mr. President

Don’t Forget the Debt, Mr. PresidentHave you recently taken a look at America’s national debt?

What if I told you that your share of the country’s mounting spending spree is around $48,812 per citizen or $135,262 per taxpayer? This national debt could take decades to pay off!

The U.S. national debt broke above $15.0 trillion and is worsening. President Obama said very little about the mounting national debt levels at his State of the Union address on Tuesday, but you cannot simply ignore the problem and pray it goes away. There’s no magic here.

The reality is that something drastic needs to be done soon regarding the national debt or the country’s financial strength will go down the toilet! Never mind talking about the European debt crisis; just look in our own backyard and there’s plenty of work to be done.

Whether it will be President Obama or the Republicans, I don’t care; but the next president will need to focus on significantly cutting costs and reducing the national debt.

Of course, increasing the revenues the government takes in can also help. Taxes on the top one percent of the higher income earners and corporations are fair play. Revenues are also higher when the economy expands and jobs are created to drive consumer spending.

Get the 14 million or so unemployed Americans off to work each morning.

While there has been no indication of where the major cuts will be from, they will likely be from the top six budgetary areas: Medicare/Medicaid; Social Security; defense/wars; income security; interest on the debt ($223 billion!); and Federal pensions.

We know that President Obama will save money after the recent withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. This will help, but I hope there is not another war or conflict around the corner, or we will be in real trouble. North Korea? Iran? It’s a scary thought.

Where I think there will be additional cuts will be Social Security and possibly Federal pensions. The reality is that cuts and austerity measures are required. Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland are cutting back on spending or they risk defaulting. The U.S. is no different. You just cannot go on and just print money and hope the debt problem goes away.

For months now, the stock markets have focused largely on the debt crisis developments in the eurozone and, in the process, ignored this country’s own debt and deficit issues.

The headline each morning would talk about the European debt crisis. The fiasco in Greece has been front-page news. I can’t recall the last time the U.S. national debt was on page one.

But the country also needs to be careful, as the economic renewal remains fragile; albeit, if the debt and deficit are not dealt with now, we would likely see further problems around the corner and a potential cut in the U.S. credit rating from the current AA+.

Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have warned that another rate cut would be possible if the national debt and deficit situation is not resolved.