So How Do We Get Out of This Mess Anyway?

Source

We hear a lot about how much in debt we are as a country. Then we hear about deficits and surpluses, although, we haven’t heard much about the latter for several years now. They are actually two different issues. We have a surplus if we take in more money in a year than we spend. We have a deficit if we spend more than we take in. Our national debt is the amount the government owes at any point in time. Any debt we have gets added to an annual deficit or gets subtracted from a surplus. Simple enough.

The United States is definitely in debt, but truth be told, we are primarily in debt to ourselves. Nineteen percent of our debt is money we have borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund. Another 11.3 percent the Treasury owes to people who have bought U.S. Savings Bonds. All our other debt is in the single digits: to U.S. households, to China and Japan, then down the list from there. The reality is America owes Americans $9.8 trillion. We owe foreigners $4.5 trillion. Simply put: Our debt is a problem of our own making.

The last time we had a surplus - we took in more than we spent - was in 2000. It was the result of a large tax increase in President Clinton’s first year in office leveled almost solely on upper-income taxpayers. His 1994 budget also contained some spending reductions. But the biggest factor in creating a surplus was a booming economy that brought in unanticipated tax revenues and huge gains in the stock markets that produced capital gains and rising salaries that produced more Social Security payments – more tax revenues. So in fiscal 1999 and fiscal 2000 the federal budget was theoretically balanced and the deficit erased – for a little while. We still had debt, but the Clinton administration left the country on track to paying it off if prosperity continued.

It didn't.

The Dot.Com bubble burst and the home mortgage crisis came rolling to a boil. In fact, Clinton’s FY2001 budget, which President George W. Bush inherited, generated a $133.29 billion deficit, so things had already started going from good to bad to worse. http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-budget-and-deficit-under-clinton/

Then came tax cuts returning that previous revenue to the wealthy, refunding of the phantom surplus to the general population, September 11, 2001; and two decade-long wars essentially paid for with a credit card, unemployment, and housing foreclosures. And the deficits grew.

These recent years are not the first time America has experienced an explosion of governmental debt. The national debt tripled between 1950 and 1980. Then it quadrupled between 1980 and 1992. It periodically rose and fell then until 2000, and under President G.W. Bush it doubled. Under President Obama it has risen from $10.7 trillion to $14.2 trillion as of 2011 according to the Department of the U.S. Treasury.

Still, there is some good news to be found. The economy of the United States is the world’s largest national economy, and has been since the 1890s, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimated to be more than $15 trillion in 2011, approximately a quarter of the world’s productivity. We are also the world’s largest trading nation, primarily with Canada, China (holder of our largest foreign loans) and Mexico. We are the world's largest manufacturer, representing a fifth of the global manufacturing output. At least 133 of the world's 500 largest companies are headquartered in the United States. This is twice the total of any other country. This source also states the percentage of millionaires and billionaires who live in America, but I haven't included those figures because the true benefit of that fact may be yet to be determined. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_States

So, there is much in America to feel good about in financial terms. But, for all these glowing statistics, the cross we bear these days is DEBT. The 2011 Financial Report of the U.S. Government issued by the GAO projects that if our government was a business, it would basically be bankrupt. Yes, we’re spending more than we are bringing in. But we are also not paying down our debt. We are accumulating more. The budget deficit in fiscal 2011 of $1.299 trillion required the government to borrow almost forty percent of funds needed to meet 2011 expenditures. Basically, the only way we can get back into the black and erase the red ink in our budget is to make economic policy changes that create annual surpluses equal to 1.8 percent of GDP for each of the next seventy-five years. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204720204577130932290881206.html

So solving this problem is not just about who we elect as the next president. It is about how do we change our financial habits whichever party is in power? How do we do that? Well, it would seem there are as many suggested solutions as there are people willing to stand before a microphone or write a blog. One idea has been put forth by a group some might find to be a surprising collaboration of former adversaries.

Fiscally Sound America, (believe it or not) is a group of retired congressmen from both major parties. They have suggested that reforming tax expenditures should be the top priority for budget reforms. Tax loopholes or special tax breaks result in more than $1 trillion in lost revenue every year. Those losses were larger than all income taxes paid by individuals in 2011.

“With our national debt rapidly increasing as a share of our total economy and our nation’s economic growth stagnated, we can no longer wait for the next generation to make the tough decisions necessary to resolve our fiscal issues,” said Tom Tauke, U.S. Congress retired (R-IA) co-chair, FSA, and Executive Vice President, Verizon Communications. “We have a moral responsibility to save our country. And we believe that the vast majority of Americans are willing to do what is necessary now to ensure a bright future for themselves and their children. We simply cannot delay these difficult choices anymore.”

Of course the argument could be made that FSA members were the very elected officials who allowed the current fiscal situation to develop on their watch. On the other hand, who better to know where the mistakes lie that need to be fixed? And possibly only those with that kind of knowledge - who are now out of office - can do anything about it.

Pimco Managing Director William H. Gross runs the world's biggest bond fund. He puts the situation in these terms, “An expansion in credit, debt, and deregulating over the past ten or twenty years got us here. It was a ten- to twenty-year process moving in, and it will probably take a long time moving out. Some have suggested the Biblical seven years fat and seven years lean as a way of illustrating our present circumstances.”

Who knows? Surely at some point sooner or later we will figure it all out. Winston Churchill once said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they have tried everything else.”

We. the People: who landed on Plymouth Rock and cleared the wilderness all the way to the Pacific Ocean. We, the People: who fought our own brothers over states’ rights and the blight of slavery only to come out of that most costly of all American wars strong enough to take on, not one, but two wars that involved so much of the planet’s total population the first word for each of them was – World.

How many times have we said, “If we can put a man on the moon then we can. . . ” No citizen standing on any piece of ground other than the United States of America can say that. We can do anything we put our minds to. We’ve proven that fact too many times for anyone, anywhere to question it. And we can do this. We can solve our debt crisis – if we decide we are willing to do what it will take to do it.

When our founding fathers wrote, “We, the People” they must have known times like this would come for our country. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have had the foresight to give us the tools we need to fix such problems. And we do have the tools. Which begs the question: why don’t we use them and get this done? In the Bible, the writer of Hebrews talks about our being surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” Those witnesses who have gone before us, paved the trails, and laid down their lives, know there is no problem too great for us to solve.

It won’t be easy.

But then, what about America ever has been easy?




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Comments 52 comments

Sooner28 4 years ago

Very informative hub. Raising taxes on the rich, drastically reducing military spending, and adopting a universal health care program would make major inroads to reducing the debt of the United States.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Sooner28 - Thanks for your comments. My goal was to provide some information. Smarter people than me will have to figure out how we do it!


Davesworld profile image

Davesworld 4 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

Taxes alone won't fix the problem. Neither will drastic cuts in the Defense budget since we borrow more than twice what we spend on defense. We have to get serious about everything, taxes and spending, if we are going to dig ourselves out of this hole.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

Kathleen Cochran

There is a lot more waste in Washington that could be cut. The President's Payroll Tax bill is not paid by cutting cost as required by PAY-GO LAW.

CHECK IT OUT.

1. 2/13/10

President Barack Obama is hailing PAYGO legislation PAYGO compels new spending not add to the federal deficit. http://chicagoconsultant.com/page2.php?category=2&...

2.WASTE IN GOVERNMENT ALL IN THE RED

‘’ Back In Black’’ The Obama’s stash, do not touch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tVJ2gqqKWs

3.

The Senator Coburn report '' WASTE IN GOVERNMENT'' http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/rightnow...

Prsident Obama and the Congress are robbing the Social Security Trust fund by giving the tax break and is increasing the National Debt by $100 billion more just to give working people a break. The unemployed workers are footing the bill, the president believes in ''FAIRNESS''.


QualityContent profile image

QualityContent 4 years ago

There needs to be a new jobs revolution because there are none. Looking after the planet, green technologies, high-tech. Young people today have absolutely no future, too many people and not enough jobs that matter.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

This hub has drawn some new hubbers into my hub world. Welcome and thanks for the comments. Jon, you've given me some reading to do - thanks!


LHwritings profile image

LHwritings 4 years ago from Central Texas

Thanks for an informative and rational discussion of the debt and deficit issues. I'm voting this Up and Interesting.

I commend you for putting this in particular in perspective:

================

The United States is definitely in debt, but truth be told, we are primarily in debt to ourselves. Nineteen percent of our debt is money we have borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund. Another 11.3 percent the Treasury owes to people who have bought U.S. Savings Bonds. All our other debt is in the single digits: to U.S. households, to China and Japan, then down the list from there. The reality is America owes Americans $9.8 trillion. We owe foreigners $4.5 trillion. Simply put: Our debt is a problem of our own making.

================

I'm not a Keynesian, but Keynes's proposal of using debt during a severe recession to beef up the overall economy makes sense to me. Keynesians argue that public investment and service programs have the potential to stimulate the economy, thus boosting economic activity, thus boosting tax revenues, and helping the economic system climb out of a crash and enabling the government to start paying down the accumulated debt. To an extent, I think that would work, but the top elite (the so-called 1%) are generally averse to that.

What is infuriating is the ongoing campaign to make the masses of us pay for the terrible damage that the tiny wealthy minority have inflicted.


Davesworld profile image

Davesworld 4 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

LHWritings,

What earthly difference does it make who we owe the money to? If I owe $100 to the bank, and $200 to my Uncle I am still $300 in debt.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Davesworld: Good point. I just think it is interesting to know. Do you think you'd feel differently if you owed that $300 to the Mafia?


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I haven't heard this view before - very interesting. Thanks for adding to the discussion and welcome to my hubs.


Sooner28 4 years ago

I think you make an excellent point Kathleen. If I owe a debt to my uncle(assuming we have a good relationship), he will not sue me and force me to go bankrupt when I cannot pay. He will also not be as strict with regards to deadlines, as long as he is eventually paid back.

If I owe the Mafia $300 and I don't pay, it's almost a guarantee I will end up with a broken body part; and possibly some stolen property. If I owed more, I might as well kiss my life goodbye unless the police intervened.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

Kathleen Cochran

Congressman Paul Ryan told the truth about what the true amount is that our Government owes on a recent news program. The US Government has a debt of $96 trillion in unfunded liabilities that include the $ 16 Trillion national debt, social security trust fund, Medicare, government workers pensions and other non mentionable.

SO HOW DO WE GET OUT OF THIS MESS? We must start contacting our elected officials and turn on the heat. They must stop spending and start cutting government waste , now, today. Let them know that we are watching their actions and that they will be HELD accountable for their actions. They will not be re-elected if they continue on the path of destroying our country.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hopefully the Chinese won't break our legs!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Amen to that.


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 4 years ago from Northern Germany

It doesn´t make too much sense to address debt only. On a balance sheet there are assets also. Who cares in an economic entity what kind of debt there is? (public, household, corporate)

Let me try to define the wealth of an economy. Isn´t that: Wealth in a given year = Total assets - depreciation of assets - total debt + GDP(consumptive) + GDP(investive).

No matter how high public or corporate or household debt pile up, people are living in houses (not caves) are well sheltered, there are productive factories (not firestone tools or open fire foundries). In other words: the amount of assets will be much higher than the total debt at any given time (in my opinion any reference to future liabilities is not allowed, except if it was depreciated to current values).

If we understand this, then there is another equation (or balance) to watch: Change in assets.

Asset change = GDP investive - depreciation of assets.

If that figure turns negative it means that things are falling apart faster than being replaced. So, that is really something bad and guess what, the US does have a negative investment rate.

What are people doing things for? Answer: To build a better future. If there is no investment into the future, then what future will be? This is simple math, for this Doris Day is not right with her old song: ".. the future is not our´s to see..".

As long as America is putting most of the borrowed money into consumption and not into capital investment, things won´t change. And for this it is not important who is the lender, who is the borrower and how much debt already exists.

To pick up some ideas from the comments: If you take money from the Mafia and build a good house, you may end with concrete boots but your children will have shelter. If you take that Mafia money and go shopping for stuff you don´t really need, what do your children say if you end in harbour bay?


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

These are interesting comments. You've told another side of the situation I hadn't considered. In reply to your last question: I don't know. Maybe the children say, "Rest in peace, Mom, and thanks for the stuff."


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Chris57: You make a good illustration. I don't feel guilty for my mortgage, which is much larger than my credit card bill. I have a home to show for my mortgage. What do I have to show for my credit card bill but consumables I'm going to have to buy again pretty soon. Great point.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

Kathleen Cochran

THE WORST PART OF HAVING A MORTGAGE.

YOU LOST AT LEAST 25% OF THE EQUITY in your investment BECAUSE OF THE IDIOTS IN WASHINGTON.


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 4 years ago from Northern Germany

Kathleen Cochran:

You cerntainly don´t have to feel bad about a house mortgage, because a house is a low depreciation asset, something to depend on for the future.

However some of the housing bubble was due to overloading mortgages for consumptive means. If a house is worth 100.000 USD, but a mortgage of 150.000 USD was associated to that house because the lender (bank) talked himself into thinking the house would be worth 200.000 USD, then this is and was the beginning of the mess.

You could ask why it was so important to overload mortgage. Answers (IMHO): Money too cheap (it is ridiculous how low interest rates are), productivity and living standards don´t match any more in the US. So for a whole decade it appeared to be a good idea to close the gap between living standards and creation of real wealth (productivity) through extended household borrowing (via mortgage overload).

People who say that equity lost value in recent times overlook that it is always the same house, the same asset in the same location that was evaluated. So all what happened was a reset to real conditions, speculative value was stripped off.

In my previous comment i suggested that debt in an economy has to be treated as a combination of household, corporate and private debt. From this perspective the recent "quantitive easing" actions were nothing else but transfering household debt (the subprime stuff) and corporate debt (the GM deal) to public debt. That doesn´t change a thing in the overall condition of the economy.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I have never written a hub before that resulted in me learning so much! Thanks for the information and taking the time to provide it.


LHwritings profile image

LHwritings 4 years ago from Central Texas

..

Davesworld asks

====================

LHWritings,

What earthly difference does it make who we owe the money to? If I owe $100 to the bank, and $200 to my Uncle I am still $300 in debt.

=====================

Since you ask ... Have you not watched the TV ads or listened to the extremist-right politicians? They've been trying to get us all to believe that China now "dominates" the USA because it supposedly holds most of America's federal debt. Pure garbage — as Kathleen Cochran points out (with actual numbers), "we are primarily in debt to ourselves." That alone should give anyone pause before even considering the propaganda of the Tea Party and GOP.

And yes, debt is still debt. But it's backed by the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government. This "full faith and credit" in turn relies on the basic potential power of the U.S. economy. And while that economy went splat starting about 2007-2008, it does have the ability to recover to a point where tax revenues could be sufficient to "dig out of the hole" of debt obligations.

However, the Tea Party and GOP seem prepared to do everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen. (1) They apparently want Washington to default on contracts and debt obligations (remember last summer?). (2) They've been trying to roadblock most federal stimulative spending that could actually inject money (unavailable from the private sector) into the economy to create jobs and lift the economy. (3) They're doing all they can to reduce corporate and high-income taxes, thus reducing revenues so that it becomes increasingly more difficult to pay down the debt load.

As Europe is beginning to realize, austerity has utterly failed there. Yet the Teapot GOP is crusading to entrench this utterly failed and disastrous policy here in the USA.

Worried that the USA's crisis might start looking like Greece's? If the Tea Party and GOP have their way, that nightmare could become reality.

..


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

LHWritings - Thanks for such thoughtful comments. Thanks for taking the time to contribute.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

LHWritings,

Your post is very interesting as you blame the GOP and the Tea Party members ‘’seem prepared to do everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen‘’.

2) They've been trying to roadblock most federal simulative SPENDING that could actually inject money (unavailable from the private sector) into the economy to create jobs and lift the economy'' SEE PAY-GO

SEPT 28 2011 THE PRESIDENT had a jobs bill presented to Congress. Please note that Congress is the Republican House ( 2011 to present, about 13 months) and the Democrat Senate who have been in majority control since 2007 to the present ( 5 plus years ).For your information, Senator Reid refused to put the President’s jobs bill on the senate floor for a VOTE. REASON being the Democrat Senators would vote against the bill. The Republican House voted on the bill, the bill failed because Democrat Congressman voted against the bill. The president told the public that Congress ( note that Congress is a 2 part group ) , blaming the Republicans for not passing the bill. The president has a problem in reporting the TRUE facts. Try to recall how many times the President mentions that the Senate is holding up passage of legislation ( 25 jobs bills ) that were passed by the House and waiting for Senator Reid to allow the Senators to vote to pass or reject the house jobs bills.

(3) They're , GOP and TEA PARTY , doing all they can to reduce corporate and high-income taxes, thus reducing revenues so that it becomes increasingly more difficult to pay down the debt load.

The government does not have a problem with revenue per say to run the government and pay debts. The problems are that the President continues to increase the size of government and does not want to cut spending. When the Government spends more than it takes in ,the national debt will not be reduced.

Since Jan. 2009 , Obama & Company has spent $4.5 trillion and rising. Since 2007 up to today, the Democrats have had a majority control ,2/3’s. of the government.

It is evident that the mainstream media, the President and the Whitehouse.gov blog have not told the American people the TRUTH.

2/13/10 ASK why the President and the Senate ignore the law.

President Barack Obama is hailing PAYGO legislation PAYGO compels new spending not add to the federal deficit. http://chicagoconsultant.com/page2.php?category=2&...

The facts are different and the propaganda continues to fool the people.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

Kathleen Cochran

MAYBE THIS LINK will bring a little light to the subject.

A notable recent member of the Joyce Foundation's Board of Directors was Barack Obama, Democratic candidate in 2004. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/funderProfile.a...


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

And yes, debt is still debt. But it's backed by the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government. This "full faith and credit" in turn relies on the basic potential power of the U.S. economy.

I would add that is a reputation we need to guard with every resouce at our disposal. It's the kind of value once you've lost, you may never get back.


LHwritings profile image

LHwritings 4 years ago from Central Texas

..

Jon Ewall writes

============

SEPT 28 2011 THE PRESIDENT had a jobs bill presented to Congress. Please note that Congress is the Republican House ( 2011 to present, about 13 months) and the Democrat Senate who have been in majority control since 2007 to the present ( 5 plus years ). For your information, Senator Reid refused to put the President’s jobs bill on the senate floor for a VOTE. REASON being the Democrat Senators would vote against the bill.

============

I responded to Jon Ewall on this issue before after he made a similar assertion in another thread. Because of self-imposed U.S. Senate rules, requiring a 60% majority, a simple majority does NOT equal "control". Thus, this claim is a misrepresentation.

Furthermore, the "Democrat" party has become basically a refuge for moderate conservatives and so-called "centrists" who would formerly have been members of the GOP; but the GOP has become the preserve of the Tea Party, moving it into a far-right extremist party with no tolerance for "moderates" and "centrists".

Thus, the Dems have become a de facto Democrat-Republican party. In the Senate, the situation is also muddled by the dubious status of Joe Lieberman, now an "independent" straddling the fence between the two parties (but tending to block with conservatives).

============

The Republican House voted on the bill, the bill failed because Democrat Congressman voted against the bill.

============

Yes, the Teapot GOP wanted to tie continued FEMA aid to drastic reductions in other programs in the jobs bill. They also wanted more draconian spending cuts while jettisoning modest tax increases on the very wealthy.

As I said before, the Teapot GOP have been "trying to roadblock most federal stimulative spending that could actually inject money (unavailable from the private sector) into the economy to create jobs and lift the economy."

And yes, to some extent, the far-right in the GOP have been assisted by "closet" GOP allies inside the Democratic Party. (Remember, the Democrats have been welcoming them into their "big tent".)

And re: the shocking news about Obama's board membership 8 years ago on the liberal Joyce Foundation, which contributes to various mainstream liberal causes — yawn.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I agree that the GOP is experiencing what the Democratic Party has been experiencing for a long time: the hijacking of their party by their extreme factions. The recent trend in Washington that makes "compromise" a dirty word and synonomous with "defeat" is doing a great deal of harm to our ability to move forward in this country and solve our most serious problems. Thanks for taking the time to share your extensive comments.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

It seems to me because our elected officials don't make the rational choices when they have the time to do it right, they end up making the least objectionable choice when time has run out and we are heading over a cliff.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I have three young adult children and it is hard to explain to them that they grew up during prosperity (some might say greed) and now they are facing hard times they've never seen before. They are basically paying for the mistakes of the generation that came before them. Whatever happened to making sure your children have it better than you did?


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You hit the nail on the head. I have a hub, Want to change the world? Don't re-elect your congressman. Unfortunatley, folks tend to like their own representatives, just not anybody else's.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

The collaspse of the value of real estate is shaking the foundation of The American Dream. We've told the next generation to come up with a new dream. Can't help but wonder what that might be.


LHwritings profile image

LHwritings 4 years ago from Central Texas

Kathleen writes

==========================

I agree that the GOP is experiencing what the Democratic Party has been experiencing for a long time: the hijacking of their party by their extreme factions.

==========================

The cartoon in today's New York Times (Sunday, 4 March 2012) would seem to bolster this point:

The Endangered Moderate Republican

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101617606


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Nothing makes a point like a comic strip! Thanks for the laugh - if it wasn't so true.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

Hands down, this has to be one of the best Hubs I've read since getting involved on this site. I voted this up, useful and interesting and even then it is an understatement. I often tell people that when I was younger I had all of the answers and now that I'm a tad older (cough, cough) I have more questions than answers. I don't have the crystal ball as far as fixing the mess we are in...I have my own theories. You, however, took an analytical look at a complex dilemma and broke it down quite nicely. In spite of all the division in this country, my heart and gut tell me there are still many more of us united than those of us divided and it will be the uniters who see us through these troubled waters.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Well, you've made my day during a week when I've needed some encouragemnt. Your comments are all the more appreciated because this has been my second effort at getting a hub on this subject published. Wrestling to sort through the research an get my own ideas down on paper/screen continues to be worth the effort.

Welcome to my hubs pagesvoice!


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

Kathleen Cochran

WASHINGTON IS THE PROBLEM, for starters cut the waste in government and there will be money available to take care of business.

Economics 101 If you spend more money than you take in, you go belly up and lose maybe your life’s work. Today, there is the biggest employer in the country ( federal government ) that is still around, they just print more money. So today when one wakes up, a dollar won’t buy as much as it did in the past. The Obama LEGACY is homeowners lose 25% of their investment ( the lucky ones ), the dollar is worth 25% less, another loss for the middle class and INFLATION is in full throttle ( gas,food, meat, insurance premiums and taxes)

.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You make a very good point - in fact, several of them.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

Sooner28

your solutions are part of the problem. The problem is getting people back to work so that they, not the government, are paying their FAIR Share.JOBS,JOBS AND JOBS, WHERE ARE THE JOBS?obama promissed in 2008 ,if elected he would change the economy around and get people back to work.After deficits of $4.5 trillion, where and when will the JOBS COME?


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

OK. I haven't offered any solutions other than confidence in Americans being up to the challenge before us. This hub just offered information. I'm not taking a side. I appreciate your views.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Terrific Hub. Balanced, reasonable, non-partisan. Just the facts. And it generated so many interesting comments...If he hadn't already written it, I would want to write something like pagesvoice. Very nice and thoughtful comments. SHARING


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

phdast7: Your take on things is always appreciated. I really used to be a pretty fair government reporter - believe it or not! I enjoy pretending I still have a little bit of the ole girl still in me. Got an assignment for me prof?


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

Kathleen Cochran

It's all too simple for simple minded people. Jobs. jobs and more jobs. '' The Man '' promised jobs 4years ago. Listen closely when Obama mentions Congress is at fault, NEVER mentions Senator Reid is holding up and delaying voting on 23 jobs bills.The Republican House is working, the Senate is working to delay putting people back to work.That's a true FACT!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas

Well written article, Kathleen...covering a lot of ground building us up to where we are today. We are really got rolling down this road in the 60's when LBJ and company though it best to "borrow" the Social Security funds as opposed to other means of finance. The problem arising from that action is far more complicated than just repaying a loan especially in light of the fact that nothing has been done about it and now the largest population generations in America are retiring and looking for their money. While our financial woes are towering, I feel that most Americans missed the point this week. The President used extortion and threat to gain what he want. He implied that he would voluntarily default on payment of the interest due on the US debt. In making that threat he stepped outside the duties defined for his office by the Constitution and also usurped the specifically assigned duties of the Congress in the process. His irrational, self action threatened both the domestic and the world economy as well as set the stage for future attacks on the Constitution basis of our government functions. Rather than applaud the man, he should be under consideration for impeachment for that one act alone...yet much of the public misses the point. This will be the stone which breaks the glass, erodes the fabric, and erases our history as a great nation. Given this week's performance, one must ask, what is it that Obama must do in order for Congress to uphold its oath regarding the Constitution? ~WB


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Wayne: Did the two of us just live through this past week in alternate universes?

At any rate, I appreciate you adding to the conversation of this hub. And you are right about LBJ, who really will go down in history as one of our worst presidents - except for getting civil rights legislation passed.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas

@LH Writing...With regard to Jon Ewall's comments on the actions of the Senate. If a 60% majority were Reid's only concern, he would let the bills come to the floor, get the vote results and point to the Republicans who voted agains the bill as the problem. Jon's point is that a significant portion of the Democrats are going to vote against those bills. I think we saw a similar effect when the President attempted any budget proposals...his own party would not support it enough to get it passed. With regard to the housing collapse, it was not so much about cheap money to lend as it was the removal of most sane litmus practices which qualified the buyers. Too many homes were sold to too many folks who were totally unqualified to purchase them. Mix that with a lending industry total focused on upward value projects and you have a disaster in the making. Anytime a market is inflated beyond the level it normally seeks relative to the restrictions on the flow, that inflation will eventually be a problem for the market cannot sustain at that level for a number of factors, one of which is there are far too many people who either cannot afford those loans or who elect through their life styles not to pay their financial obligations first. Government cannot successfully legislate changes in human nature nor can it legislate equality or fairness. But we can be sure that it will continue to try and waste away our revenue in the process.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Kathleen - This was, and still is, a great hub. Balanced, moderate, informative. And you generated so many interesting comments from so many different perspectives. IT has held up well. One of best hubs in your reportorial style. :) Well worth a second read. Theresa


Kathleen Odenthal profile image

Kathleen Odenthal 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

I don't see a way out, and that saddens me. I try to do what I can, but I feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme. Regardless, another great hub Kathleen.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 17 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Kathleen...2 things. I appreciate this share of your research and knowledge. We all need to have this education. Most of us simply don't keep up on this and this is shameful. You are to be commended for enlightening so many of us.

And BEAUTIFUL new photo, Kathleen!! UP+++


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 17 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Decided it was time to come out from behind the dark glasses. Thanks for the encouragement. I won't tell you how old this picture is!!!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 10 months ago from California

This is just such an excellent article! Passing it along!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 10 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Audrey: Thanks! The best compliment is passing it on.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I commented four years ago and two years ago...what a Journalistic Shelf-life!! Still an excellent well-researched, well-articulated essay that everyone, especially our political readers should review on a monthly basis. Nothing can be fixed overnight, but careful incremental changed could lead us out of this quagmire...if only those in leadership had the courage and the will. Excellent work. Keep reposting.

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