The National Debt

Imagine there was a huge black cloud shrouding an entire country, teeming with fearsome lightning and hurricane force winds, threatening to erupt into storm and no one was talking about it. This is our national debt to the tune of an outrageous and maddening $15,395,900,000+.

Check the official National Debt clock in LS Extension Materials to watch as the nearly insurmountable debt increases before your eyes, as does the $136,110+ each taxpayer owes.

It's ironic that many Americans are terrified of the terrorism threat from outside the United States, when a potentially lethal dose of economic damage is being levied on us by our own government and the citizens who continue to support it. The U.S. might not topple from nuclear fallout, but rather simply by foreign investors pulling up stakes and taking their investments outside of U.S. interests. What happens if they all call for their debts to be repaid at once?

And the American government just keeps right on spending, which is strange since any financial advisor would probably recommend getting out from under a mountain of potentially devastating debt by first equalizing earnings with expenditures.

You may ask, "How did things get this bad? How could the budget have gotten so absurdly out of control?" It's almost certain that expert economists could detail the history of the crisis, but how the government and budgeting power brokers could´ve been so negligent is unfathomable.

So here we are now, standing on a weak ledge. The overall debt increases every second. Right now, each and every U.S. citizen owes $49,173. By the time you read this, that amount will be far more.

We cannot be lemmings. The United States is a country overpopulated by sheep, just like all the other countries. It´s time for us to be lions. It´s time for us to solve our problems.

The first steps are to formulate a great plan and to try.

"How," you might ask, since the problem seems insurmountable.

Here's how...

1. Stabilize spending

We spend as much as we have or as much as we earn, no more. This will require a tremendous and highly detailed government budgeting and restructuring plan. So be it.

2. Military cutbacks

We have enough firepower to destroy the world 12 times over. We shouldn´t be looking for wars to fight, so we shouldn´t be looking to build more military might. Our goal is to maintain the military we have and even then to initiate cutbacks and downscaling.

3. Reform government

Steamline government processes to reduce spending. All upper government officials should vote for voluntary pay cuts to their salaries. Why would they do this? 1. To send the correct message to themselves and the nation. 2. To help solve the economic problem 3. Because their salaries are highly out of alignment with the average people they are intended to represent. 4. Because this is a governmental failure and they are the government. In a very real way, it´s their obligation and their duty to atone for the government's past failures.

4. Reform legal system

Restructure process to increase speed and efficiency and reduce wasteful spending.

5. Legalize and tax marijuana

Eliminate a breach of human rights and natural freedoms, while earning additional money to pay off our looming debt

6. Reduce the cost of the death penalty

According to Amnesty International, “The California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice reported in 2008 that, “in California the current system costs $137 million per year.”

According to The Guardian writer, Ed Pilkington, who cites a study by senior judge, Arthur Alarcon and Layola Law School professor, Paula Mitchell, “Since 1978 California and the US government have together spent some $4bn on the state's death row, yet only 13 prisoners have been executed – an average of $308m for each one. The study, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, warns that the total figure will rise to about $9bn by 2030.”

Can this be true? Seriously? The execution of a dangerous, guilty, immoral criminal costs 308 million in California?

According to Deathpenaltyinfo.org, the U.S. had 43 death row executions in 2011. If we assumed the cost per execution in California was the average, that would be $13,244. That’s 13 billion, 244 million dollars in 2011 alone. Are you kidding???

The idea is to punish the guilty, not let them live in a comfortable jail cell with free room and board for three or four years, during a ridiculously long appeal process, then give them an assortment of options for the most pleasant ending possible, a wonderful free meal of their choice and an audience of spectators, in case they feel they’d like to make a final speech or get anything off their chests. 

Meanwhile, a bunch of innocent taxpaying Americans are also punished, since we’ve already discussed the financial toll of execution and the cost for prisons was $60.5 billion way back in 2005, according to Wikipedia. One might have second thoughts about trying to locate the new number today, as it would surely be even more mindboggling and heartbreaking.

A 2008 Washington Post Article by N.C. Aizenman had this to say, “More than one in 100 adult Americans are in jail or prison, an all-time high that is costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year, in addition to more than $5 billion spent by the federal government, according to a report released Thursday.”

If this societal blight, mass-murderer waits the average of 25 years it takes from conviction to execution and is executed for their various crimes against humanity, it is likely to cost Americans an additional $596,900 (And that’s based on a modest 2005 statistic that each incarceration costs $23,876 per year). That doesn’t make any sense and it’s just plain unacceptable.

7. Increase the taxes on cigarettes, liquor and guns

Sure the cigarette, liquor and gun industries will be up in arms, but they´re making billions of dollars selling things, which generally aren´t good for us and people don´t really need. They can withstand a small tax hike.

8. Avoid fighting wars and international military engagements

Maybe this should´ve been first on the list. Isn´t it obvious? Spending billions of dollars to fight wars is good for the advance of technology, good for population control and arguably even good for the economy, but bad for the National Debt and the National Treasury, not to mention the immorality of thousands of unnecessarily deaths.

9. Increase monetary fines for corporations who break environmental laws

Protect the environment and punish the unethical and the guilty, all while acquiring extra funds to pay off the National Debt.

10. Increase the monetary fines and seizure of property for unprovoked multiple murderers

This is to say, if you have murdered two or more people and were unprovoked, you can forfeit the combined money and possessions you´ve acquired. You won´t need them anyway, since you should be spending the rest of your natural life in jail.

11. Decrease the cost of criminal incarceration by increasing the number of death penalties given.

This is not to say that you give the death penalty to people who don’t deserve it, just to save money. No. There are many states, which don’t utilize the death penalty and those states house many criminals who frankly deserve to die and are chewing up and spitting out the tax payers hard earned dollars.

There are plenty of evil people, who should be removed, just as we cut cancer from the healthy flesh. Remove them and keep them from doing further damage, both physically and financially. 

12. Increase the monetary funds for drunk and/or irresponsible driving

And in cases where a death is caused by a driver’s gross irresponsibleness, increase the fine and plan for it to include complete seizure of the culprit’s vehicles.

13. Let our enemies pay for their own choices

We can hope we don’t have to go to war again and we can make a supreme effort toward that goal, but if a time comes when we must defeat another country in battle, after the victory, we should not let it further destroy our own economy.

Some would call it stealing and if that’s how they want to view it fine, but since, in this scenario, the U.S. would be dragged unwillingly into battle with an immoral opponent, the U.S. should seize sufficient funds from the enemy treasury to pay for America’s involvement in the war.

The U.S. should not have to suffer further loss because it was forced to confront an immoral foreign power.

That country can then be responsible for rebuilding itself (if necessary), with whatever remains, along with help from whatever philanthropical and international outreach programs.

14. Everyone should pay the same percentage of taxes   

This especially includes the rich, wealthy and well-off, who often find ways to escape paying their fair share. It’s time to make the rich pay their just due.

15. Stop prosecuting victimless crimes

This would save the U.S. government millions and perhaps even billions of dollars on unwarranted legal red tape and meandering prosecution efforts.


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