Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Conservative View: Haphazard Business

The Conservative View of the week, from Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Haphazard Business

Anyone who has ever been in a partnership business knows the importance of choosing your partner. I have seen instances where one partner is a good manager while the other partner runs his interests in a haphazard manner. The good business partner, if he is smart, will soon have a new partner. If you look at it objectively, we Americans are in a partnership with all of the other countries of the world. If we want to stay competitive with the rest of the world we had better start making an assessment of what kind of partners we are on a global scale.

We conservatives understand that debt is a necessary evil, but it is a consuming evil that must be managed. We are a nation that has lived beyond its means, we have gotten to a point where it is next to impossible to ever save or pay ourselves out of debt. To put it into perspective, if every American family could save five percent of their income year after year... and even assuming every single penny of that savings was thrown into the pot to pay off Washington’s debt... each American family — and descendents — would have to work for the next 429 years! That is assuming that no more debt would be incurred during that time. The U.S. government’s official debt is at an all-time high of $11.8 trillion. Every year, Washington has to make a staggering $335.3 billion in interest payments just to avoid default on that debt. In fact, just the interest on the national debt now equals 12% of all federal spending. Almost 4 million baby boomers reaching retirement age this year — unfunded government IOUs are coming due on Social Security, Medicare, and Federal pension payments. Those obligations are enormous: An estimated $104 TRILLION.

Other nations have experienced similar problems, most all of them go down a similar path. First, they borrow and print money wildly over many decades to fund programs aimed at keeping the voters happy. Second, when the debt starts to crush their economies they will borrow and try to spend their way out of the debt crisis they created. Thirdly, they will devalue their own currency with the hope of paying off their debt with cheap money.

If we Americans want to stay competitive on the world scene we had better do it ourselves and not rely upon Washington to do it for us.

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