Jacob Michigan

The National Debt

In April 2016 TIME magazine calculated that every man, woman, and child in the United States would have to pay $42,998.12 to pay off the national debt.

Dear Next President,

The United States of America needs to be more fiscally responsible. This issue seems to mentioned every once in while, but quickly forgotten in the midst of other issues. While it’s easy to forget issues that don’t have immediate consequences, the severity of the future consequences becomes worst the longer the issue is ignored. For example, I’m sure you’ve heard before the worry over the future of social security. When the baby boomers were too young to be eligible for social security, the surplus of revenue generated from their taxes wasn’t saved for when it would be needed now. Now that the baby boomers are able to collect social security, the system is strained. Many middle aged individuals who have been paying into social security their entire lives are concerned that they won’t be able to reap the benefits of the system when they need them. With this in mind, I urge you to consider the importance of a nation being responsible with its taxation and spending.

Time magazine released an issue in April 2016 about the national debt. In The United States of Insolvency by James Grant, the author says “Debt per se is neither good nor bad, though less is usually better than more. How it’s priced and how it’s used are what tips the scales.” The author goes on to compare debt to a piece of chocolate cake. If it costs only one cent per slice, the temptation to eat it is all the more. However, I would go even further to say that eating it has other consequences than the immediate price of the cake. Imagine the one cent price as one year’s interest on the debt. If you eat one slice of cake, that’s okay. It’s good to enjoy yourself once in awhile. But imagine eating slice after slice, day after day. It would make you sick - not to mention that the pennies add up. It’s dangerous for any country, even one as wealthy as ours, to accrue as much debt as we have.

With Respect, 

     a Michigan high school student