Grady L. Mississippi

The National Debt

Dear Future President, The national debt has been a looming over the heads of the American people for decades, growing millions of dollars in number day by day. As of October 2016, the collective national debt is more than $19.7 trillion. If we were to pay off that debt right now, each citizen in the United States (population of 320 million+) would have to cough up more than $61,000, an almost insurmountable task to the average American. This grim topic of discussion leaves Americans young and old with some serious questions: How can we pay off this enormous debt? Which generation of Americans will suffer the consequences of the debt? What can we do now to stagnate this debt which will take many years to pay off? The answers to these questions are not simple and will require large sacrifices from all Americans, but there are a few ways the country as a whole can at least start to reverse the problems we’ve created for the future generations of Americans. Obviously, for the country to pay of its debts, we need to start by raising taxes all around. The top 1% of Americans, who have an average income of about $717,000 apiece, are not being taxed nearly enough as they could be compared to the other 99% of Americans, whose average income is roughly $51,000. Taxes on national resources such as gasoline could also be raised, while simultaneously fueling the brainpower to look for new, more abundant sources of clean energy. Estate and investment tax levels during the Clinton presidency were high, and re-raising them to that peak would be a start in trying to achieve the economic prosperity we had during that time. If we truly want to pay off our debts in the near future, our global hand in foreign affairs must recede to stop further unnecessary spending and focus on issues at hand within borders. We must begin to focus more on internal problems rather than trying to police regions like the Middle East. Reducing military presence across the globe could lead to huge spending cuts, and, as we have learned from history, great nations fall when they expand their domain too far. Although foreign aid is good charity, our country is facing its own deficits and the federal government could save billions of dollars by cutting a mere 10-20% off. Although many Americans are against immigration from foreign countries for safety reasons, opening the national borders by easing immigration restrictions could reinvigorate the national economy and allow for new business opportunities. New businesses means more taxes paid to the national government, helping to relieve the debt. Some problems with this would be inevitable, however, like the initial unemployment rate. New businesses would alleviate this in a matter of time, though. The situation looks distressful from your standpoint, but when the American people stand together to fight an issue, it usually ends in our victory. In order to stand together, however, we need the leaders in Washington to stop clashing with one another and instead, work together to solve problems. This starts with you, the president. Get this conversation going and band people together under one common issue: how to pay off the national debt. Sincerely,

Grady Leek