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Front Page » February 7, 2012 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Solution to our debt crisis from a ...
Published 967 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Solution to our debt crisis from a dumb college student


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By CALEB JOHNSON
Holly Springs
N.C.

Editor:

I write to you out of the concern I have for my portion of the US debt burden. I am a college student who is working part-time to pay the bills and my portion of the debt burden is at an estimated $30,000 on top of my student loans. Is this the hope that was promised to us young people by the current administration?

Our nation's leaders will have to come to terms with the present crisis of raising the debt limit. On one hand, we have the Tea Party and the House Republicans fighting for spending cuts and no more additional taxes. On the other hand, we have the Democratic-controlled Senate and the President arguing for largely sustained spending and tax hikes for the rich.

One question I have for the Obama Administration is this: Is it possible for the government to continue to spend in a way that neither good businessmen nor responsible common folk can follow? As a college student, can I keep both a good GPA and a lifestyle of drinking and partying? By no means is this possible. Either one must suffer or the other. I cannot neglect my studies for irresponsible behavior and still keep up good grades. If, then, my grades suffer, is it right for me to demand to keep my lifestyle and high grades on the grounds of "scholastic justice?" If I made this argument to my professors or the dean, I would receive little sympathy.

In the same way, our government cannot continue to borrow and support unsustainable programs in the name of "social justice."

However, I have something to say to Republicans, as well. Just as we cannot starve our economy by raising taxes, we also cannot continue to spend excessively in certain areas of our choosing. It has long been the practice of conservatives to support the globe's largest defense budget. The practice of maintaining such a vast global defense budget brings us questionable tangible benefits when spending goes beyond what is necessary to preserve our liberty and into the realm of nation building and unconstitutional and immoral excursions such as our current arming and funding of so called 'freedom fighters' in Libya that are clearly aligned with al Qaeda-the very enemy we are supposed to be fighting. If the GOP is as serious about spending cuts as they say, then it is necessary for all items to be put on the table. Uncle Sam's waist needs to be trimmed and now is the time.

We must reassure the world that America will pay its bills. If we do not, and we increase our debt, our nation will be bound in the debilitating chains of economic servitude. And what's more, these chains would in large part be fashioned and held by other nations. Shall this land for which our forefathers paid so great a cost be sold to those who esteem its worth so little?

I, for one, have had enough of the scare tactics and the backroom deals that reflect all too well the way things are done in Washington. Our debt is already such that forthcoming generations will be left with paying this burden. Indeed, the generation deciding the issue will have long passed before the full effects of their mistakes are evident. Yet these men continue to make their arguments on ideological grounds.

I am a young man. I don't know how to fix the unemployment problem, or decrease poverty, or win the war in the Middle East, but I do know this: If we don't start making sacrifices and living within our means, we will not be able to fix any of these problems. Broke is broke. It is amazing to me that someone can graduate from Harvard and not understand this.

Once I had the hope of living the American dream and improving my position through hard work and honest business. Unfortunately, this aspiration depends on economic freedom and prosperity. It is my fear the dream might be dying.

Lastly, if our nation, which for so long has been a beacon of freedom and prosperity, discards common sense and indulges in treasures it does not have, then freedom and prosperity will find a new patron. Let us hope that will not be the case.

Rather, let us work together to assure a brighter future for posterity.

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