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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Debt Debate

Jul 15, 2011

What to talk about this week? Farm prices are good – corn, soy beans, hogs, cattle. Not much to complain about. We just have to worry about the weather.

Right now, the debt debate is crowding out everything. The United States of America is going to run out of money to pay our bills some time around August 2. That’s not too far off. Liberals say – “Just borrow some more money to pay the bills.” Conservatives say – “We can’t do that. We already owe too much. It is selfish of us to borrow today so that we can enjoy it and leave our children and grandchildren with the bill.”
 
Here are the facts. Our national debt has exploded in a little over 2 years (since Mr. Obama became President). We are spending 1.7 trillion dollars each year more than we take in.
 
We are going the way of Greece if we don’t do something soon.
 
The only solution is to spend less (a lot less) or find the money; we really can’t keep borrowing. We can tax the rich. The truth is, that is not a very good solution. Half of the people in this country already don’t pay any federal income tax. Others pay all of it. Forty percent of Americans receive 45% of their income from the federal government. We had 26 million people on food stamps in 2007. Today, we have 44 million. According to Steven Moore (Wall Street Journal senior economics writer), “We have become a nation of takers, not makers. There are twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing.”
 
I am convinced that we’re not going to solve our debt problem by taxing the rich. Although, I do believe that we could close loopholes in the tax code and it certainly needs to be simplified.
 
We have a spending problem. We are addicted to spending. We need to cut everywhere but we cannot expect to achieve anything unless we go where the money is spent. Two thirds of our spending goes to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on the national debt.
 
Too many of our elected representatives are so afraid of not being re-elected that they are unwilling to take anything away from their voters. Their preference, of course, is to hand out money to their voters.
 
That habit needs to end. We can’t afford it.
 
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.
 
Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.
 
 
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