To The Reader's Forum:
Just a couple of points in reference to your Aug. 20 editorial re our national debt.
First off, when, in your last paragraph, you state that under Obama the debt has sky-rocketed from $10.6 trillion to $16.6 trillion; that does not tell the entire story. By the beginning of Obama's presidency many things transpired that would effect his presidency and the U.S. budget deficit and total debt.
Without pointing fingers, try and digest these facts. These are according to the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities and the Congressional Budget Office. Many events led to our current deficit spending and subsequent debt increase. Two unfunded wars, growing unfunded liabilities and the 2008 unprecedented world wide recession and subsequent efforts to recover from that recession were the principle drivers of the debt increase.
The Financial Stabilization Bill (TARP) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, were both passed in 2008 under Bush; huge expenditures to stop our economic slide and begin recovery. Unprecedented job losses exceeding 800,000 per month in December 2008 and January 2009. The continuation of two unfunded wars.
The cost of recovery has been huge; but recovery has been slow and steady. Since Jan. 2009, employers have added 9.9 million jobs; positive job growth in the last 53 months (average of 187,000 per month) despite governments, federal, state and local, reducing employment in their efforts to balance their budgets. Non-farm payrolls are now 654,000 greater than they were in Jan. 2009 even after recovering all the original jobs lost.
The CBO predicts continuing reduction in the deficit through 2015 when it will again be increasing due to the retirement of the Baby Boomers drawing Social Security and Medicare; both un-funded or under-funded entitlements.
Just saying that a three-paragraph editorial that seemed to point a finger at Obama's administration as the reason for the increasing debt does not tell the entire story. Our nation has run a deficit budget in the last 58 out of 60 years; but that does not mean that we should not, as you stated, begin preparing, and living by those budgets that reverse that trend and begin to live within our means.