Should the federal government cut spending? Put that question to the American people and you’re likely to get a “yes” in response. A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports found that 65 percent of Americans believe that cutting spending will help to ease the nation’s economy woes.
Unfortunately, the president and his allies in Congress have refused to entertain significant cuts to Washington spending. The president’s misguided position was perhaps best encapsulated when he told House Speaker John Boehner that “we don’t have a spending problem.”
This is a far cry from the president’s position four years ago, when he expressed concern about spending and pledged to cut the federal budget deficit in half by the end of his first term. That didn’t happen. Instead, historically high deficits continued at more than $1 trillion each year, and today the national debt has ballooned to nearly $17 trillion.
These basic facts reflect a disturbing reality. Runaway federal spending is threatening the strength of our economy—as well as our nation’s ability to defend itself and protect freedom around the world.
You’ve seen the economic statistics. Since President Obama took office, our country’s national debt has grown by nearly 50 percent. The national unemployment rate is 7.6 percent, only slightly lower than when the president was elected, with millions of Americans having exited the workforce and given up seeking employment. The economic growth that fuels prosperity continues to be elusive.
It’s difficult to consider these facts and not conclude that they are related to the orgy of federal spending, which is dragging down our economy.
Think about it this way. In Ohio, the median income per household is around $48,000 per year. If your family was the U.S. government, you would be spending $66,000 a year, or $18,000 more than what the household is bringing in. How long would your financial position remain viable at that rate of spending? How would it affect your future well-being?
But for those of us who are concerned about our nation’s stature as a world leader, this trend is even more alarming: overspending and economic weakness are compromising our national security.
That’s the opinion of Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a highly respected thinker on military issues. Mullen has warned repeatedly that “the most significant threat to our national security is our debt.”