It’s hard to imagine there could be a more impactful living document than what usdebtclock.org provides. It puts much of the current political discussion in perspective. This debacle of financial mismanagement has a proportion that can only yield draconian effects on all of us. In addition to sharing this information, I think it’s important to also ask some questions that are not part of the current conversation. As a population that prides itself on teaching our children 21st century tools, we ought to practice some ourselves.
Take a look at the website and let’s look at what these details show us and more importantly what can we expect our representatives to do to fix this. If our federal politicians were to immediately adjust the federal budget to create a surplus of $1.3 trillion instead of a deficit, it would still take approximately 90 years before the unfunded liabilities could be brought into balance. It is staggering that this liability is already more than $1 million per US taxpayer!
Since the largest contributor to the burden is Medicare, ask yourself what serious improvements have been made to the cost of medical care during the past 20 years. Should I really have to make an appointment with a physician in order to get a referral to see a specialist if I already know the problem requires one? Why can't I get a liver function test without seeing a doctor, since the reporting lab provides comparisons to cholesterol levels as part of the service? Do we have a national movement to educate more physicians to change the demand/supply formula? Isn't the size of the problem enough to make the American Medical Association less in charge of such things? Should it really cost billions to test new drugs as we learned recently from an excellent HHMI presentation? Is the FDA doing more job protection than health advancement? On a local level should LCPS continue to subsidize employee medical benefits by 78% if they continue to smoke or stay morbidly obese?
The sheer magnitude of these numbers says no.
Upon review of world debt levels, only Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and China seem to understand that sovereign strength relates to financial strength. If these ratios don't improve, our children will be highly disappointed in the prior generation. As onerous as this sounds, perhaps future politicians will consider whether those who contribute to the problem and nothing to the solution will be denied the voting entitlement. Politicians focused on staying in power will have to solve problems instead of being solicitous to voters uniquely benefitting by such entitlements. What will be the reaction of those disadvantaged? Apparently most don't even bother voting. The clock says its well past the time to wake up!