Friday, November 19, 2010

Borrowing 40 cents for every dollar we spend

The current deficit situation is personal for me like it is for you. The strategic, global picture mirrors the individual one. We’re trying to balance our budgets while feeling insecure. Despite foreign conflicts and threats from people with terror as their technique, our SecDef has advised his Commander-in-Chief that this debt is our greatest threat to our nations national security. But you understand this because it’s hitting very close to home; yours.

This week, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson appeared on the Charlie Rose Show. These appointed co-chairs of the President's Bipartisan Deficit Commission presented their case and plan. Here’s their 50 slides.

We have our own slides, though. I realize there’s great distance between you and your government given the numbers. A few readers here often accuse me of flying at 30,000 feet; too strategic and out of touch with the details. Take some time to relate your details to this commission proposal. Political hot potato? For certain.

Writers tend to parse issues, treating them individually, with a microscope. We need that attention to detail. But what we also deserve is a wider picture. You can take it. You make the connections on your own, You have excellent peripheral vision.

You do not need an Erskine or a Simpson to convince you that the time for deficit denial is over, but it’s interesting to hear this discussion and ponder the personal as well as the strategic. For every dollar we spend, we’re borrowing 40 cents. You’ve been making cuts on your own. Watch as the cuts come over the coming years. Observe how the government will face decreasing revenue. Witness how government, federal and local, will either cut taxes or face expulsion.

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