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Two futures and the national debt

BY GUEST OPINION | APRIL 08, 2011 7:20 AM

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On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, released the proposed Republican budget for fiscal 2012. Our national debt tops a staggering $14 trillion, and it is being compounded by President Obama’s trillion-plus deficits annually. The Republican budget confronts the debt crisis head on. While it seems Obama and the Senate Democrats want to continue America’s plunge into insurmountable debt, we choose a brighter future — the “Path to Prosperity.”

The United States is headed to an economic apocalypse if we continue government spending unabated. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s computer models of status-quo spending break down by 2058 because of an extraordinary deficit. We face the most predictable, yet daunting, financial crisis in our nation’s history. Do we allow the crisis to continue and push America into obscurity, or do we make the painful choices to put America back in the right direction?

Fiscal responsibility should not be a partisan issue. The economic prosperity and viability of America is at risk. We simply must fix this problem while it can still be fixed.

Ryan’s proposed budget will do just that. His plan reduces government spending to below 20 percent of the national economy and reduces the president’s proposed debt spending by streamlining government agencies and vastly reforming the government’s medical programs — saving an astounding $6 trillion over the next decade.

The Democratic political machine would like to persuade you that any substantive reforms will eliminate access to affordable health care. The truth is that without immediate and decisive measures to reform and save these programs for future generations, they will contribute to the end of America’s prosperity and functioning economy. Entitlement programs are the drivers of our debt.

We cannot make an impact on reducing our debt without changing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Analyses by the pro-free-market National Center for Policy Analysis show that our unfunded liabilities in these three areas will top $100 trillion over the next 80 years; in 15 short years, every cent of every tax dollar will be needed just to fund the government’s health, retirement programs, and interest on the debt.

Reform is clearly needed, and Ryan has given us a plan.

For once, our politicians are not concerned about re-election. Cutting entitlement programs has long been considered political suicide. Ryan openly admits this plan provides Democrats with political attacks for years to come. However, he knows that if we do not change course quickly the America we have known and loved will cease to exist for our children and grandchildren. Ryan’s budget will streamline government agencies, provide for the common defense, end corporate welfare, and promote private enterprise ahead of government bureaucracy.

Each American generation has been tested, and each generation found strength in America’s highest principles and virtues to ensure the next generation inherited a stronger, more prosperous and free America. Our debt jeopardizes this sacred legacy.

As Ryan stated in his Path to Prosperity, “without reforming spending on government health and retirement programs, we have zero hope of getting our spending and as a result our debt crisis under control.” It is up to our generation to make tough decisions and merely “hoping” for “change” is not enough. The real question is, will we do it or not?

If you remember just one thing from this article, remember this: Rep. Ryan’s budget aims to pay off the debt while President Obama’s aims to accumulate trillions more. We have a choice of two futures; pick your side and be ready to defend it. Our children will be anxious to hear your explanation.

John Twillmann, Dan Jensen, and Logan Pals are the heads of the UI College Republicans, UNI College Republicans, and ISU College Republicans, respectively.


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