February 11, 2016
Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere and the National Corn Growers Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary— President Reagan once said, “The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.”
Government programs not only survive, they thrive. They just get bigger. We have a 19 trillion dollar debt, and many of the candidates for President don’t even talk about it. Bernie Sanders gets the prize for wanting to spend more than anyone. To deal with our unsustainable growing debt would require raising taxes or cutting popular programs. That’s no way to buy votes.
Pollsters have been asking voters, “What are the most important issues to them?” Government spending comes in number one. A Rasmussen poll found that 66% of voters think the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
Although our annual deficit has been slowly declining the last six years, it is now headed back up this year. Granted we had a serious recession, but since President Obama came in, our national debt has more than doubled. We are obligated to pay that 19 trillion dollars back. That burden will fall on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.
Our debt was 39% of GDP in 2008. Today, it has climbed to 73.6% and rising. Look at the world today – not very healthy. As irresponsible as we are, we are better off than most other countries. Look at the countries that are in trouble. Venezuela tops the list. In Europe, Greece is only hanging in there because the rest of Europe threw them a life raft. Brazil and Argentina are struggling. What do these suffering countries have in common? Too much debt – debt that they may not be able to pay back. Why should we go down that road to oblivion? We don’t have to.
Half of the growth in our spending in the last 10 years has gone to two programs – Social Security and Medicare. It is shocking to acknowledge that the payment on our debt, which is 223 billion dollars per year now – is expected to rise to 772 billion dollars in 2025.
I don’t think it is unreasonable to deal with this problem now. It will only get worse. Failure to control debt can destroy a business, can bankrupt your farm or your family. Tell our politicians to show some courage and fix it.
If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend.
Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.