United States Debt

Today we are faced with $16 trillion dollars in debt. The U. S. has been in debt almost all of its history. It has become a major problem recently in the past few years. Wars are a big reason for our debt. “The debt grew rapidly during most of President George W. Bush’s tenure and President Obama’s first term as the government borrowed money to fight two wars and the deepest recession in more than half a century (Lauter)”. The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was the most expensive, costing 4 to 6 trillion dollars all together.

Taxpayers are paying a total of $11. 26 million dollars for the price of warfare since 2001. Since 9/11 happened, taxpayers are paying $6. 82 million dollars to Homeland Security. The U. S. has lowered, raised and temporarily changed the debt ceiling roughly 90 times in the 20th century. From 2001 to 2013 alone, the debt ceiling has been raised 14 times. On average, Congress raises the debt ceiling more than once a year. Since 1940, lawmakers have effectively approved 79 debt ceiling increases (Sahadi).

At the beginning of August congress passed a bill which raised the debt ceiling $400 billion dollars, with additional room for $500 billion dollars at the end of the year 2011. At the end of the year 2011 President Obama had the opportunity to call for an additional $1. 2 trillion dollars in the debt ceiling. Our presidents in the past 50 years have raised our debt 15. 21%. During President Reagan’s first term, he raised the debt $656 billion dollars and by his second term it was a $1. 036 trillion dollars increase. During President Bush’s first term, he increased the debt by $1.

885 trillion dollars and by his second term it went up to $3. 014 trillion dollars. President Obama’s first term the debt raise $5. 806 trillion dollars. “The current Obama administration projections indicate that the National Debt will increase to over 29 trillion dollars by the end of his second term (Agresti)”. When the Republican Senate disagreed with the Obamacare health care law, the government threatened a shutdown unless President Obama was willing to make a deal to defend his healthcare program. President Obama denied the deal and the government shutdown went into effect.

Obamacare cost millions of dollars. The whole operation cost $365 million dollars and the Obama administration calculates that subsides over the next 10 years could cost about $149 billion dollars. Tea Party senators spoke on the chamber’s floor for more than 21 consecutive hours against the health care law. They did not succeed in delaying or preventing votes. The Democratic led Senate voted to end conservative efforts to derail the bill preventing shutdown. “After a day of stop and go negotiations, the top Democrat and Republican in the U.S.

Senate were said to be close to agreeing on a proposal to raise the debt limit and reopen the partially shuttered government for consideration by the full Senate (Cowan)”. The House decided to shift their demands to restricting the health care law. President Obama signed into law the bill passed by the House and Senate to reopen government and raise the debt limit. “The scene in Washington has been ugly, but the subject matter is one that is long overdue: how to tackle our ever-growing government debt problem.

For the first time perhaps in our history, both political parties agree that the budget deficits we are running are unsustainable. How to remedy that problem is, of course, what causes all the contention. Many investors had convinced themselves that our country would never grapple with the realities of our government's addiction to deficit spending, but the market - led by the ratings agencies - is forcing our government's hand. While it may be painful, the fact that our elected officials are being forced to confront these issues is, in our opinion, a welcome change (Access)”.