My recollections of past elections cast them in a more benign light where it seemingly made little difference, other than philosophical, as to which party prevailed. The direction of the country never wavered significantly from its focus on personal freedoms, individual responsibility and opportunity, rendering America the preferred place to live among all the peoples of the world.
A gradual erosion of our political system has occurred in which irresponsible social spending has become the means by which politicians manage to remain in office, with little consideration of how to pay for it. Both Republicans and Democrats have been party to the massive spending binge that recently has accelerated out of control and threatens the very survival of the republic.
A little history: In 1980, the beginning of the Reagan years, the national debt was right at $2 trillion, accumulated over some 200 years. Deficit spending continued at an average of $250 billion annually until the year 2000, at which time the debt had grown to about $7 trillion. The George W. Bush administration added another $2.5 trillion to the debt over its eight years, a deficit spending rate of $312 billion per year.
Enter President Obama. Inheriting a total debt now of some $9.5 trillion, his administration astonishingly upped the ante to the tune of $6.2 trillion in just over three years, an average of nearly $2 trillion per year – nearly six times the previously highest rate!
Our country now faces a total debt of $15.8 trillion and counting. The interest we pay on this debt is $225 billion this year, which amounts to slightly more than we spend on education and homeland security combined.
By 2017, the interest is estimated to be $570 billion at our current trend. If this trend is not arrested, we are facing certain fiscal disaster, comparable to what is taking place in Greece. We are seeing warning signs such as our recent national credit downgrade – an unprecedented, abject humiliation.
It comes down to a choice between (1) President Obama, in a continuation of the same spending policies, misguided stimulus, more taxes and regulations on small business; or (2) Mitt Romney, in a serious effort to reduce spending (U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan), and less constraint on small business for job creation.
It’s absolute crunch time. Our country can ill afford this guy anymore. Mr. “O” must go!