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Readers Respond: What's the Best Way to Reduce the National Debt?

Responses: 416


From the article: U.S. National Debt Clock
The U.S. National Debt exceeds $17 trillion, more than 100% of U.S. economic output. At this level, it's unsustainable, and will ultimately drag economic growth. Why? The debt is financed by U.S. Treasuries, a large portion of which is held by foreign governments. As more debt is issued, the dollar declines in value. This means foreign holders of U.S. debt get paid back in currency that's worth less, further decreasing demand. Worst of all? The debt will ultimately be paid back by our children and grandchildren, through increased taxes.

What do you think is the best way to reduce the U.S. national debt? Share Your Views

legalize mary jane

if the government was to legalize marijuana then they can put a tax on it. like cigarettes people would buy it by the pack. tax revenue would be able to pay off our debt within a few years and nobody would be complaining. things would be peacefull and nobody would be angry with the government anymore because we would be out of debt and they would be happy that taxes would sooner or later be lowered due to the income form marijuana.
—Guest panda bear

There is no debt

The best way to reduce our debt is to get the government to stop spending more money than what they take in in tax revenue; but because we have a fiat money system, we really do not have any debt. We as tax payers, who do not understand how a fiat money system works, we think we owe money to someone, but actually all we owe is interest to those who hold the 'certificates of deposit,' so we can continue to accrue debt, but the best thing for the government to do is to balance our budget each year. This will give the masses peace of mind because they will feel that their government is handling their expenses like everyone else needs to do, and when we don't we can declare bank-ruptcy, but the government would loose 'the full faith and credit' of all investor's in our CD's, therefore, our government would never declare bankruptcy.
—Guest Peter the Great

Make the Government Pay

Make the government pay for not being able to budget properly. Lower the pay for congressmen and senators to say $80,000. (They usually get hundreds of thousands annually.) Also, defer their compensation until they are 65 years old. This plan will help to save millions IF the government is disciplined enough to keep a healthy budget. It's not how much goes in, it's how much goes out, how much you save.
—Guest Diana


if obama has decreased the deficit by half why is it at an all time high of 17.5 trillion???? Answer: The deficit is reduced, but it still adds to the debt. For an explanation, see http://useconomy.about.com/od/fiscalpolicy/p/US_Debt_Deficit.htm
—Guest littlegov

Ask for debt reduction

I learned that we can ask to reduce our debt to Federal reserve system and foreign countries. Use less than our income also learn our priorities and content what we have.
—Guest Deborah

Reduce National Debt

ALL politicians cannot earn their outrageous salaries. They must reduce to equivalent to the military pay grades, including the president. Their job is an honor to serve the American public. Then maybe they will stop their Washington DC games. Gone is their 4 homes around the US and foreign countries. They have to deal with the debt because their wealth depends upon it. The wealthy is taxed by the amount of their wealth.


Politicians, not the government, create our national debt by spending more than we, the government, give them. The best way to control the debt is to eliminate the occupation of national politicians with a one term limit for the office of Senator and Congressman/woman. That way they would work for all of us instead of the corporations that buy their votes and re-elect them. It would take a constitutional amendment to do this which would never get through congress so I hoping for a national crisis or our second revolution.
—Guest Jon White

Me Care

Reduce Medicare spending 50%. We are spending too much.
—Guest Margarite


Doesn't Blutzky realize that President Obama decreased the deficits by almost half in four years.
—Guest Ramster

How I see it...

A free economy works in waves. There have always been high points and low points ever since the U.S. economy was established. In our history, we've only had 1 total crash. Which I think is pretty good for approximately 200 years of capitalist economics. Mistakes have been in made in government spending, and for now, all we can do is soften the blow of what is to come. The Government should raise taxes on imported goods to start. It will bring in more revenue, and prompt business to stop outsourcing, making domestic goods more affordable than foreign. Prices will go up at least temporarily, but its better in the long run. But the next key factor is the baby boomer retirees. A lot of our governments money is, and will continue, going to them, and there is nothing we can do about it. The grim fact is, in the next 20 years, a large portion of our population will die. And that will ease a major burden on our government spending, thus making room for our government to get out of this crisis.
—Guest Ty

The national Asset clock =$93 TRILLION!

If you divided the debt equally among all Americans, every man, woman and child living in the United States today would own more than $55,000. Government debt is a private asset. You and I do not owe government debt, we OWN it. Indeed, the only source of net dollar-denominated financial wealth is federal government debt.
—Guest SteveD

There is no "debt"

There is no debt. Treasuries are dollars (reserves) with a maturity and a coupon (interest). To "pay off" the Fed debits securities accounts and credits reserve accounts. This was done to the tune of $61.5 trillion last year (FY 2013) and interest rates didn't spike, the dollar didn't collapse, there was no hyperinflation, in short, the world didn't come to an end. Federal “debt” is NOT like personal debt. It is nothing more than T-security accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank. The so-called “debt” could be paid off instantly, merely by transferring the dollars in these accounts to checking accounts – zero burden on the government or on taxpayers.
—Guest SteveD

How to reduce the national debt

Impeach Obama Impeach Obama Impeach Obama Impeach Obama Impeach Obama
—Guest Blutski

This report's biased with misinformation

Wow, I thought this was supposed to be about facts and data, not political spin. The CBO reports clearly state that the dramatic increase in the deficit have been a result of policy responses and revenue losses related to the economic crisis. Specifically from one of their reports, "As a result of reduced economic activity and government efforts to stimulate the economy, the federal budget deficit increased from 1.2% of GDP in FY2007 to 9.9% of GDP in FY2009." Moreover, the CBO and OMB both state that not only was the deficit going down before the crisis, but that defense spending as a percentage of total spending has been trending down. In 1929, for example, defense spending was 71% of the total federal budget, compared to about 20% now. I am no fan of defense spending myself, but I am even less a fan of blatant misinformation.
—Guest Clara

Balance America's Budget

No more trickle-down mentality. We need heavy taxes on the rich because that has always benefited the economy over the long term. The more money you make, the more you owe to the country that got you your riches. No more sending jobs overseas or avoiding taxes with loopholes like offshore bank accounts. American people need to step up and pay our debt. Especially people who have become so wealthy thanks, mostly, to this country. Personally, I've been blessed by the systems of this country. My smart investments and hard work will pay off handsomely so I don't mind paying more to help people in need. Too many people have no chance and that shouldn't be the destiny of America. Republicans give too much money to the rich and big businesses. Democrats tend to be inefficient with money. What we need people in office who are smart and selfless. It should not be so easy to make millions as a politician. It should be illegal to make extra money in office by furthering your financial interest
—Guest Dillon

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What's the Best Way to Reduce the National Debt?

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