Column: Countries should slash spending fast

Really, World?


I opened up The New York Times a few months ago, and the first story that caught my eye was regarding the “debt aid package” extended to Greece to help support its failing economy.

One phrase in particular grabbed my attention: “Greece admitted that its level of debt was much higher than previously reported, due to bad management and prevarication.”

So, let me get this straight: Greece lied about tons of unmanageable debt, so the European Union gets together and agrees to lend them roughly 500 billion Euros to prop up their economy? Since when is excessive debt cured by more debt? Since when are liars rewarded?

The situation with Greece is only a reflection of the cancer that is taking over the world markets: absolutely insane, boundless spending. I know this seems like a common topic for conservatives to rant about, but I seriously cannot get over how much money has been spent and is continuing to be spent.

Here is a quick summary of some major spending that simply boggles my mind: the Bush administration bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, AIG, and the auto industry, and began TARP. Then the Obama administration proceeded to bail out Citigroup and Bank of America, along with the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the recent overhaul of the healthcare system, and not to mention a whole plethora of new “reforms” that are about to come our way.

The federal budget for the 2011 fiscal year is $3.834 trillion, an amount that I can’t even wrap my head around. Europe is at it, too, bailing out whole countries that, because of their poor financial decisions, face economic collapse.

I simply do not understand what has happened to the world. Since when are institutions that make horrible financial decisions allowed to continue surviving? Since when is excessive debt cured by more debt? It is as though the whole world has gone upside-down, and basic financial sense has been thrown out the window.

Companies and countries that lie are rewarded with vast loans, and our national debt continues to balloon while spending continues to increase. It is just insane.

As a history major obsessed with former president Calvin Coolidge, I cannot help but wish that Silent Cal was still around, or at least somebody like him. I would like to see leaders in Washington who not only cut taxes (that is the easy part — thank you George W. Bush), but also cut spending and services, and do so on a large scale.

It is irresponsible and immoral to continue racking up massive, unbearable debt that will never be repaid, even by our grandchildren. We need a balanced budget, and we need one now. It is true for every household in America, and it is true for the United States government.

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