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The $34 Trillion Albatross: Navigating the National Debt Without Sinking the Ship

by Matt Speer

In a world where numbers in the trillions are thrown around in government budgets and economic forecasts, the sheer magnitude of the United States’ $34 trillion national debt can be hard to fathom.

It’s a number that, in its enormity, escapes the grasp of everyday experience and understanding. To put this figure into perspective, imagine a scenario where every single American, from newborns to the elderly, is handed a bill for approximately $101,275.

This is the size of the burden we are discussing – a staggering load that threatens not just economic stability but also national security.

National Debt Eclipses $34 Trillion

The Gravity of the Debt

The $34 trillion national debt is more than a figure; it’s a looming cloud over the future economic prosperity of the United States. This debt is not just an economic issue; it’s a national security concern. A nation saddled with debt is a nation vulnerable to external pressures and internal unrest. It’s a country with a diminished capacity to respond to international crises, invest in its defense capabilities, and maintain its global influence.

The National Security Implications

A heavily indebted nation can find its hands tied on the global stage. The need to service this debt can lead to reduced defense spending, leaving the country less prepared to face international threats. Moreover, high debt levels can force a country into economic decisions that may not align with its national security interests. The risk is not just theoretical; history is replete with examples of empires and nations that crumbled under the weight of their debts.

Navigating Away from the Fiscal Precipice

The road to alleviating the national debt is fraught with challenges, but it is not impassable. The solution lies not in increasing the tax burden on citizens but in adopting a series of fiscally responsible strategies that stimulate economic growth and reduce unnecessary expenditures.

Stimulating Economic Growth

The key to reducing debt lies in growing the economy. A robust economy increases government revenues without the need to raise taxes. Encouraging entrepreneurship, investing in infrastructure that boosts productivity, and creating an environment conducive to business growth are crucial steps. Economic growth leads to job creation, higher incomes, and consequently, more tax revenue from a thriving workforce and business environment.


1930: $16 billion

1940: $43 billion
1950: $257 billion
1960: $286 billion
1970: $371 billion
1980: $908 billion
1990: $3.2 trillion
2000: $5.6 trillion
2010: $13.5 trillion

2020: $27.7 TRILLION

2024: $34 TRILLION

Rethinking Government Spending

Fiscal conservatism does not necessarily mean slashing and burning all government programs. It means a more strategic approach to spending. It involves auditing government programs for efficiency and effectiveness, eliminating wasteful spending, and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used prudently. It means prioritizing spending that leads to long-term economic benefits and cutting back on that which does not.

Reforming Entitlement Programs

Entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid constitute a significant portion of federal spending. These programs are vital for millions of Americans but they need to be restructured to ensure long-term sustainability. This involves tough but necessary decisions like adjusting eligibility criteria and benefits in line with demographic changes and economic realities.

Encouraging Private Sector Solutions

Often, the private sector can deliver services more efficiently than the government. Encouraging public-private partnerships, where appropriate, can lead to cost savings and improved service delivery. This doesn’t mean privatizing essential government services but rather finding areas where private sector innovation and efficiency can be harnessed for public good.

Maintaining a Strong Defense

While prudent spending is essential, national defense cannot be compromised. A strong military not only ensures national security but also serves as a deterrent against external threats. The focus should be on spending smarter, not necessarily less, on defense.

Avoiding Fiscal Pitfalls

It’s crucial to avoid policy decisions that could exacerbate the debt situation. This includes avoiding unfunded mandates and being wary of short-term fixes that have long-term financial implications.

The Road Ahead

The journey to reducing the $34 trillion national debt is akin to turning around a massive ocean liner. It’s a gradual process that requires foresight, determination, and a steady hand. It requires bipartisan cooperation and a commitment to the long-term financial health of the nation.

Reducing the national debt is not just about balancing the books. It’s about securing the future of the United States, ensuring its economic independence, and maintaining its position on the world stage. It’s about leaving a legacy of stability and prosperity for future generations.

Precent Growth in National Debt by President

Percent Growth in National Debt by President 2023

As we navigate these choppy financial waters, it’s important to remember that the national debt is not just a number. It’s a reflection of our collective decisions and a testament to our stewardship of the nation’s resources. It’s a challenge that we must meet with resolve and responsibility, ensuring that the United States remains a land of opportunity and a beacon of economic strength and security in an uncertain world.

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deplorablylost January 11, 2024 - 6:30 pm

Kinda looks like Sniffin’ Joe is the AntiChrist.

ftc January 12, 2024 - 9:34 am

The article talks about generalities. 1.) Our interest on the debt is now over $2B. That is, $2B/day and 365/ yr. This in itself automatically adds nearly another Trillion. 2.) Our upcoming Nat’l Budget will be @ $5.5T. However, tax revenues will only be around $3.9T. This automatically adds another $1.5T. It’s ALL in the spending folks, with billions and billions of our tax $$$$ being spent on ILLEGALS!


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