16 Tons – This Merle Travis song popularized by Tennessee Ernie Ford brings to mind the United States current struggles with our national debt. While the song lyrics describes the debt bondage system that coal miners were forced to work under, our current national debt is so astronomical that everyday Americans may find themselves on the hook for the government’s out of control spending. I created a modern version of the song that is, I hope, still true to the original.
Once again, the United States government is preparing to raise the debt ceiling to cover our ever increasing national debt. They have to of course, or the U.S. would default on some of their loans. How did we get here
The Reagan Years – $1.85 Trillion
The Clinton Years – $1.54 Trillion
The G.W. Bush Years – $4.90 Trillion
The Obama Years- $9.32 Trillion
The national debt is now pushing $20 trillion. The debt has become nothing short of a political football. We can’t raise taxes! It’ll hurt the economy. We can’t cut spending! It’ll hurt the economy. Okay? Then what do we do? Raise taxes? No, no, no. Cut spending? No, no, no. If reducing the deficit was truly a priority, I dare say you’d need to do some of both.
It’s not about solutions. It’s about winning elections. So, the deficit continues to increase. Up, up, up! Higher and higher. When will it truly become a problem. $25 Trillion? $30 Trillion? $40 Trillion? What is going on in the halls of government? This is not leadership. It’s time to stand up and make some hard choices.
Can’t our elected officials see that we’re headed for trouble? Why won’t our elected officials speak out? Time is running short! The interest on our debt keeps piling up. We’re digging ourselves a hole that will be difficult to get out of.
For whom does the Liberty Bell toll? Only Republican, only Democrats, or all Americans?