The US and the West need vigorous economic growth. In order to to that, the US must first reduce the tax and debt burdens of unsustainable entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
America's spiral of debt isn't just hurting our economy, it's weakening our national security and making the world a more dangerous place.
No nation can maintain its power or projection of power if its economy is weak. That holds for Sparta, Rome, and the United States. Although America's potential is formidable, Washington has so far lacked the courage to make the bold moves we need to restore our strength through vigorous economic growth in the years ahead.
The good news is that the Obama administration is at least raising the topic for conversation.
President Obama recently set up a special fiscal commission to tackle the nation's debt. And Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used the release of the new national security strategy May 27 to link debt and diplomacy: "The United States must be strong at home in order to be strong abroad," she said.
Grim economic trends
Tough talk and a toothless commission that may be a ploy to increase taxes, however, won't change a dismal economic prognosis in the US.
In Western Europe, meanwhile, more than 200,000 firms are expected to become insolvent this year, according to Creditreform, a credit collection association. The balance between revenue-generating businesses and recipients of entitlement programs is deteriorating in all Group of Seven economies.
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