Published Sunday, November 18, 2012

What we get for $54,000 debt

The national debt is and has been one of the most discussed items in the news.

It is significant, and it is important that we get it under control and start paying it down. With a debt of around $16 trillion and a population of approximately 300 million, each man, woman, and child in the U.S. owes just under $54,000 as his or her share.

Although it has increased in recent years, this debt is the sum total of all the unpaid cost of running the government for the last 236 years. We have paid for the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, two World Wars, the rebuilding of Europe and Asia, the Cold War, several other smaller conflicts, the space race, the Great Depression, several recessions, many domestic and world disasters, social and welfare programs, and the regular cost of running a government and maintaining a strong military.

While our children and grandchildren are each inheriting this $54,000 debt, let’s see what else they are inheriting: They are inheriting the greatest, most free nation the world has ever known; the world’s best economy; a free primary and secondary education; help with the cost of college and occupational schools; the world’s largest and strongest military; a world free from Japanese and Nazi imperialism; a world free of Communist domination; a nation that is the world’s leader in space exploration; and a nation that takes care of its poor so that its children and elderly can get medical care, do not have to live in cardboard shanty towns or beg for food on the streets.

They get all this for about the cost of a new SUV.

Today, there are more than 7 billion people living on our planet.

I am sure from these we could easily find 300 million people who would gladly pay $54,000 each for the honor and privilege of living in and being a citizen of the United States. God bless America.

Dennis Thompson, Newnan

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