The U.S. national debt has swelled over $5 trillion in just 3 years and the total national debt is slated to surpass $16 trillion this year.
Meanwhile, more than 40% of the country's public debt is owed to institutions and individuals outside the United States.
To put the soaring national debt in perspective, it has reached a symbolic teeter: The national debt is larger than the entire U.S. economy.
Not surprisingly, with elections looming, most national polls indicate the national debt and the economy are the two top issues on voters’ minds.
So who is doing what about the national debt that polls suggest will motivate voters in November?
Ever-increasing gas prices that threaten to slow an anemic economic recovery, a growing 2012 budget shortfall of $1.2 trillion - about $93 billion more than forecasted a mere two months ago by the Congressional Budget Office - should motivate the Senate, House and the President to hammer out the differences in competing budget proposals for the good of the country, right?
Not happening. It’s time for a reality check. What are our political leaders actually doing?
The Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate has thus far refused to even produce a budget proposal in three years. Nor will it debate the merits of Republican or White House proposals – even though President Obama is the top Democrat.
There are currently 53 Democrats who control the United States Senate. The Democrats only need 51 votes to pass Barack Obama’s budget proposals. But the Senate has refused to propose a budget for over 1000 days and will not bring Obama’s or the House Budget proposal to the floor for discussion.
While the country hemorrhages red ink, some congressional Democrats in Congress have described Obama’s 2012 and 2013 budgets as mere “political stunts”.
Despite refusing to bring a budget to the floor last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led a bipartisan defeat for President Obama’s budget - a 97-0 shutout.
For their part, the Republican-led House of Representatives recently defeated President Obama’s budget proposal for 2013 in a 414-0 bipartisan shutout; ironically, not one House Democrat voted for President Obama’s budget this year.
Though the Senate still hasn’t produced its own 2013 budget proposal, Senator Harry Reid describes the current House budget as dead on arrival.
After the 2010 elections gave Republicans control of the House, they voted 235-193 in 2011 to approve the fiscal blueprint for 2012 drafted by Republican Representative Paul D. Ryan. No House Democrats voted for that budget, either. Senator Harry Reid called it dead on arrival as he did Obama’s budget that year, but failed to produce a competing Senate budget.
Last week, once again, the Republican-led House passed an annual budget. The budget was approved 228-191.
Once again, Senator Harry Reid called the Republican-led budget dead on arrival without producing a competing proposal in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Furthermore, Reid says he will not allow a senate vote on Obama’s budget.
The Senate is hiding from voters – but, politically, there won’t be any place left to hide in November.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com