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Clearing nation’s debt needs to take priority

Larson is a sophomore public relations major and can be reached at taylor.larson@drake.edu

Last week, the 2012 elections drew to a close. Votes were tallied and winners were declared. Gone are the hours of political debates and campaign ads between sitcoms — at least for another three years.  But the job of the American people has only begun. Now is the time to speak up and tell our lawmakers what needs to be done.

There is one particular issue that, regardless of party affiliation, every American must urge their elected officials to act on: the debt. Currently, our nation’s debt stands at over $16 trillion and counting. To blame are economic downturn, an aging population, growing health care costs, and poor policy decisions by each party.

Accumulating such incredible debt will have consequences for the American economy and the economic environment in Iowa. The cost of borrowing money will increase as the level of debt increases, making college more expensive or out of reach for young adults. If a degree is obtainable, the uncertainty of a job will still linger, if we do not get our country back on track. Our generation must step up to the plate and demand better if we want change.

Organizations like The Campaign to Fix the Debt are springing up across the nation to avert the growing debt and impending fiscal cliff.  They argue that while the growing deficit undeniably needs to be reduced, the fiscal cliff does too much too soon. We need a more gradual, long-term solution to protect the already fragile economic state of the nation and avoid doing further damage.

Congress must come together now and create a bipartisan, comprehensive debt solution. They must look at a plan that creates revenue, cuts wasteful and low-priority spending, and reforms our entitlement programs to make sure they are solvent for generations to come. Regardless of the plan, compromise will have to play apart for it to be fiscally responsible. It will require a compromise on both sides of the isle and require everyone to give something up. But this is a sacrifice we must make to ensure the wellbeing of our country.

We must act now — our voices matter. Sign the Fix the Debt petition at fixthedebt.org.  Communicate with your state legislators and Congressmen from Iowa. Educate your friends on the importance of addressing this issue. These issues are at our doorstep, and inaction is not an option.

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