The AP Government students of Van Wert High School will be submitting a weekly editorial to inform the public on a variety of issues. They have been encouraged to research, take a position, and defend their reasoning for having such thoughts. The purpose of these editorials is to provide awareness and knowledge for the community and to be thought provoking. The views expressed in these editorials do not represent Van Wert High School, and are written solely by the student author.

$17,483,212,068,714; this is our National Debt as of time this editorial is being written, and by the time it is being read, it will have increased by an approximately additional $12.2 billion. This is a huge problem and will lead to future problems in our country. As citizens, we tend to blame the government for this and pass the responsibility off to someone else. This takes pressure off of us, but this will not go away unless we take responsibility for this problem.

In the United States we have a representative democracy which means that the people hold the power and the government reflects the actions of the people. Knowing this allows us to comprehend our government’s debt when our total consumer debt is $11.32 trillion. To me this is staggering. Our attitude i has been transformed into a buy now pay later mentality. If this is not switched then it will ruin the United States. This mentality is already established with credit cards which takes up a huge chunk of our economy. Individual credit card debt is $15,273 per household.

Our whole country needs to come out of debt to really change it for the better. I have been told that I (we) must learn from history in order to not repeat it. Learn from Rome, which was once considered unstoppable and everlasting, but as we know it fell apart with debt being a major issue. I’m not implying that the United States will fall apart, but the issue of debt will continue to harm our country until a solution is found.

What I don’t understand is why do people buy what they cannot afford. The term that people need to adopt is classical republicanism. This is sacrificing an individual’s self-interest for the good of society as a whole. This could be in the form of spending what one can be afforded. Only when the United States’ citizens takes responsibility for this and form a sense of accountability, will this country overcome debt. Until then the United States will be hindered by the growing problem of debt.