Freedom Watch

The Biggest Threat To Our National Security

By From the September 2011 issue

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Approximately one year ago, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, identified the nation's mounting debt as the greatest threat to U.S. national security. I couldn't agree more with that assessment of our nation's financial failures. The biggest threat to our nation's freedom is our ever-expanding national debt. Washington has spent this country into oblivion and the continuation of borrowing from other countries is only going to hurt future generations of Americans.

Our rising debt undoubtedly poses as a national security threat, and in order to secure our national interests, we must rebuild our economic structure by cutting the federal deficit. We must act now by rebuilding a sustainable economy, and we cannot find solvency if we continue forward with such impractical spending and borrowing habits. Real spending cuts -- not small reductions in proposed increases -- are needed to solve this national crisis.

The gravity of our debt predicament weighs heavily on our nation's shoulders. But in order to find a solution, we have to first admit we have a problem. We have a significant problem. Raising the debt ceiling is like not paying your credit card bill and then saying to the credit card company, I want to just increase my limit. We have been doing that year after year, decade after decade -- both parties have done it and this isn't just one party's problem. It's both parties' problem; it's the country's problem. How big is it? We are spending $10 billion a day. Of that $10 billion, we are borrowing $4 billion a day. Spending $100,000 a second, and borrowing $45,000 a second. This is irresponsible by all parties. It's time for real leadership to protect our nation's fiscal security.

Government is not spending your money wisely. Often it isn't even accounted for. The Pentagon cannot balance its books. It can't be audited because it recently admitted it's too big to be audited. Our debt is largely owned by foreign countries, such as China, making us very vulnerable to foreign manipulation and angst. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently stated, "It [debt] undermines our capacity to act in our own interests, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable. And it also sends a message of weakness internationally." America should be very concerned, for we are becoming increasingly vulnerable and our well-being is dwindling beneath the weight of our massive debt.

Uncontrolled national debt directly contributes to national security concerns, such as a defective economy, social disorder, revolutions, bankruptcy, famine, and war. We are currently seeing this sort of turmoil take place in Greece while the Greek government attempts to curb that country's economic crisis. I, with many Americans, am concerned that one day we could look like Greece. That day could be in the near future if we do not wake up to the problem. I am not alone in this. Members of the president's own administration have said that the number-one threat to our national security is our national debt.

Stifling the American standard of living can be avoided by reducing spending and reining in our national debt. You wonder why Congress has a 14 percent approval rating; it's because its members have been poor stewards with your money. They have been profligate spenders. In order for the American people to believe that we're going to do a better job, we need a new rule. We need a Balanced Budget Amendment.

We cannot spend our way out of this debt. Washington must reduce spending to solve the debt crisis once and for all. I will keep fighting to balance the budget and dramatically reduce spending, before further interest on our debt requires the government to reach deeper into our pockets and the pockets of generations to come. Our disastrous debt is harming our standard of living and damaging our national security, thus we must act now before it is too late. 

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About the Author

Rand Paul is a U.S. Senator from Kentucky.