Contrary to popular belief the decline of American global prowess did not happen with abandonment of the Gold standard in 1971, but the assignation of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. This event caused not only a change in political direction, but the American psyche as well. His death caused a crack in both political and economic landscapes, which the country has never fully recovered from. The escalation in the Vietnam War put a more concentrated focus on military spending, which is expected to escalate past $700 billion in 2011. A recipe for economic disaster is assured when you combine the aforementioned number with social programs that include Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Simply put, America is spending far too much at the Federal, State, and Local levels. Case in point: A Federal Budget Deficit of 1.6 trillion is expected for Fiscal Year 2012, while the States have a projected shortfall of 125 billion for this time period. We cannot afford to continue on this path, for it will lead to a lower quality of life for future generations.
On contrary to the current administrations statements, the problem with the American economy is not cyclical, but structural.
Some pundits may draw a parallel with death in 323 BC of Alexander the Great. Both Greece and America were at their military and economic peaks when their respected leaders fell. However, while some similarities exist, the fact is that America has a number of core strengths that Greece lacked.
After almost fifty years since Kennedy’s death, America is still the most powerful country militarily and economically on earth, while keeping in place the same democratic form of government. There is no doubt that population growth during this time period played an important role in keeping America in the forefront. Population growth escalated from 190 million 1963 to over 300 million in 2010.
The fact remains that America is still a magnet that draws people to its shores, which stands contrary to the twilight of ancient Western cultures (e.g., Greek, Roman, etc.), and defends the argument that America still has a very good chance of being the leading military and economic power going into the 22nd Century.
However, because of our overspending in both the public and private sectors, things may get worse before they become better. The next 90 days could be the most important time leading up to the Presidential Election. Hence, Mr. Boehner and Mr. Reid must now work with President Obama to restore fiscal balance. Looks like a bipartisanship effort will happen, which could, if done properly, lead to a stronger foundation for future generations.