And things today are not much better at the executive level of our federal government. President Donald Trump — when compared to Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — has consistently registered lower numbers, though recent surveys have shown an uptick to above 40 percent approval for the current president.
Deficits and debt. America’s debt-to-GDP ratio is around 74 percent; that is higher than at any time in U.S. history, except for a short period after World War II, and more than double what it was a decade ago. The annual federal deficits that regularly top $1 trillion (that’s with twelve zeroes) and the $21 trillion collective federal debt demonstrates that our nation’s spending has consistently outpaced the money we generate. The burden of our increasing debt — including the interest we pay on it — will eventually crash the system unless we can phase in responsible and growing budgets while preserving the safety net to those most in need. We must do this while dealing with an aging, longer-living population, with falling birthrates and rising short- and long-term health-care costs.
Here is hoping that this group of interested Minnesotans can help lead the way through an open, reasoned bottoms-up gathering to discuss the important stuff.
Chuck Slocum (Chuck@WillistonGroup.Com) is president of The Williston Group, a management consulting firm. Pew Research Center, MPR/APM Research Lab and SurveyUSA were among the sources for this essay.
“The Politics of Problem Solving” will be held on Tuesday, May 29. No Labels Chief Strategist Ryan Clancy will discuss “The Making of the Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus,” and will be joined by former Minnesota Party Chairs Mike Erlandson (DFL) and Chuck Slocum (GOP).
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