Joseph Reisert’s commentary on “The unsustainable national debt” (Feb. 6) is correct. It’s a dry yet critical subject that all Americans had better pay attention to now.

Our national debt of $19 trillion dollars is analogous to one person owing an astronomical amount of money on a credit card and having difficulty even paying the interest on the debt. Government entitlement programs have ballooned from around 37 percent of the federal budget in the late 1970s to over 70 percent today. These programs are on autopilot and they are unsustainable as currently designed.

However, good luck trying to change them because there are millions of people addicted to and dependent upon these programs as politicians keep — irresponsibly — offering more and more programs with other people’s money merely to get votes.

We’re also using a significant portion of our annual federal budget to pay the interest on $19 trillion. If the Federal Reserve allows interest rates to increase a percent or more, this will accelerate our financial demise as a higher percentage of our budget will be used to pay only interest, leaving even less to pay for what we really need. I think the Fed realizes this and is artificially keeping interest rates low to postpone the day of reckoning.

We either all take collective action now to reduce the debt with a combination of reducing spending and increasing taxes, or we’ll soon reach a condition like Greece and other European countries where it will be forced, catastrophic decisions by indecision.

Dennis Lovejoy

Fairborn, Ohio

(Augusta native)

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