중앙데일리

How Serious Is the National Debt?

Mar 21,2000
The political battle regarding national debt and the 'outflow of national wealth' has been enlarged and amplified, but the calculation of the national debt should not be a subject for advantage and strategy of political parties.

It is certainly problematic and unconvincing when the Grand National Party estimated the national debt as over $357 billion, with the government saying that it is only $80.36 billion. The GNP's figure is so far beyond the government's amount that even if they include the possible debt increases by the welfare pension system and possible public fund injections, the GNP figure is still unreasonable.

However, the attitudes of the government and ruling party are also unacceptable. The government and ruling party have insisted that the national debt, calculated by international standards, is only $96.43 billion, and that the debt ratio is clearly lower than major advanced nations.

There can be possible differences in how the national debt is calculated, however, it is critical to prepare for the worst case senario to run a country, unless the government can somehow be freed from its obiligation to pay the national debt. The realization of the importance of dealing with national debt is far more important than the current dispute regarding numbers. The reality of national debt never permits the optimist's view. Capital injection into restructuring can be an endless process, and the financial status of various welfare systems has been worsened further.

The governmental goal to reach a balanced financial status has been limited to countermeasures to prevent the increase in the imbalance between revenue and expenditures. The government and ruling party must acknowledge the seriousness of the problem to reduce the national debt by setting up short and long term plans, rather than looking only to how the value of the debt is to be determined.

The opposition party's point of view, which considering the sale of domestic companies as 'outflow of national wealth,' contains serious problems. Asset value increases when trust, in both companies and the economy, is raised by the attraction of foreign investment. Extreme nationalism only results in the weakening of the nation's wealth.

High amounts of national debt can never be a source of national pride. Political battles between the ruling and opposition parties only amplify feelings of insecurity over the economy. When ruling and opposition parties compete with each other by suggesting productive strategies and constructive alternatives, the national debt battle will be useful. These kinds of confrontations will increase international trust in our economy, rather than harm the future of the nation's economy.



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