One of the most important issues for me: national debt.
Presently around 18 trillion, yes 18 million Dollars times a million!
It has increased dramatically under republican president GW Bush and dramatically under present democratic president Obama.
Why? I suspect that politicians get elected and stay in power if they promise and give things to people. Nobody gets elected for telling voters to be more frugal, spend less, save more and pay more taxes.
Elected officials seem addicted to spending more money than they have, more money than the government takes in. It should be standard not to spend more than what they have and also to pay back what the federal government owes. Because you have to pay interest, and for the US that has risen to hudnreds of billions of dollars every year - yes, more money you can imagine, just for interest. Paying large amounts of interest means having less money to do what you want. Simple. Would you personally like to be settled with credit card debt that is 4-5 times your annual budget? How would you feel? Would you just keep borrowing with the attitude "well, we'll live it up today and my children can put up with what I cannot handle?" Is that responsible? Is that good economical behavior? Is that ethical?
And why does not a single candidate address this issue seriously? Have you seen clear promises for balanced budgets and plan for debt repayment?
In my personal opinion the best place to start to save would be the military. Over 1 trillion dollars a year. Is that truly all necessary? Do we need it to defend our shores? Is Isis about to send their Navy over? Hardly. I am no expert, but I am sure the military could do with less bang and more diplomacy. Starting with letting the wealthy gulf states handle their own mess, instead of relying on us - while charging us for the gas to do it. And we do not need to be the policeman for the whole world, especially not if the outcomes are usually not that great - the typical scenario being: The US moves in, a drawn out battle with some success follows, and consequently country destabilizes and things get a lot worse - so the US has to stay longer, see more Americans die, spend more money, in the range of billions every month - only to ultimately be blamed and hated even more by the locals. Really? Do we deserve that?
Do we truly need the most powerful military in the world? With a budget larger than then next 10 nations? Follow the money - who benefits? The military complex, exclusively. Everybody else loses.
But our national debt is so enormous that even if we dismanteled the military completely, it would take us over 10 years to pay back our debt. Hard to imagine, but true.