While the US national debt is exploding to historic levels, it is not the problem that the media or politicos makes it out to be. The US debt situation is being used to terrorize and polarize voters while distracting US citizens of the real issues and the unwillingness of either party to provide real solutions.
When turning around any troubled entity you MUST determine the real problems. The government's inability to effectively use debt and reduce wasteful spending, not the debt itself, are the real problems. A family, company or country should only borrow debt to improve the revenues of that entity. Debt should never be used to make the members of an entity more comfortable. When debt cannot be paid for by the things it is used for, it is bad debt. When debt is used to create income or increase value in excess of the cost of the debt it is good debt. Not all debt is created equal! It is the use of debt not the amount of debt, that should be inspected.
It is financially irresponsible to have a discussion about debt without understanding the balance sheet of the entity under scrutiny. The media sensationalizes the debt issue but fails to explore the assets of the country's balance sheet. Whether it is your personal finances, a company or the US government you must consider the balance sheet of the entity to discover viable solutions. While the $14 trillion debt seems horrific, the reality is it could be paid off in a weekend by privatizing the 600+ million acres of land that the US government owns. Politicians are like the fat-cat executives of a failing company that refuse to sell the company's private jets, golf memberships and other non-revenue producing assets until it is too late.
To turnaround any situation you must be non-emotional. The debt to income ratio of the US is only 1-1 while many great US companies have debt to income ratios much higher. Caterpillar, Coca Cola, Exxon, Dupont, and Boeing are just a few examples of great companies that have debt ratios in excess of the US government. The difference is these great companies use debt to produce increased values for shareholders not just comfort for their members.
The turnaround is senior to the handling of debt always. The steps to turnaround would be handled in the following order and priorities:
1) Reduce expenses of all activities that don't provide revenue
2) Increase revenues through innovative production
3) Sell assets to pay down bad debt
4) Reorganize if necessary
The American population and US companies are turning themselves around while US politicians refuse to take the proper steps to correct itself. Neither party appears willing to confront the real problems of non-revenue producing 'comfort' programs, that most agree, sooner or later must be reorganized. To turnaround any situation you must remain logical and be willing to take the difficult steps to reduce expenditures of any and all programs that no longer work, increase revenues and sell off non-performing assets to pay down 'bad' debt.
Grant Cardone, TurnAround King