i saw a news story about americans who are paying off our astronomical national debt, now at 16 trillion dollars. this is a waste of time for several reasons. first off all, we americans did not run up this huge debt, our government did. and the national debt is huge that it would take more cash than everyone in the country has to pay it all off. the news story said american citizens had paid 20 million dollars toward the debt and that americans have been able to pay the debtsince the 1960s. again, a waste of time. 20 million bucks isn't even a drop in the bucket compared to that 16 trillion [and growing] debt. to put 16 trillion dollars in perspective, one percent of that is 16 billion dollars. the entire american economy is 15 trillion dollars. that means the national debt is bigger than the entire net worth of the country. we didn't run up this debt, irresponsible government did. paying off the debt is useless. best these folks save for retirement or their children's education. our government needs to stop living beyond its means, and that means goodbye to the global empire, no more bases in over a hundred countries, and no more expensive, useless weapons for the military industrial complex. we don't need bases in every nation on earth. if we closed down all these bases and told wealthy advanced nations like germany, japan and south kore to defend themselves, we could save an enormous amount of cash. the futile occupation in afghanistan costs a billion a day, over 300 billion a year. ending it would amount to about 15 percent of that 16 trillion. the occupation/war in afghanistan is lost, and is olny being maintained out of hubristi pride. i'd rather cut unneccasaru military programs than domestic programs. the republicans also need to stop being so rigid. the deemocrats have offered to cut 2.50 in spending cuts for 1.00 in tax increases. that's a resaonable deal but the republicans are dead-set to protect the wealthy. we aren't going to solve the deficit through spending cut alone. we currently spend 300 billion a year on the military. we could defend the country with 10 billion if we gave up our global hegemonic aims and stuck to garding our coasts and borders, which is what the constitution requires. the constitution doesn't say anything about giving defense guareentees to 40 or 50 countries. the only nation we should be worried about defending is our own. do not epect our government to give up its desire to rule the world even if it drives us into penury. the bueracrats in washington love playing the modern-day roman emoire crap. i would say write your congressperson, but average american citizens have about as much say in our government as citizens of china or cuba. the arrogant us government thinks of the people as ignorant peasants and they think they are smarter than us. trying to pay off the national debt for ordinary americans is pointless. the debt exceeds our entire ecomony and net worth of the nation. the only way we can get the debt under control is if the damn government learns to live witin its means. that means an end to the global empire and no more trillion dollar wars and occupations. we didn't run up this damn det and we shouldn' pay it off. ditch the empire and he belligerent foreign policy, stop buying pie-in the sky fantasy programs like missile defense and multi-million dollar hi-tech jets that don;t work. our country is in debt and falling apart. and the afghans thank us for the occupation of their country by killing our troops. it's time our government lived within its means, like we resonpible citizens do. i didn't run up this debt and i'm not in debt because i l,ive within my means. they should do the same.