Can a Return to Isolationism Solve America’s National Debt Crisis?

U.S. debt from 1940 to 2010. Red lines indicat...

U.S. debt from 1940 to 2010. Red lines indicate the Debt Held by the Public (net public debt) and black lines indicate the Total Public Debt Outstanding (gross public debt), the difference being that the gross debt includes that held by the federal government itself. The second panel shows the two debt figures as a percentage of U.S. GDP (dollar value of U.S. economic production for that year). The top panel is deflated so every year is in 2010 dollars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The increasingly partisan struggle over America’s mountainous national debt and budget crisis reminds me of a famous quote by the Roman political theorist Cicero:

“The budget should be balanced, the treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt”

With the current outrage over the outsourcing of middle-class jobs to China and Mexico, insistence on acting as the world’s policeman resulting in foreign entanglements ironically causing more problems than they have solved; and never-ending foreign aid to foreign nations during a domestic economic downturn, is it time for the United States to return to its original foreign policy of isolationism during this time of economic crises?

Isolationism is a foreign policy of non-interventionism and economic protectionism in which a nation refuses to enter alliances or international agreements with other nations in hopes of avoiding wars not related to direct self-defense. Nations practicing isolationism avoid all foreign entanglements and focus all their resources into self-advancement within its own borders.  Can a return to this way of thinking ultimately solve America’s national debt crisis? Is a return to isolationism even possible today?



4 responses to “Can a Return to Isolationism Solve America’s National Debt Crisis?

  1. I’m up for it.

  2. I don’t think returning to a complete form of Isolationism is the answer. I do think that we need to stop sending so much aide to other country’s and keep more of that aide here at home. Let’s start taking better care of the people at home and stop worring so much about other country’s. There are a lot of children in the U.S. that go hungry everyday and we are sending tons of food to other nations. This just seems so wrong to me.

  3. It’s silly to assume that the U.S. could return to isolationism. We exist in a global economy and our success on the global stage is dependent on our ability to adapt to our changing world. Our national debt is caused by deep structural issues within our political and social institutions.

  4. I don’t believe it is possible for the United States to return to isolationism. Our country is based in a global economy, so our success is determined by how successful we are to the constant change. I do think we should stop aide in other country’s and keep base them here only. I find it astounding that we have millions that are starving here, but we run to other countries to aide them.

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