How could one not believe the US debt is not as strong as it once was? While the solution is not complicated finding the political will to implement it is difficult. I would propose spending cutsa matched by tax increases to start. When this won't be enough because people really don't want to sacrifice then a laundry list of additional cuts versus corresponding tax cuts should be put forward for a national discussion and additional cuts and tax increases should occur. If we still aren't there yet cuts and increases where the increases are twice the size of the cuts.
Really, it isn't that complicated. People have to be prepared for the future and their expectations will change. Then the hard part. politicians have to have enough guts to implement "change" before there are riots in the streets.
I don't think the public will tolerate a VAT tax or user taxes or middle class tax cuts expiring( which account for 300 billion per year versus the rich which account for 55 billion) unless cutting and prioritization take place as well.
I'm not surprised. All these years we let our manufacturing jobs migrate to places like China, India, and Taiwan --to the point where everything you see in stores is foreign made. And while China transforms itself into the world's economic powerhouse, the US continues to be an ever expanding annex for Mexico. China establishes factories to produce everything for clothes pins to iPhones to automobiles, while the US expands Taco Trailers.
The reaction will probably be another jump in gold.