That sounds like an anecdote.
The average American makes 4 times as much as what he made in 1980 (30 years ago). http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104652.html
Median income is up about 2.5x since 1980. Without inflation, it has been flat.
Americans can buy more with their labor than they could in any time in history (excluding the period between 2007-2009). This is true even though American labor has lost strength to China, India, and Europe, and even though demand from those three places has risen in the marketplace, causing price increases everywhere.
Think about it this way. Food is much cheaper than it was in the 80s, in respect to wages. Technology is way, way, up. Your parents didn't have access to the internet. Your computer and car would put theirs to shame. Your cell phone/tablet etc. would do the same. You have access to medical care they could only dream of. You can fly anywhere in the world for less than what your parent paid, even in 1980 dollars. Etc. Etc.
Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:
Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a
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