According to a BBC analyst, "All sides are starting to realize the U.S. government cannot keep overspending. For every dollar it spends, 40 cents are now borrowed. If the government was a normal household and was forced to pay normal interest rates, the US would already have declared bankrupt."

These words reflect the vast amount of money that the federal government is borrowing to finance continued deficit spending. With the debt at 97.4 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), neither party has offered a serious plan to reduce the debt.

"Wait," one might say, "Party X has stated a plan or tried to impose certain measures, but the other party has been unreasonable and blocked such attempts." While it is true that both parties have announced plans and have tried to implement legislation, neither has offered realistic solutions.

The issue here is arriving at the definitions of the terms serious and realistic. Neither party is 'serious' or 'realistic' because they are not tackling the root of the debt problem. It is well known that the causes of our debt are the overflowing costs of the "big four" parts of our budget: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Defense. Even President Obama admitted this fact in his recent address to the nation on the deficit. To say one is serious about fixing the debt, and yet not believe that the reform and reduction of each of those areas is necessary, is naive and foolish.

We may wish to delude ourselves—as both of the parties seem to be doing—and believe that if we cut other things, such as programs that overlap or decrease waste and improve efficiency, that this will solve the problem. It will not. The "big four" need to be reformed and reduced effectively to eliminate the debt. This will be politically painful and it will take time. Both parties need to work together and make sacrifices and need to realize that they must give in on certain aspects.

Republicans need to realize that although tax cuts create growth, taxes for the rich will probably have to be raised to help close the deficit. Democrats will need to realize that although reforms and cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will probably hurt the poor and elderly, unless those programs are fixed none of the poor or elderly will get any benefits.

If the republicans want to take the lead they should make the offer to drastically cut the Defense budget to show they are serious despite their pro-defense stance. The Sustainable Defense Task Force, a bipartisan commission, has shown that without greatly reducing our defensive capabilities, a trillion can be cut from the Defense budget over the course of a decade.

If President Obama and the democrats want to take the lead, they should make the offer to reform and cut Social Security as a start, followed by Medicare and Medicaid. Social Security can be made temporarily solvent if the age to receive benefits is raised and the formula to calculate benefits is adjusted. If the system is further reformed it can be made solvent in the long run. These are realistic solutions that will actually reduce the deficit and allow us to pay off the debt.

Both parties need to stop throwing a tantrum when a cut is proposed to their pet projects and favored programs. Nothing should be left off the table when it comes to dealing with the largest debt in history. Both sides will engage in their rhetoric of blaming past presidents and congresses, but we are all to blame: many of our politicians have added to the debt, and we voted them into office.

The democrats can invoke class warfare and make moralistic arguments that it is wrong of us to cut certain programs, but these things need to be done because we care about the workers and the poor and elderly.

Either we suffer now and receive some benefits and entitlements later, or we ignore the issue and get nothing later. Certain republicans can try to sneak social agendas into Congress, but that will only waste political energy and support by distracting from the main issue.

One might ask why neither party has really tried to deal with the "big four." Most likely, the politicians on Capitol Hill are more concerned with re-election than doing what is necessary, even if it is politically suicidal. No one likes the idea of reforming or cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Defense, but that is the only realistic option.

Because no single party controls both houses and the presidency, fixing the budget will require compromise: the republicans should offer taxes on the rich and cuts to Defense, while the democrats should offer cuts and reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

So we need to ask ourselves: are we too spoiled by entitlements or too weak of will to take the necessary steps to eliminate the deficit and pay off the debt?

Hopefully, President Obama's recent admission that we cannot get anywhere without dealing with the "big four" is a sign that maybe, just maybe, both parties can come together for the economic survival of America. It's time to get serious.

John Dale Grover is a member of the Class of 2014.