more and more in debt
In his State of the Union address, President Biden claimed he would be “the only president to ever cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion in a single year.” While this is technically true, it ignores the fact that the deficit reduction will be due to reduced spending associated with COVID-19 relief.
Meanwhile, the debt will continue to mount because MPs from both parties refuse to control spending. The House last week passed a $1.5 trillion spending bill that runs to more than 2,000 pages. Experience teaches that most members haven’t read everything, or even most of it. Why should they? They don’t spend their money.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi indulged in Orwellian “Newspeak” when she mentioned government spending at a recent press conference: “…it’s important to dispel some of those who say, well, it’s government spending. No, this is not the case. Government spending does the exact opposite, reducing the national debt. It’s not inflationary.
Yes, and war is peace.
Remember earmarks, those small and large additions to spending bills that Republicans once banned and promised voters never to return? They’re back, with some Republicans inserting them into the spending bill. Assignments would occupy 367 pages of the bill.
Social programs, which are never measured by their success or failure, are part of this spending monstrosity. To get more for defense, as a Wall Street Journal op-ed noted, “Republicans had to concede more national spending on top of the $3.4 trillion spent last year.”
This irresponsible spending continues due to a change in philosophy among American citizens. Whereas in the past people were expected to be responsible for themselves and to turn to government as a last resort, today most – but not exclusively – liberal politicians have succeeded in convincing too Americans that they are “entitled” to “benefits” and that “the rich” don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes.
In fact, the federal government once again collected a record $1.86 trillion in total taxes in the first five months of fiscal year 2022. Revenue isn’t the issue. The spending that has left us $30 trillion (and counting) in debt is the problem.
We can’t say we haven’t been warned of what unchecked debt can do to nations. People have sounded the alarm about the public debt.
As Peter Wehner and Ian Tufts write in the winter edition of National Affairs about recent presidents who have expressed concern about our growing debt: the financial community – both Democrats and Republicans – who have sounded the alarm on the potential consequences of a dramatic fiscal imbalance.”
“These experts warned that large annual deficits and debts could have troubling, even catastrophic consequences: prolonged recessions, rising interest rates, rising inflation, reduced upward mobility, a weakened dollar, a plummeting stock market, a sell-off. of foreign assets – the government’s holdings of US Treasuries, a collapse of the financial system and general economic and social calamity. All of this would become more likely, they warned, if the federal government failed to put in place l order in its finances.
Like much of the Constitution, the left and too many of the right have ignored history and sage economic advice. We are doomed to repeat this history if we do not put our economy in order. This will require more Americans to commit to taking care of themselves and relying less on government and it will mean electing people who will heed the warnings and advice of the people listed above.
I am not optimistic that such advice and experiences will be taken into account, given human nature. Many would rather receive a check than earn one.
Email Cal Thomas at [email protected]