Our national debt doesn’t get any better, it just becomes more frighteningly catastrophic.
Worse still, while there have been moments and periods when we briefly took the problem seriously, at least gave lip service to it, the last time that seemed to happen was around the Tea Party movement. Since then we’ve rushed headlong into insane spending with zero accountability. The Left has embraced Modern Monetary Theory, which is convinced that we can print infinite amounts of money without causing inflation, and elements on the far right would like conservatives to create their own welfare state. Never mind that we’re going broke.
But it’s all just numbers.
The U.S. national debt exceeded $30 trillion for the first time, reflecting increased federal borrowing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Total public debt outstanding was $30.01 trillion as of Jan. 31, according to Treasury Department data released Tuesday. That was a nearly $7 trillion increase from late January 2020, just before the pandemic hit the U.S. economy.
The real kicker is coming though.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has signaled it could soon begin to raise short-term interest rates from near zero in an effort to curb inflation, which is at its highest level in nearly four decades.
What happens then?
In just a few years, over half of every dollar we pay in income taxes will go to pay the interest on our national debt owned by the public. And it will get worse.
A lot worse.
In 2017, the national debt was $20 trillion. Just four years later, that amount is approaching $30 trillion. The recent stimulus programs brought on by the Covid crisis helped add a staggering $6 trillion to the total…
If we get back to that rate, which is far from inconceivable, interest on the debt would cost American taxpayers $1.4 trillion, based on our present level of national debt. That is twice the budget of the Defense Department.
In FY 2021, the total amount of personal income taxes collected was $1.9 trillion. Moreover, the future budget deficits projected by economists will add over a trillion dollars a year to the overall debt, adding substantially to the rising interest cost.
We’re approaching a red line. So-called COVID relief was 30% hoax and 20% waste. The amount of money stolen, especially by foreign criminals, can’t be calculated. We’re much deeper in the hole now and there’s zero sign that the brakes are going to come on.
Congress during the Trump and Biden administrations authorized trillions of dollars in spending for pandemic programs aimed at supporting small businesses, unemployed workers, families with children, renters and other groups. Those programs included the expanded child tax credit, enhanced unemployment benefits and the Paycheck Protection Program.
No one wants to stop spending money. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that we’re headed for an economic catastrophe or that the money being spent isn’t even buying us anything. We spent fortunes to get to the moon, to build bridges and dams, to build a massive military that was the best in the world, this money we’re spending is mostly going into the pockets of special interests, criminals, and assorted groups.
Or country is in worse shape than ever before and we’re spending insane amounts on nothing. We have an unfunded pension crisis, an unfunded social security crisis, and we keep discussing what we could buy if we stopped spending money on X, yet the cold hard truth is that we would buy nothing except government contracts for politically connected firms and more office furniture for the bureaucracy.
“In responding to the downturn in the economy induced by the pandemic, we felt and I strongly believe that it was appropriate to engage in spending that wasn’t financed by tax increases,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said at the World Economic Forum last month.
YOLO as they used to say about $7 trillion ago.
Concerns over U.S. debt levels have impaired President Biden’s ability to pass his proposals for education, healthcare and climate-change programs. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), whose vote is key in the closely divided Senate, rejected the roughly $2 trillion legislative package passed by the House after repeatedly questioning how the plan might affect inflation and the U.S. debt.
Oh, that crazy guy who keeps asking how we’re going to pay for stuff.