We should not be sleeping well at night, but not for the reasons you are thinking.
Yes, there is the threat of socialism and open borders and unnecessarily fanned racial strife amongst other general insanities. But there is the reality that every single year we are binding our children as indentured servants. Right now. It’s happening. And it is shameful.
You may not have seen it, but D.C. is entering into another irresponsible and immoral budget agreement where the politicians, the bureaucrats and the D.C. establishment get what they want — and future Americans get the shaft.
I warned that “draining the swamp” was going to be far, far bigger than a single president or a single election. It will take a change of who we send to Washington on an ongoing basis, which means that Americans need to think differently than we’ve been trending. That’s a tall order and it’s a challenge to be optimistic about it.
Even after promising last year to never again bust the budget in a compromise agreement that piles on the debt, President Trump appears ready to do just that with the support of both Republicans and Democrats. When everyone agrees on spending, you know that the American taxpayer is about to get nailed — or more specifically, future taxpayers. But hey, it’s for two years, which pushes it past the next election as per the normal arrangement, so the hacks get to skate on the issue.
Yet it appears that by all polls, the national debt barely ever even shows up even at the bottom, and probably the number of views this article will likely get, that no one really gives a rat’s hiney about the budget and the debt. It’s just not all sexy and loud and Us versus Them. Too bad. Because eventually it’s fatal. And it’s immediately immoral.
I keep using that word. It does mean what I think it means.
In 2018, the per capita debt for Americans was $65,600 — about 50 percent more the national average income for a year. So if you took all of everyone’s income for an entire year, you wouldn’t come close to erasing the debt — plus you wouldn’t fund the government that year. And everyone would die.
But worse, it was $62,100 in 2017. For every trillion-dollar annual deficit, the per capita debt load increases about $3,400 per year. That actually does come due, and it won’t be Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell paying it. So by the end of this budget deal, the debt per capita will be $72,400 — $10,000 more per person than in 2017.
Yes. That’s immoral.
Of course this comes about because of the decades of irresponsible spending and spending and spending, and the constant brinkmanship of the Continuing Resolutions that allow for larded up pork projects and no cuts because of the threat of a government shutdown. The GOP should have figured out by now that the shutdown issue is a media creation that virtually no Americans outside of some government employees and contractors notice even with the incessant media coverage.
And there is the deadline for the U.S. missing debt payments in September because of the spending cap, which is obviously not worth the piece of paper it was scribbled on in crayon as they just lift it every year, or in this case, every other year. The budget is not about spending or taxing, it’s about whether we use the “crisis” of a government shutdown or the “crisis” of not making a debt payment that requires whatever spending free-for-all we have to swallow.
Here’s the gist of yet another horrible deal.
The spending increase that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed to would raise current budget caps by $320 billion over two years. The increase is a paltry $30 billion less than Democrats sought. They got 90 percent of what they wanted.
Further, Noah Rothman wrote on Bloomberg: “If split evenly over two years, that would equal a $17 billion increase for defense and $17 billion increase for domestic programs in 2020 over 2019 levels, giving Democrats the parity they sought for increases in both categories of spending.”
The Trump team wanted to partially offset the increases with savings from entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid that are not subject to annual budget caps. But of course, that did not happen. And don’t be fooled by the $320 billion number. That is the budget cap issue. The deficit is expected to be about $1 trillion each year. Because the Swamp always wins.
So the Democrats got essentially everything they wanted. This is what I meant when saying that one election of one president could not change the corruption level of the D.C. establishment.
But whatevs — just another trillion dollars dumped on our children and grandchildren while we debate the really big issues of rats in Baltimore, Trump’s tweets and who had the best sound bite at the Demcorat debates.
A few lonely Republicans have remained opposed to the irresponsible spending.
“I paid off a third of the state debt when I was governor of Florida,” Sen. Rick Scott said on CNBC Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s vote. “There’s no focus up here on the debt. We can’t have $22 trillion worth of debt and growing a trillion dollars a year and it not have a consequence at some point.”
That’s right. But obviously we’re doing it anyway. The vote was 67-28. Scott went on.
“We’ve got to have a legitimate conversation about how do we spend our money up here, let’s stop the waste, let’s live within our means, we do it at the state level,” he said. “I paid off $10 billion worth of debt and cut $10 billion worth of taxes. We cut 20 percent of our regulations. And we added 1.7 million jobs. This is all doable, but you’ve got to make choices. Up here what happens is everyone gets everything, so there’s no tough choices made.”
But even Scott, when pushed gently, would not name the big dogs in the debt — the ever-growing entitlement trifecta of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We can eliminate entire agencies and squeeze out waste, fraud and abuse, but it won’t close the trillion-dollar annual gap. The Swamp knows what needs to be done, and has no intention of doing it.
No, we should not be sleeping well at night. We are loading up our offspring to pay off debts they did not incur.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.