“Trump, siding with Democrats, agrees to 3-month debt-limit rise”.
Evading the national debt is mental illness at best, and suicidal negligence at worst.
Think about it. If raising the national debt just a couple of more trillion this year, and a couple of trillion more next year — into infinity — does not matter, then why not just provide endless supplies of goods and services to everyone in the country, free of charge and financed by an unlimited debt?
That’s absurd, you’ll say. But if it’s absurd to manufacture unlimited money, then why isn’t it absurd to add trillions to the debt year after year? And if it does not matter, then at what point (if ever) does it matter — and why?
I’m still waiting for an economist to explain this to me. The free market economists I trust say the government should not be involved in the creation of money in the first place. When the Federal Reserve was created and when FDR and Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard, critics warned that the politicization of money would lead to unlimited spending by the government, with debt and deficits as far as the eye could see. And so it has.
Even now that Donald Trump is President, it’s still like that. Perhaps Donald Trump rationalizes it through supply side economics. In other words, if Congress actually ends up doing something during its term and cuts taxes, then the increase in government revenue created by the stimulus of tax cuts will lower the debt. But we already know from the Reagan era experience that Congress will just spend any savings. Today’s Republicans are the new drunken sailors Reagan complained about when he was stuck with a Democratic House of Representatives.
The problem runs deeper than economics — much deeper. It’s not just about being unable to afford $22 trillion in debt. (And $24 trillion the year after that. And $27 trillion the year after that.) It’s the evasion of reality that’s so disturbing. It cannot end well, because evasion of objective reality on a scale this massive never ends well.
Of course, we can only blame the politicians and Donald Trump so much. In the end, it’s the negligence of the people. The people are free to rise up and say, “Stop spending 80 percent of what you’re spending. Return it to those who earned it. Focus on killing terrorists, and keeping our borders free from enemies. Privatize social programs, education, health care and charity. Leave us the hell alone, and save money in the process!” Even if 80 percent sounds too radical, then how about 50 percent? Or even 10 percent? Or even a cut in the rate of government increases? Not a chance.
And that’s the reason Congress keeps on spending. We tell them to. And when our economic days of reckoning arrive — as they must — then the majority of us will be to blame. And people like me will be saying, “Why didn’t you face reality back when you had the chance?”
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