“Why do you care about the debt?”
A guy I have known for decades asked me that question five years ago.
He added, “We’ll be dead by the time the day of reckoning arrives.”
Simple as that. No brainer.
I replied, “How can you look at your grand kids and justify this kind of debt?”
It was a stunning moment of realization. I didn’t have grand children at the time. But it didn’t seem to make a hill of beans difference that this guy’s grand children would someday be saddled with the debt we run up every year,
“We’ll be DEAD!” he repeated, as if I somehow didn’t understand.
As our esteemed lawmakers in Washington go about heaping ever more debt onto our $27 trillion national debt, let’s give some thought to what this all means.
– If you suggest that $27,000,000,000,000 in debt is a tad much, (gosh, do you THINK?) you may be thrown into the Hatfield/McCoy maelstrom. If you are a Hatfield, a McCoy throws it in your face that the Hatfields raised the debt, so who are you to talk about debt? And they hate you.
And if you are a McCoy, a Hatfield throws it in your face that the McCoys raised the debt too, so who are you to talk about debt? And they hate you, too.
(There’s a certain symmetry to this.)
We apparently hate each other more than debt, and few seem to notice that whoever we elect, they have spent about $1.36 for every $1 they actually collected over the last 20 years. And that’s how you end up with $27 trillion in debt. (Shazam!)
And don’t forget – it’s a BIPARTISAN debt.
Few make the point that all of us – or more accurately, all of our grand children – will end up paying for the wild spending of both the Hatfields and McCoys, who in the 50 years since I graduated from high school only managed to balance our annual budget five times.
(Don’t try that in the private sector. Back in my working days, if I had submitted a budget spending $1.36 for every $1 I brought in, I would have been out of work as soon as my budget arrived at the home office. Lickety split.)
Can’t we even agree that normal people like us, solvent Republicans and Democrats alike, have to rein in these world-class spendthrifts from both parties? Are we so stupid, or so steeped in hatred for each other, that we can’t even agree on something as obvious as THAT?
Good Lord, how did we end up with so many big spenders running our country at one time?
– Bear in mind, $27 trillion in debt will soon be a quaint memory, as the $1.9 trillion Covid relief blowout is being followed by a $2 trillion (maybe more) “infrastructure” blowout, to be followed by another trillion dollar blowout for whatever Joe Biden and his wild-eyed progressives dream up next. Even some Democrats (like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers) think the orgy of spending has gotten out of hand.
Suddenly trillions, instead of hundreds of billions, are the coin of the realm.
And few seem to care how much of this money is borrowed.
The emperors, from both parties, have no clothes
– Think this tidal wave of borrowed money isn’t having an effect?
If you listen to the experts on TV, you might get the idea that inflation is well under the control of our high-powered officials in Washington. If only that were true.
The real estate section of our local newspaper lists what I would call shacks selling for $200,000. Real estate agencies are crying for listings, as sellers take advantage of a hot market, and buyers put the free federal dollars flowing into their accounts to use.
Priced steaks at the grocery store lately?
And a standard 2-by-4 at the lumberyard in our town now goes for $6.98. Six years ago, when I finished my basement, I was paying $3 for that same 2-by-4.
Tell me, folks. Are we so stupid that we believe flooding the market with all this borrowed money isn’t having an effect?
I rest my case, Your Honor.
Dave Simpson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org