By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) To just about every American not in government, debts matter. Spending matters. Personal and family debt levels matter.
That’s because those of us here in flyover country have to pay our bills. We can’t just buy, buy, buy and spend, spend, spend — putting everything on credit for our progeny to pay off. Or not.
But that’s how our government has treated spending and debt for decades. Remember the last time the federal government ran a budget surplus? I do; it was during the final years of the otherwise scandal-plagued Clinton administration.
A ‘third way’ Democrat and, by today’s standards, the last ‘centrist,’ Clinton worked with a GOP-controlled Congress to balance the federal books. According to records, the U.S. government ran budget surpluses from 1998 through 2001; deficit spending began again in 2002 with the Bush administration (much of that due to increased spending for the just-begun war on terror).
Bush doubled the national debt, then President Obama doubled it again. And he debt continues to explode under POTUS Donald Trump.
Is that his fault? Depends on how you look at it. During his 2016 campaign, Trump vowed to eliminate the then-$19 trillion national debt in two terms.
It’s not being eliminated. In fact, it’s growing. Rapidly.
Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, was ‘grilled’ by a Democrat-run House Budget Committee in March about the deficit. Talk about an exercise in hypocrisy, it also highlighted why this administration — and past Republican administrations that have also attempted to curb the budget — can’t get it done: Democrats politicize the issue to death.
In that March hearing, the chairman of the panel, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), opened the hearing by killing any hope of bipartisan budget cutting when he accused Trump of the same thing Democrats always accuse Republicans of doing: Starving kids, taking healthcare away, depriving Americans of this or that.
The president actually proposed $2.7 trillion in cuts to the federal budget across a variety of line items; Yarmuth called them “extreme to a level that is malicious a level that is intended to do harm.”
Instead, Democrats on the panel went on to attack Vought over the Trump/GOP tax cuts in 2017, which Vought admitted would initially add to the deficit but would later trim it with increased revenues from economic growth.
Yarmuth said it’s “a harsh budget that abandoned working Americans and families.”
And there we have it: Democrats never, ever want to a) let Americans keep more of what they earn or at least decide, on a local/state level, how much taxation they want; and b) reduce federal spending for anything except defense.
So now what?
If a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, we can expect the debt to continue growing, but on a massive scale like nothing we’ve seen during the Trump presidency.
As evidenced by two nights of debates between a crowded, growing field of 2020 Dem candidates, the next Democrat president, whoever it is, will explode the deficit in ways we haven’t seen since the Great Society.
Free healthcare for everyone, including illegal aliens (and won’t that be a magnet for the third world?).
A ‘Green New Deal’ that will allegedly “save the planet” from evil American technological progress and rising standards of living (unless you happen to be unfortunate enough to live in San Francisco, L.A., or San Francisco, which are rapidly becoming third-world-like cesspools).
In all, in a single debate appearance and using just a scratch pad, I figure these 2020 Democrats have proposed upwards of $70 to $100 trillion in new spending over, say, a decade.
And no one on the NBC ‘news’ panel bothered to ask a single candidate how they would pay for all of this new spending.
Now, I have no doubts the Democrats will want to pile most of that onto our children, their children, and their children in the form of new debt.
But at least some of it will have to be paid for up front, and you know what that will mean: Massive (no, massive) new taxes and not just on ‘the rich’ (which includes most Dems on stage Wednesday and Thursday).
Everyone will have to pay more, from the lowest stock room clerk to the highest-paid CEO. And not just a little more, a lot more.
While these policies bilk Americans and steal more of their property (income), they will also kill economic and job growth — because these kinds of policies always do — which will result in fewer taxes collected and even higher debt.
Lots of people sell subscription services based on predicting when the next economic collapse will come. I don’t have a crystal ball (and neither do they) so I can’t tell you when our country will reach a level of debt that is literally unsustainable, meaning we can no longer buy, spend, or mortgage our way out of it.
But I do know that continued deficit spending will bring about that day and that the higher we make our debt, the faster that day will arrive.
Democrats want to put us on that path at light speed with their policies. That’s just true.
And in the meantime, they are refusing to help POTUS Trump get us off that path to sure economic calamity.
So, early in the campaign cycle, there is already a stark choice: Economic revitalization, which has already begun under this president, or certain economic disaster brought about by massive Democratic spending on stuff that never, ever is really “free.”
Economics isn’t sexy, I get that. But we all know just from balancing our own checkbooks, juggling bills, and saving for things we need that economics is just about the most important thing in our lives.
We also know that if we can’t afford things, we don’t buy them until we can. Democrats have to do the same thing in their personal lives, but they refuse to govern under that reality. And we will all suffer if we allow them to blow through the deficit with programs that won’t work, are far too expensive, and are better handled by the private sector, where profit motivations make for better customer service and better product delivery.
Our kids and grandkids really do deserve better than being saddled with a generation’s worth of debt.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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