I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve warned of the perils of debt in general, and the national debt (i.e. what the US government owes) in particular. Deficit spending (the primary cause of the problem) is currently growing the national debt at almost $1 trillion per year, and it’s getting worse.
Prager University has just published this video, setting out in plain and simple terms why this is unsustainable, and must be stopped. I can’t recommend too strongly that you watch this all the way through, and then send the link to your family and friends. Unless all Americans unite around this issue very soon, the damage will span multiple generations. It’ll certainly impact all of our futures and all of our retirements, no matter how old (or young) we are.
As to how the national debt can be addressed, the Manhattan Institute has some ideas.
Nearly all the projected growth in budget deficits over the next 30 years comes from Social Security and federal health benefits (particularly Medicare and Medicaid). Yet past deficit-reduction deals relied mostly on cuts to discretionary spending and payments to Medicare providers, which may not be able to sustain additional large reductions. Tax increases on the wealthy have played a modest role in past deals yet cannot fully close more than a small fraction of the fiscal gap. Most deficit reduction in coming years will need to come from entitlements—such as Social Security and Medicare (beyond more provider cuts)—that have often proved resistant to reform.
Budget deficits are set to exceed $1 trillion in the next year, on their way past $2 trillion within a decade if current policies continue. Over the next three decades, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts $84 trillion in new deficits, which will bring the federal debt to 150% of GDP. And that is the rosy scenario—it assumes peace, prosperity, low interest rates, no new government programs, and the expiration of most of the 2017 tax cuts. More realistically, the debt could surpass 200% of GDP.
While much has been written about the dangers of the ever-growing debt—and the need for a bipartisan “grand deal” to avert a fiscal calamity—the reality is that Congress and the White House are moving in the wrong direction. Republicans are cutting taxes, while Democrats are promising massive new spending.
There’s more at the link. Well worth reading, even if unlikely to succeed (because our partisan politicians simply won’t get down to business and work together, even on a project of such overwhelming national importance).
We clearly need a better class of politician, on both sides of the aisle.