It’s time for everyone — even liberals –to consider the ramifications of passing the bill to the next generation.
Today’s budget deficits, despite what deficit hawks have been screeching for years, don’t necessarily put a burden on tomorrow’s taxpayer. Though it might seem like borrowing from Peter’s kid to pay Paul, deficit spending can work and cutting vital government programs to decrease the deficit can have dire long-term consequences. That said, there are limits. Many people may take exception to the bold hypocrisy the Republican Party has shown by decrying debt then passing a tax bill that drives it up enormously, but that’s politics. Right now, parents need to be genuinely concerned about how feckless spending will affect their children.
Let’s get the basics out of the way. Massive budget deficits in times of a recession or a slow recovery can be a highly effective policy tool to help stimulate the economy and create jobs. And a balanced budget amendment is little more than a dangerous pair of handcuffs designed to prevent lawmakers from enacting responsible and responsive fiscal policies. The federal government does not, and should not, run its finances like the average family. In fact, it needs the ability to do just the opposite ⏤ spend massive amounts of money in down times and then pay the debt down when the economy is booming.
Now, that said, we have a problem.
Still, after watching Congress’ reckless spending binge, I’m worried for my daughter. Why? Over the last four months, formerly austere Republicans once hell-bent on balancing our nation’s budget presided over a massive, and highly irresponsible tax cut, that adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit. They followed it up in February with a $1.3 trillion spending bill that blew the roof off previously set spending caps and put the country on a course toward massive deficits for years.
According to new projections released last week by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the two combined will add $1.9 trillion to the debt by 2028, when it is now set to hit $33 trillion. Interest payments on that debt will exceed all the money we currently spend on the military by 2023 and hit $915 billion in ten years. But that’s the future. Let’s focus on the present. The current budget deficit will…