When I read that the national debt is going to increase by $40 trillion I about fell out of my chair, but that’s the reality of what’s coming. Actually it’s worse than that. We keep hearing that we need “immigration reform” when really what we need is for our political leaders to enforce the laws already on the books. Those same leaders refuse to do anything to reform entitlement programs. The government has been making promises it can’t keep for far too long and soon those bills are going to come due.
This year’s budget deficit of “only” $500 billion has brought some complacency on federal spending and deficits. It shouldn’t. The Congressional Budget Office’s long-term budget outlook released on July 15 shows a $40 trillion increase in debt over the next two decades.
While a $500 billion deficit is welcome compared with the $1.4 trillion peak in 2009, the decline is temporary. The CBO’s other, more realistic “alternative baseline,” which assumes Congress continues current policies, projects new debt of $10 trillion over the next decade, followed by $100 trillion over the subsequent two decades. Consequently, the CBO simply stops calculating the national debt after 36 years. Apparently its models cannot conceive of a functioning economy.
And that’s the rosy scenario: It assumes no more recessions, wars, terrorist attacks or natural catastrophes, and that interest costs on the national debt will be permanently held down by near-record low interest rates; also that certain ObamaCare price controls widely derided as unrealistic will continue forever.
As for the term “entitlement program,” no need to leave a comment excoriating me for using or quoting that term. That’s what these programs are called, and because the government has been taking money out of all of our paychecks in return for promises of future payment, the term is not an insult or meant to demean anyone. Then again, a more accurate term is probably “Ponzi scheme,” a scheme in which every American workers is an unwilling victim.