The sea of federal red ink

  • 20 April 2017
  • NormanL
The sea of federal red ink

With the debt ceiling debate quietly rumbling in the background, it's important to remember what few inside DC want to admit: the debt itself is a bipartisan monster that threatens to swallow the entire economy. And for all the wailing in Washington about how the President's budget would harm the Republic, it doesn't do nearly enough to combat the debt threat:

Debt increased under Republican presidents and Democratic presidents. It increased under Democratic congresses and Republican congresses. In war and in peace, in boom times and in busts, after tax hikes and tax cuts, the Potomac flowed ever deeper with red ink.

Our leaders like to talk about sustainability. Forget sustainable — how is this sane?

Yet when any politician hesitates before increasing spending, he’s portrayed as a madman. When Paul Ryan, R–Wis., offered a thoughtful plan to reduce the debt over decades, he was pushing grannies into the Grand Canyon and pantsing park rangers on the way out.


All the figures come directly from the federal government, and math doesn’t care about fairness or good intentions. Spending vastly more than you have, decade after decade, is foolish when done by a Republican or a Democrat. Two plus two doesn’t equal 33.2317 after you factor in a secret “social justice” multiplier.

And my chart doesn’t mention future projections due to exploding entitlements, which Trump didn’t touch. Turn to the much scarier Congressional Budget Office chart for that.

Instead of complaining that the proposed budget cuts are draconian, the American people should know that they don’t go far enough.

Politicians, of all stripes and persuasions, are reluctant to address the debt threat because erasing even a little of the red ink means offending someone...and guaranteeing your actions will appear as heartless assaults on this, that, or the other group.

This is the real problem in Washington -- an unwillingness to admit the government spends too much, on too many things, affecting far too many people. The day will come when the federal credit card is declined. 

When it happens, the taxpayers will be stuck with the bill, and forced to make incredibly uncomfortable choices about who gets cut off, and who doesn't.