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  • Matthew C. Mai

Don’t Steal From Our Kids

Updated: Mar 15


JEREMY HOGAN/GETTY IMAGES

Lawmakers earlier this week announced a budget deal that would suspend the debt ceiling until 2021 and remove spending caps mandated under the 2011 Budget Control Act. From October 2019 to September 2020, the federal government is estimated to spend $4.75 trillion with a budget deficit of over $1 trillion and a national debt at a historical all-time high of $22 trillion. Amidst all the partisan hysteria that occupies the current political space is a federal government that has created a recipe for fiscal disaster. Not at any time in America’s history, with the exception of World War II, has the United States been leveraged to such a severe degree.


The last administration that embodied fiscal responsibility was the presidency of Bill Clinton. With the bi-partisan support of Newt Gingrich, Clinton managed to turn the budget deficit into a surplus, restrict welfare spending increases to 2.5%, and drive the debt to GDP ratio down from 64% to 55%. What the Clinton years show is that fiscal responsibility should not be a partisan issue. Yet ironically enough, despite our hyper-polarized politics, fiscal irresponsibility seems to be the only bipartisan consensus in Washington.


A slogan once reserved for criticizing the Democrat Party’s economic platform, “tax and spend” has evolved into “tax, borrow, and spend” with equal application to both parties. The Trump administration regularly claims that economic growth, combined with increasing tax revenue and shrinking spending levels, will reduce the budget deficit. In practice, spending and deficits have continued to rise despite record economic growth. Democrat presidential candidates adhere to the idea that the Federal Reserve can print its way out of debt since most public debt takes the form of entitlement obligations and therefore, “we owe the debt to ourselves”. This theory serves as the justification for expensive policy proposals such as “Medicare for All” and free college tuition. Yet, unless Democrats are willing to dramatically increase taxes on all income classes and remove capital from the private sector in order to control inflation levels, hyperinflation would be the inevitable result of a substantially enlarged money supply used to finance massive these new federal initiatives.


Both parties have demonstrated a complete lack of political willpower to reform the real drivers of the national debt and budget deficits: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The budget classifies these programs as “mandatory spending” which means that there is virtually no debate over the financing of these welfare leviathans as the costs are automatically factored in every year.


However, despite the popularity of these programs, the United States was founded on the idea that government’s only role is to protect our God-given rights. Charity was meant to be found primarily through private means, not your fellow taxpayer. The Founders correctly understood that government was not in the business of redistributing wealth but rather preserving the individual’s right to pursue it.


By granting millions of Americans medical and retirement benefits through massive social programs, the irresponsibility of our elected officials has saddled the next generation with the elephantine task of paying off decades worth of debt. Until Washington decides to reverse our current fiscal trend, our children and grandchildren will be stifled by higher taxes and a lower standard of living. It was this massive overreach of government the Founders feared would intrude on the freedom and liberty of the individual. With this latest budget deal, the future for our posterity has been made ever bleaker.

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