Politics

America’s Fiscal House of Cards

senate confirm Trump Manafort progressive congressional Marxist democrats bully administration America fiscal house cardsAmerica is in deep financial trouble, and it is getting increasingly difficult to grow out of it. This past year, our nation’s economy grew at a faster rate than at any time since 2005 at 2.9 percent, but the outlays (spending) grew much faster at more than 7.2 percent.

As a result, the budget deficit in fiscal year 2018 ballooned to $779 billion, and the actual national debt increased by $1.482 trillion in the just completed calendar year.

Our nation witnessed the government being shut down over relative pennies because the Democrats oppose securing the borders, but the real fight should have been over the bloated spending which is leading us to financial ruin. Yet, no one dared utter the idea of cutting the funding levels if the Democrats persisted in opposing wall funding.

As Rush Limbaugh might say, for those of you in Rio Linda, California, you can’t grow your way out of a national debt crisis by continuing to increase your overall debt-load at a 2.5-to-1 ratio over the growth of your economy.

The Balance.com notes, “the World Bank says that debt that’s greater than 77 percent is past the ‘tipping point.’ That’s when holders of the nation’s debt worry that it won’t be repaid. They demand higher interest rates to compensate for the additional risk. When interest rates climb, economic growth slows. That makes it more difficult for the country to repay its debt.”

And here is the crisis part, the U.S. debt to GDP including both publicly held debt and government held debt (Social Security Trust Fund, etc.) has now grown to 105 percent having blown past 77 percent in 2009 during the Obama spending spree. It passed 100 percent in 2014.

The double whammy is that interest payments on the debt have been artificially low due to record low interest rates. It is estimated that within five years, interest payments on this debt will equal or surpass U.S. military spending rapidly growing as a greater percentage of the budget.

The good news is that the Trump Administration sees the problem and for the third straight year has proposed a budget which cuts baseline spending in an effort to bring the budget into balance.  The just released 2020 budget would reduce $2.7 trillion off of the baseline over ten years.  Additionally, it would save the nation $236 billion in interest payments over that same period while cutting non-defense discretionary spending by 5 percent while increasing defense by 5 percent.

The bad news is that the same clown car drivers who failed to fully fund the wall while dramatically increasing spending for the past three years are still in charge in Congress, even though they have shifted seats giving Democrats more power, the chances that they will independently seek to cut government spending are remote. In fact, they are already seeking to increase the spending caps to accommodate even more defense and non-defense discretionary spending choosing to push down the accelerator toward the fiscal cliff rather than hitting the brakes.

The only solution is for the President to become actively involved in all spending negotiations up front, so unlike two out of the last three times he signed a spending bill, he will actually have actually have had a hand in crafting it.

President Trump must take the lead in fighting for fiscal sanity now, or he will be pegged with the blame for the more than $2 trillion the national debt has already risen during his tenure by the very Democrats who fight so viciously for spending increases.

The President needs to lay down a marker against increasing the previously agreed upon spending caps, and fight to keep it in the face of opposition by defense hawks who will trade anything to get more money into the Pentagon, including our nation’s ability to fiscally survive.

Our nation’s fiscal crisis is every bit as real as any threat emanating from Afghanistan, Europe or Korea.  And if and when our nation’s fiscal crisis blooms, it will end the American experiment more easily than any foreign threat, because we will be indentured to the world with no good options.

For President Trump, now is the time to fight the spending battle in Congress, before the 60 vote bi-partisan majority in the Senate and the hard left majority in the House make a deal that he is presented with veto proof majorities in each House.  After all, Democrats have proven that they are willing to shut down the government to get their priorities and the GOP has in effect promised, never again.

So many things are going right in our nation’s economy. We are becoming energy dominant, jobs are plentiful, wages are rising and manufacturing is returning. But the economic conditions that made this possible can be wiped out if our D.C. elected officials don’t stem the spending surge.

And they will only act if they hear from Americans that it is time to get our house in order before it collapses.


Reprinted with permission from - Daily Torch - by Rick Manning

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PaulE
2 years ago

Career politicians of both parties, have NO REAL INTEREST in spending restraint, outside the areas specified authorized by the Constitution, as they view non-stop growth in various social welfare spending initiatives as a means of buying votes from a public that, on one hand says they largely care about deficits, but reality consistently votes otherwise. The exceptions to this norm currently being President Trump and the members of the House Freedom Caucus. Neither of which currently have sufficient power to demonstrably change the trajectory of the deficit based on the power dynamics in place in Washington. Especially after the results of the mid-term elections.

Before someone responses with the persistent delusion that the solution to all this is term limits, lets look at reality. Every Democrat and every worthless RINO sitting in Congress today was elected by the voters in their districts or states. They did NOT drop out of the sky and materialize in their seats in Congress. Ignorant, apathetic or lazy voters selected these people. In many cases, they have decided to keep sending these worthless or corrupt representatives back to Washington time and time again. Sometimes for decades! If you were to remove them all today via terms limits, which NO majority of Congress will ever agree to pass (why should they?), the very same voters that sent the current crop of so-called representatives to Washington would merely elect other people who hold the exact same values. Case in point, if Pelosi, AOC, Waters, Warren, Sanders, Nadler, Schumer, etc. were all term limited out tomorrow, the voters in those districts or states would simply elect new individuals who held the EXACT SAME views as those you just removed. ALL those All term limits would accomplish would be you would eliminate the few members of Congress that are actually doing their jobs well.

The Constitution already provides the people with the power of term limits via the ability to vote. The fact that so many voters choose to make incredibly bad or truly unenlightened decisions in who they decide to send to Washington is NOT a flaw in the Constitution. it is a flaw in the judgement of many of the voters themselves. The Founders all understood that the republic would only stand as long as the people were both well informed and actively engaged in how their country was run and who they elected to represent them on their behalf. This nation nor any other nation is designed to work on auto-pilot, where the public largely abdicates their responsibilities to tightly control and manage those they elect to represent them. So if you want a better, more fiscally responsible government making better decisions on your behalf, then atop looking for magic fixes and instead take your responsibility as citizens more seriously. I realize that this is probably not going to be a popular perspective, as many simply do want to put in more effort. Simply doing nothing different and then complaining when nothing changes for the better is far easier than changing one’s behavior. However, unless many more voters realize that this is the only way things will improve dramatically for this country, our direction related to fiscal instability will not change.

Dan W.
2 years ago

Way too much time spent nibbling around the edges of our fiscal crisis.

Medicare and Social Security are where our money problems lie (no, not with military spending or repairing our crumbling infrastructure). If we ever get a President and a Congress to fix the fiscal train wreck otherwise known as Medicare and Social Security, we might have a glimmer of hope of balancing the budget.

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan W.

The vast majority of both parties, with very few exceptions, have come to the conclusion that the only easy path, with minimal effort on their part to have the real, hard and completely necessary conversations with the American voting public, to re-election is by promising to be “Uncle Sugar Daddy”. The notion of personal fiscal responsibility for one’s own life choices, both good and bad, has been almost completely replaced by “What can the government provide me with, so I don’t have to suffer the consequences of my decisions in life”.

By the way, both Millennials and Gen Z’ers want virtually everything to be provided to them by the federal government. So the price tag for such socialist programs, if enacted, as UBI, Medicare for All (single payer), the GND, etc., would far surpass the amount of both SS and Medicare combined by a factor of 7X to 10X. Thus triggering a massive economic collapse of our economy as our spending obligations far exceed what the producing areas of our economy can generate.

As you no doubt already know, Medicare for All would actually entail the complete elimination of both existing Medicare and Medicaid programs. Their funds completely transferred to provide partial initial funding for Single Payer (Medicare for All). UBI would entail the total elimination of all SS programs, with all those funds completely transferred to provide initial partial funding for the new UBI program. So when it comes to fiscal responsibility, no single age demographic is completely blameless.

If anything, the older generation does acknowledge there are some limits, although not as realistic as they should be, as to what the federal government can and should be promising to deliver. I would agree with you that a SS needs to at least be partially, if not eventually, fully privatized. The federal government is an incredibly bad investment manager of all the money it has sopped up from the working public and their employers over the decades. Obviously, neither of our views are going to be well received by the vast majority in our age group. Then again, we do not post to pander for “likes”. We post to try and educate and hopefully enlighten.

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