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Strangled By Debt

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Strangled By Debt

Junious Ricardo Stanton

 

“One of the most damaging effects of rising debt is rapidly growing interest costs. Under current law, CBO projects that interest payments on the debt will triple over the next 30 years, climbing from 1.8 percent of GDP in 2019 to 5.7 percent in 2049. In 30 years, CBO projects that interest costs alone could be more than twice what the federal government has historically spent on R&D, nondefense infrastructure, and education combined. The Fiscal and Economic Challenge https://www.pgpf.org/the-fiscal-and-economic-challenge

 

While the media and the Democrats hyperventilate, shriek and scream about Trump’s phone calls to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, the US fiscal condition worsens daily. Trump’s tax cuts, his trade wars and his benighted approach to economic policy are a far greater threat to US security, our personal and household financial well being than the Russiagate and Ukrainegate nothing burgers being hyped by the corporate media.

Americans are conditioned and programmed to have short memories so we’ve forgotten how inept George W. Bu$h was, how the worst handling and responses to a criminal event (9-11) happened on his watch. During his time as president there were no serious investigations of what happened (the 9-11 Commission Report was a sham and a whitewash), no firings or demotions of any military or civilian personnel who were in a position to know or thwart the “attacks”, nothing.

Let’s not forget Bu$h’s reckless fiscal policies, his bone headed tax cuts based on the bogus notion of a trickle down theory and his handling of the Wall Street caused financial implosion. Bu$h and Trump like Ronald Reagan were able to use the US propaganda apparatus to promote their foolhardy fiscal policies of tax cuts for the rich that all resulted in massive government deficits.

Reagan’s blunders created massive government revenue shortages which cost George H.W. Bu$h his shot at a second term because he was forced to raise taxes to offset the damage done by Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. Ironically Bu$h called Reagan’s ideas “Voodoo economics” when he ran against him in the Republican presidential primary. Republican and right wing historiography tout Reagan as a hero, and economic genius, but in reality he was a dim witted ideologue.

As projections for the deficit worsened, it became clear that the 1981 tax cut was too big. So with Reagan’s signature, Congress undid a good chunk of the 1981 tax cut by raising taxes a lot in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1987. George H.W. Bush signed another tax increase in 1990 and Bill Clinton did the same in 1993. One lesson from that history: When tax cuts are really too big to be sustainable, they’re often followed by tax increases.” https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2017/12/08/what-we-learned-from-reagans-tax-cuts/

Even though Bu$h and his successor Bill Clinton were forced to raise taxes to undo Reagan’s damage, the dye was cast. Trickle down economics would become a rallying cry for the Republicans and the 1% ers for years to come.

What Republicans failed to do in conjunction with their massive tax cuts was cut government spending. You can’t diminish revenues while increasing your spending and think you will balance your budget or gain a surplus; its impossible! Regardless of the reasons for increased government spending: unnecessary wars, emergencies like floods and hurricane relief or just plain cronyism and corruption, when you do this after cutting a main source of government revenue (taxes) you are courting disaster.

Today the United States is drowning in debt. Go to https://www.pgpf.org/the-fiscal-and-economic-challenge, https://www.justfacts.com/nationaldebt.asp and then factor what is written there with what’s here https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/debt-bombs-here-are-states-most-debt here https://www.forbes.com/sites/mayrarodriguezvalladares/2019/07/25/u-s-corporate-debt-continues-to-rise-as-do-problem-leveraged-loans/#68a170123596 and here https://www.debt.org/faqs/americans-in-debt/ to get an honest picture of the fiscal predicament facing this nation. Federal, state, county and municipal governments find themselves deeply in debt, struggling to pay their bills and when you factor in corporate and consumer debt you see this country is in a precarious situation.

The ruling class finds itself in a bind but we also share responsibility for this mess. Their unhinged fiscal policies and our own foolishness for spending beyond our means, falling for their pervasive spend, buy, consume media campaigns and their promotion of crass materialism and hedonism are the reasons we are in this predicament. Only by reversing these trends can we avoid the consequences our actions are creating.

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