As many on the blog are aware, I am a fiscal conservative and social liberal (the profile of many a libertarian). I have previously railed against our soaring debt and the continued inability of our presidents and members of Congress to exercise a modicum of fiscal responsibility. This is a new low with the Treasury Department taking on $1trillion in more debt — for a second year in a row. We are saddling our children with this crippling level of debt to avoid our politicians to escape their responsibility to make tough decisions. With the start of the 2020 presidential election, politicians are lining up with expansive new spending proposals to entice supporters as our government plunges deeper into debt.
Congress in March approved a bloated $1.3 trillion spending bill. Notably, the stumbling block in the end was not a demand for fiscal responsibility but an objection from a Republican Senator over the renaming of an Idaho wilderness area.
Representative Nita M. Lowey (D., NY) heralded the spending bill as “repudiat[ing] the abysmal Trump budget, investing robustly in critical priorities like child care, transportation infrastructure, national security, election protection, medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, veterans’ health services and much more.” What it did not do is make responsible cuts to balance programs. There were big increases for both defense and domestic programs. I also disagree with the Trump Administration which seems to relish cuts in the environment (which produce collateral and greater costs) while increasing spending on defense and other preferred areas.
With new election, this will only get worse as candidates dangle shiny and expensive objects before the voters to induce their votes. Despite watching meltdowns in countries like Greece and Spain over debt, we are gleefully adding debt and kicking the can down the road for a future generation to face the consequences.