Brink of Catastrophe: U.S. Debt Passes $18 Trillion

While the eyes of the nation focus on Ferguson, immigration, and Kim Kardashian’s backside, America has passed what RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called “a sad milestone.” The U.S. is now more than $18 trillion in debt, up a startling 7 1/2 trillion dollars since Barack Obama first took office. But while Republicans are trying to position this as a partisan matter, the truth is that the GOP is just as much to blame for this albatross as the Democrats.

Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that our skyrocketing debt would lead to mandatory interest payments of more than $800 billion a year by 2024. That’s not chump change, even by federal government standards. As Breitbart put it, it’s 105 times the size of the FBI’s annual budget. We could have 105 agencies the size of the FBI for what it will take to simply pay the interest on our debt.

Make no mistake, some of the blame must fall at the feet of the president. But a lot of this is simply the rising costs of a massive federal government. And while Republicans may like to play conservative once in a while and champion small government, they’ve been as bad as the Democrats when it comes to gobsmacking expenditures.

Headed For a Fall?

There has never been a country quite like the United States, but even great empires have been felled by enormous debts and unrestrained spending. The problem of an astronomical U.S. debt isn’t a new one, but it has snowballed quickly. It took us more than 200 years to accumulate the first trillion dollars of debt, but it only took about five years to reach the second trillion. It took us a startling 405 days to go from $17 trillion to $18 trillion. This is a rate of accumulation that must be stopped.

A massive national debt could have a number of dreadful implications for the future of the country. It will almost certainly translate to lower economic growth, rising unemployment, and depressed wages, if it hasn’t already. In addition to that, it poses a threat to our national security. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates once said, “At some point, financial insolvency at home will turn into strategic insolvency abroad.”

Entitlement Reform

If we’re ever going to tackle this issue, we need to get serious about entitlement reform. That doesn’t mean cutting funding for meaningless programs that are barely a drop in the bucket, either. It means gearing up, baring down, and making some serious cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. That’s it. That’s the only way, short of gutting our military.

What we cannot do – and this is where Democrats really get it wrong – is tax our way out of this mess. Even a substantial tax raise would barely make a difference in reducing the annual deficit.

Unfortunately, we’re probably going to do the same thing we’ve been doing, which is nothing. No one wants to sacrifice for a future where they won’t even be around. Sorry, Americans of the future. We spent all of this money and time on “climate change,” but we couldn’t bother with the debt. Hope you guys can figure it out.

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