The Real Impending Doom is Fiscal, not Viral
The Center for Disease Control’s new director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, recently said she had a “recurring feeling I have of impending doom” regarding the coronavirus.
While the positive news about the quickly rising number of vaccines delivered should ease any sense of doom on the health front, that doesn’t mean such feelings are meritless when it comes to government.
As Cato’s Chris Edwards writes, it’s entirely reasonable to feel that doom really is looming on the horizon given the federal government’s ongoing, debt-fueled spending spree:
This is not monopoly money, but rather it represents real resources that will be confiscated from people when the bills come due. Even without an infrastructure package, the federal government will spend $6.8 trillion this year, or double the $3.4 trillion the government will collect in tax revenues. That means the politicians are putting us another $3.4 trillion in debt just this year. That is like a family earning $34,000 and then spending $68,000 with $34,000 on credit cards.
When politicians issue debt, it is a uniquely damaging and unfair policy action. In general, Congress cannot bind future Congresses, which is called “legislative entrenchment.” Congress can pass laws restricting civil liberties today, but we can always get future Congresses to repeal them and end the damage. But with debt, Congress binds future taxpayers. It creates irreversible damage, an anchor that drags down the standard of living of Americans for decades to come.
The future – and the debt we leave to anyone who lives there – isn’t our problem. Let’s spend like tomorrow doesn’t matter, and the bills never come due.
That’s ample reason to feel a sense of doom.
Image Credit: By Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons