The U.S. hit a grim milestone at the beginning of the month: the national debt topped $30 trillion. And with interest rates on the rise to combat inflation, the cost of all that debt is going to rise dramatically:

Government borrowing accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic as Washington spent aggressivelyto cushion the economic blow from the crisis. The national debt has surged by about $7 trillion since the end of 2019.

impossible to know how much debt is too much, and economists remain divided over how big of a problem this really is. But the latest debt milestone comes at a delicate time as borrowing costs are expected to rise.

After many years of rock-bottom interest rates, the Federal Reserve is shifting into inflation-fighting mode. The Fed is planning to launch its first series of rate hikes since 2015. Higher borrowing costs will only make it harder to finance that mountain of debt.

“It doesn’t mean a short-term crisis, but it does mean we are going to be poorer in the long term,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Interest costs alone are projected to surpass $5 trillion over the next 10 years and will amount to nearly half of all federal revenue by 2051, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an organization focused on raising awareness to the fiscal challenge.

“We are going to be poorer in the long term.” That’s the downside of the bailouts, stimulus, handouts, and assorted other goodies no politician (and very few voters) wants to discuss. Our political class has made future generations poorer, so we can have things today.

It’s a massive policy failure…and a moral one, too.