Putting Politics Aside – We have a Republic to Save


Mounting Debt Accumulation Won’t Go On Forever

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Joe Biden loves to give away money, especially if it’s not his own. He has spent trillions of dollars for political benefit that didn’t need otherwise to be spent.

The recipients laud his compassion and generosity. Common Americans though are trapped in an inflationary spiral while our grandchildren face an unpayable bill.

Thus, in a recent presentation about his second attempt to forgive student loan debt, he bragged about the hundreds of billions it would cost. He twice mentioned the fact that many blacks would receive benefits.He became so consumed in self-congratulation, he apparently lost awareness of how blatant was his political pandering. We know black voters are a key demographic in play in the upcoming election.

Biden’s sheer enthusiasm for spending again evidenced itself in his response to the Baltimore bridge collapse. His first reaction was to guarantee that the federal government would underwrite the entire cost of reconstruction. What a guy!

Neither offer made sense. Regarding the student loan debt, the Supreme Court had affirmed that the Constitution means what it says, that the power to initiate spending lies solely with the Congress. Most public criticism focused on the obvious unfairness of the policy, how it would disadvantage those who had been responsible in favor of those who wished to renounce their legal obligations.Biden’s bridge proposal was also nonsense. The bridge isn’t owned by the United States. There is no conceivable reason for the federal government to be deemed responsible for its repair. The bridge was demolished by a cargo ship, in an industry which insures heavily against such misfortunes. Other jurisdictions have also acknowledged partial responsibility.

Here’s the problem with the mindset that it’s okay to get involved with all these giveaways: we don’t have the money. We’re seriously in debt, with expenses vastly exceeding our income and no plan in place for repayment or even deficit reduction.

Biden is hardly the only politician who has deduced that spending other people’s money (OPM) can win elections. Even many Republicans, to their shame, support the spending juggernaut. The spenders are the moral equivalent of a wastrel with no money and no job, with bankruptcy looming, who continues to pick up tabs and buy pricey gifts with credit cards he has no intention of paying off.

Still, the spenders know that Americans have mostly normalized excessive spending even when unnecessary. So Biden was able to propose a whopping $7.3 trillion budget for next year (up $500 billion in the last year alone) without provoking much outrage.

The $2 trillion spent on Covid relief accomplished nothing. It was mainly an excuse to push more money out the door. At least it was supposed to be temporary. Biden’s budget though would pocket the Covid bump and add yet more permanent spending, mostly on programs for “climate change” and other boondoggles. A $10 trillion budget by 2033 is projected.

What can’t go on forever won’t. Our present course is unsustainable. Income tax revenues are soaring yet the debt continues to grow. We are using borrowed money to pay the debt interest, which has surpassed all budget items except entitlement programs.

How do we get out of this death spiral? The left’s favorite solution is to raise taxes. That doesn’t work. The historical record shows that tax increases put us further in the hole.

For example, the Obamacare tax increases raised $1.4 trillion but so hindered economic growth, according to the Congressional Budget Office, that the feds lost $3.8 trillion in revenues. In contrast, President Clinton signed the 1997 Republican tax and spending cuts. Four years of budget surpluses ensued.

It’s well known that reform of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is necessary for a balanced budget. Yet both parties are interested only in demagoguing the other if they catch them even considering the issue. If the politicians, including Donald Trump, continue to insist on prioritizing incumbent reelection, the only way out may be for the people to take matters into our own hands.

Is anybody else interested in seriously revisiting the notion of amending the Constitution to mandate a balanced budget? Sure it may (or may not) be difficult but the consequence of doing nothing is surely worse.


Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute.

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