Viewpoint

U.S. digging deeper into debt

From an editorial Friday in The Orange County Register:

It has been about one month since congressional Republicans caved in on the national debt limit and approved a two-year budget, which conveniently suspended the debt limit until March 2017, just after the 2016 elections – and the spending floodgates have already opened. In just those few weeks, spending has surged by nearly $600 billion, raising the official national debt to more than $18.7 trillion.

During President Barack Obama’s tenure, the national debt has increased more than $8 trillion, and by the time he leaves office it is on pace to nearly double from the $10.6 trillion tab in January 2009. During this time, the debt has gone from about 60 percent of gross domestic product – roughly where it hovered for most of the 1990s and 2000s – to more than 100 percent of GDP.

Even this does not paint the full picture of taxpayers’ obligations. According to David Walker, comptroller general of the United States during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, the national debt is actually about three and a half times the official statistic.

“If you end up adding the unfunded civilian and military pensions and retiree health care, the additional underfunding for Social Security, the additional underfunding for Medicare, various commitments and contingencies that the federal government has, the real number is about $65 trillion rather than $18 trillion, and it’s growing automatically,” Walker told New York’s AM 970, The Hill reported.

With apparently little principle or self-discipline of their own, politicians will continue this spending binge until responsible adults tell them “No!”

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