Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are debating tonight, no doubt trying to one-up each other on who can promise the most free stuff to voters. The things they are proposing would cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, on top of the trillions our government spends every year.
We’re already out of other people’s money. The federal government is currently running an annual deficit of around half a trillion dollars, give or take. If things continue as is, that number will double in about 6 years. Our national debt is an astounding $19 trillion, and is expected to hit $30 trillion in about a decade.
The national debt isn’t growing rapidly because we they aren’t giving out enough free stuff. It’s the massive and ever-increasing welfare state that’s causing the debt crisis.
In 1966, the intergenerational redistribution program known as Social Security absorbed 2.6 percent of GDP; in 2016, it will suck up 4.9 percent, for a nearly 90 Percent Increase. And by 2026, Social Security spending will represent 5.9 percent of GDP, for a 20 percent increase over the coming decade. (See my article, “There is No Social Security Santa Claus.”)
Major Federal-funded health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid and related programs) siphoned off a mere 0.1 percent of GDP in 1966; in 2016 this will have increased to 5.6 percent of GDP, a more than 500 percent increase over fifty years. By 2026, the CBO estimates, these Federal health care programs (now including ObamaCare) will take 6.6 percent of GDP, for a nearly 18 percent increase in the next ten years. (See my article, “For Healthcare the Best Government Plan is No Plan.”)
Summing over all of these and related mandatory entitlement spending programs, in 1966 the redistributive welfare state absorbed 4.5 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product; in 2016 this will be 13.3 percent of GDP, and 15 percent of GDP in 2026. Or a 317 percent increase over the fifty years between 1966 and 2016, and an additional 13 percent increase between 2016 and 2026.
Due to all of the deficit spending to finance this redistributive largess over what the government collects in tax revenues to fund it, interest on the Federal debt will increase from 1. 4 percent of GDP in 2016 to 3.0 percent of GDP in 2026, or more than a 100 percent increase in the interest cost on the national debt over the next ten years as a percentage of GDP.
Welfare state spending plus mandatory interest payments on the Federal debt now absorbs around 60 percent of everything Uncle Sam spends.
Even if you don’t believe that socialism is a dreadful, destructive and demoralizing economic policy (which it is), how can you possibly argue that the United States of America is possibly in any kind of fiscal shape to introduce even more socialism? There aren’t enough rich people in the US to pay for what’s being promised. The rich could be taxed at 100% and it still wouldn’t be enough. Politicians like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders don’t care. The policies they push won’t change their way of life. They’re part of the privileged class. The policies they push will hurt the people they claim to want to help.
But millennials (and a good number of older Americans, just not in the same number) don’t get it. They aren’t good at math, or they have spent too much time in their “safe spaces” to face any kind of economic reality. They apparently aren’t up on history or current events either. What else explains why a majority of them are big fans of socialism? How else can they have no idea that they are in support of bankrupting their own generation, and generations to come?
Everyone wants their free stuff, they just don’t realize that it’s not free and they’ll be paying for it their whole lives. We’re all paying the price, not only financially but we’re paying with our freedom. That’s what this election is turning into, free stuff vs. freedom. We’ve already lost a lot of freedom, and that national debt isn’t going away. We’re going to need less socialism and more freedom for any hope of turning things around.