Washington's Bipartisan Fiscal Folly

Again, the pretext or trigger for this was the enormously problematical federal response to the covid-19 pandemic. Thus, in fiscal year 2020, the federal government spent $6.55 trillion while collecting $3.42 trillion in revenue. In other words, almost half of federal spending was covered by new debt. This happened with the full support of a Republican president.

It has gotten worse under President Joe Biden. Currently, more than half of federal spending is being financed by debt. Apparently determined to reestablish the Democratic brand as the party of bigger government, Biden already has pushed through his $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.” And now he is pushing his “infrastructure” package with an initial price tag of $2.2 trillion, although the Wall Street Journal estimates that it could ultimately cost over $4 trillion.

Meanwhile, having recently completed my 2020 income tax forms, it struck me that Uncle Sam is paying me more than I am paying him. I am the definition of a middle-class taxpayer, by no means a poverty case. So tell me: How can any government afford to pay its middle-income citizens more than they pay the government? This brings to mind President Grover Cleveland’s statement, “Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.” The government not only “should not” support us, it literally cannot. Government has no wealth but what it first takes from real people, so if most people either pay no taxes or receive payments from the government, the inevitable result is an unviable fiscal policy.

This is folly—fiscal insanity, actually—of the first order. And yet, official Washington charges blithely on toward its eventual fiscal crack-up.

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