03.31.2010 0

The War on the Young: The Government Debt Burden

  • On: 04/15/2010 10:32:27
  • In: Economy
  • By Adam Bitely

    The current national debt is $12,834,045,677,823.92. Each citizen of the United States’ share of that debt is $41,642.80. Who will pay for this debt? The only answer that seems plausible is future generations of Americans.

    In the old days, politicians often spoke of investing in America’s future. Now, the Obama administration borrows against that future. It can be seen clearly when one looks at how current politicians have de-railed Social Security—aside from numerous other programs that they have also sunk into financial oblivion.

    Veronique De Rugy, a Senior Research Fellow with the Mercatus Center, has produced a great chart showing just how off target estimates have been in regards to CBO predictions for Social Security:


    There is a definite correlation here between this Congress’ fiscal recklessness and programs falling into the abyss. Clearly, no one in Washington D.C. seems to mind bankrupting America’s future. It is amazing to see the people that have driven Social Security off of a cliff being given the power and authority to fix the nation’s debt crisis.

    So bad off is Social Security, it has begun cashing in part of its $2.5 trillion in debt treasuries, as the AP recently reported. It gets worse.

    The same Congress that has driven the debt up is attempting to drive it up further by way of increasing unemployment benefits. Senator Tom Coburn stands in the way of this bill claiming that attempts to extend benefits will only further plunge the nation into debt. Although the $18.5 billion extension may appear relatively modest compared to the gargantuan $12.8 trillion total debt, these extensions are adding up. Senator Coburn is right; benefits should not be expanded any further until the debt is reduced.

    A recent New York Times editorial claims they are worried about Senator Coburn’s arguments against expanding these benefits because they are catching on with others in the Senate. Apparently the editorial board of the New York Times does not care about the nation’s debt crisis and does not mind sticking the bill with young Americans.

    Where is the outcry for Congress to stop running the tab any higher against America’s future?
    Failure to pay for this relatively small extension in unemployment benefits shows that this aging baby boomer congress is more interested in their future than America’s future. It is time for the youth to tell mom, dad and grandpa and grandma to stop borrowing on our credit card, because we cannot afford it.

    Adam Bitely is the Executive Editor of the Liberty Features Syndicate for Americans for Limited Government.

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