Have you heard which party is serious about slowing down the rate of debt we owe? Trick question, right? You have not heard because the answer is, Neither one!

Even though I am an optimist at heart, it is my realistic opinion that we have reached and passed the point of no return regarding our government fiscal disease. I assure you it is not my purpose to cause despair. But to see for yourself, pull up www.usdebtclock.org on your internet device.

It appears by crude observation that the net debt total is rising by $1M per 33 seconds as I write on Tuesday morning, July 9, 2024. The Congressional Budget Office is the source so the numbers may be accurate or not, but the current total is in excess of $34,890,243,000,000. On July 9, 2008, just before the Great Meltdown, the total was $11.8T, and at the turn of the century, it was only $5.6T. Haven’t we been having fun?

I have observed on social media sites the banter of Republicans and Democrats blaming each party and president for our current mess. From one commercial of yore, Stop! You’re both right, up to a point.

The truth is that 535 members of Congress are supposed to pass a budget each year before October 1 that the President almost always signs. The President submits a budget proposal, but has absolutely no legal power to spend money Congress has not so appropriated. According to www.checkyourfact.com, Congress has been on schedule an amazing four times in the past 40 years. So let’s apply the blame to its source.

Do you recall the old cartoon, Pogo? On Earth Day, 1971, Walt Kelly also described our environmental predicament as, We have met the enemy and he is us! This also applies to our national finances. We have cut all constraints upon our desires for federal spending.

You see, it is not an issue of too little revenue. Since last October 1, the Treasury has taken in $4.929T or $14,674 per each of 336M of us (officially). But our government has spent $6.783T since that date, leaving $1.854T of new debt.

Most of this money is collected from us, pays for an ever expanding army of civil servants (whose jobs are protected for life), and then is returned in the form of Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, and millions of great ideas presented to Congressional staffers.

I have not had time to check this out, but I have read that the simplest solution is to reduce the increased spending each year to 1 or 2 percent and to let the normal increase in revenue to catch up with the spending. Sounds good.

But this is where I become pessimistic. Since no one is serious about this issue, why would I think this would happen? We will elect the 535 members of a new Congress in November primarily because of what they promise to spend for us.

Above I asked the question about our general happiness. If you have been an adult for a few decades, ask yourself if you are better off or more relatively content now than you were in 2000 due to the Trillions we have run through our government. According to the numbers of suicides, family breakups, drug dependencies, and the like, it seems to me the answer is clear.

The great news? There is always hope. There will always be more important matters than money. I hope you are experiencing those.


(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The advice is general in nature and not intended for specific situations)