Hopefully, it hasn’t happened to you. But you probably know someone who has been crushed by too much debt. Student debt weighs down an entire generation. The housing boom leading up to 2008 created a bubble that trapped many families in a hopeless situation.
Sometimes debt is so big it’s incomprehensible; if you look at the debt per taxpayer at USDebtClock.org you see that every U.S. taxpayer owes nearly $225,000 each ($450,000 for a couple). That’s your share, and mine, of the federal government’s debt.
How did we land in the ditch? Washington politicians found a clever way to spend all they want without raising taxes: By borrowing. Politicians spend billions, buying votes from special interests or passing bills for lobbyists who make big contributions. If they had to raise taxes every time they jacked up spending the public uproar would stop them dead in their tracks. Instead, they borrow and hope nobody notices. And, so far, they’ve been right.
The Cato Institute provides detailed information about the federal debt (including the chart below).
Even when our country was deeply divided, during our bloodiest war 150 years ago, federal debt was a fraction of what it is now. Today, we’re eyeball to eyeball with a debt level that exceeds even the World War II era, when we were fighting for our survival on two fronts in a brutal war that ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Here’s an unfortunate fact: Today, in Washington, neither party says ‘no more debt.’ The debt has continued to rise for years no matter whether Democrats or Republicans held the White House or majorities in Congress.
We’ve seen this tragedy play out before in history and it never ends well. But there is one glimmer of light, one way to stop Washington politicians piling up debt: State legislators can step up and send forward a Constitutional Amendment to require Congress to balance the federal budget. The same type amendment many states – including North Carolina – already have.
Washington politicians won’t solve this problem. They’ll continue to borrow more every day. It’s time the people told them, Stop!