Our current national debt stands at a whopping 29 trillion dollars. As if that isn’t bad enough, Congress wants to increase it by another 5 trillion dollars or so. They have no choice, you know, because they have some Christmas shopping to do for their favorite constituents. This holiday morning bounty will come in the form of 4.7 trillion dollars in infrastructure spending – that has little to do with infrastructure, and a lot to do with throwing money at their favorite projects.
The numbers that our “public servants” are tossing around are so staggeringly high they’re difficult for mere humans to actually grasp. The debt that our representatives are proposing is a 34 with twelve zeros behind it. If we were to stack 100-dollar bills (in a stack, not end to end), 34 trillion dollars would be a stack 23,000 miles high.
That’s a pile of 100 dollar bills almost high enough to wrap around the Earth.
Putting that debt in more personal terms, it represents $100,000 of debt for every man, woman, and child in this country. This is debt for which we – average working Americans – must pay the interest. We pay that interest through our taxes taken out of each and every paycheck. That means that an average family of 4 is making interest payments on $400,000 of US debt.
Given that the average US home price is only $270,000, it means that the average family is paying more for the government’s debt than they are for their own home.
The average family of 4 is essentially making payments on a small house for themselves, and a big house that our congress decided to buy. The average family’s taxes could go down nearly $2,300 dollars per month if they weren’t supporting this national debt.
But the interest on the debt is not even the worst thing about our government’s spending binge. Deficit spending creates inflation – which lowers the value of our money. When the value of the dollar goes down, the buying power of our money goes down as well. As prices go up, our money doesn’t go as far. The consumer price index (CPI) is currently at 5.4% and it is rising at almost 1% per month – and that’s before congress opens its 4.7T dollar Christmas stocking. If the CPI reaches 10% (as it did in the late 1970s), each family will need to make up a 10% shortfall in their own budget. If living expenses (food, fuel, clothing, and shelter) for that family are around $4,000 per month, they’re going to need to come up with an additional $400 per month to cover the rising price of essentials. That’s the equivalent of an extra car payment each month.
Our hypothetical family is going to need to make some hard choices about where to come up with that extra 400 bucks each month. But they’re still going to be on the hook to pay their portion of the interest on the national debt – which is the equivalent of an extra house payment.
There’s a huge debate going on in Washington about the size of the budget busting bills under consideration (infrastructure and reconciliation). Unfortunately, the debate is over whether they should spend 5 trillion dollars we don’t have or only 3 trillion dollars we don’t have. None of our representatives are listening to us. The correct number is zero!
It’s time for some serious fiscal restraints on our “public servants.” They’re clearly incapable of exercising any restraint on their own. We need an Article V Convention of States to Constitutionally impose boundaries on our misbehaving representatives.
By John Green
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network (afnn.us). He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was first published by American Thinker.