It’s Christmas: National debt out of control


“It’s Christmas.”

How many times have we heard those two words uttered to explain why people in general and most Americans spend more at the holidays.

But come January, the bills arrive demanding payment at once or in monthly installments with interest tacked onto the amount owed.

I can’t remember, growing up, where car companies would encourage people to purchase or lease a new vehicle for a loved one. Merry Christmas to you, and I’ll be eating peanut-butter-and- jelly sandwiches for the next year.

This past week, Congress passed legislation that effectively raises the national debt to $29 trillion at the start of the new year.

Included in the legislation is another $600 stimulus check for most Americans, extended unemployment benefits of $300 per week and another round of payroll protection funding.

I have no problem with assisting those out of work because of the pandemic or with a stimulus check and payroll protection funding. I do have a problem with the legislation providing foreign aid and millions for the arts community.

The arts are important to our society, but the cost shouldn’t include millions on the already huge national debt.

President Donald Trump wants to increase the stimulus check to $2,000 per person. How much more will that spike the U.S. debt?

During the coronavirus pandemic year the national debt has increased by about $7 trillion.

When Trump took office in 2017 the national debt stood at $19.5 trillion, and despite claims of lowering the debt as a goal, it ballooned to $22.7 trillion in 2019.

The $29 trillion national debt doesn’t include the $2.1 trillion in debt of local units of government and $1.1 trillion of state debt nationally.

In total, government entities in the U.S. owe at least $32.2 trillion.

Out of curiosity, I went on the internet to check out the national debt clock. The numbers rapidly changed as the U.S. debt continued to mount at a frightening pace.

I found lots of distressing information on the website.

A baby born today in the U.S. inherits a share of the national debt — $83,195.

The share of the national debt for each taxpayer stood at $220,130 as of Thursday.

Add to those figures the average citizen’s share of state debt, $3,613, and local debt, $6,458, and the debt owed by a taxpayer in this country surpasses $230,000.

Congress continues to put on the national credit card billions of dollars of debt for the Christmas season; at some point, there will be consequences.

Will the inflation and interest rates skyrocket because the government’s printing press is running nonstop?

There has to be the concern of when the nation’s creditors call in those loans. Where will the money come from?

Senior citizens shouldn’t be concerned about paying off the debt; the bill will be handed to our children and grandchildren for generations to come.

Ken de la Bastide is the city and county government reporter for The Herald Bulletin in Anderson. Send comments to [email protected].

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