One of my quirks is that I keep track of the national debt.
On December 31, 2014, our total national debt stood at $18,141,444,135,563.30. That’s $18.1 trillion dollars. On December 31, 2015, our national debt stood at $18,922,179,009,420.80. That’s $18.9T. The exact increase was $841,556,354,276.60, or $841 billion dollars.
Who do you hold accountable? Ultimately, it’s all of us. We’re the folks who elect the people who vote for more debt. And we often re-elect them, sending them the signal that we’re OK with their work to raise our national debt so they can give away more stuff to people who don’t need it.
The day will come when future generations rise up to call us the most self-absorbed, selfish, uncaring and unpatriotic generation this country – let alone this world – has ever seen.
Diving into the numbers, we find that the 2015 deficit stood at $72B on November 1st. In the following three days – November 2-4, our deficit was increased by ~$455B. In just three days we managed to borrow $455B. By the end of the year – in just under 60 days – an addition $769B – was added to our national debt. During the time when Trump was capturing the national attention and news media time – our deficits skyrocketed at a rate of ~$12.8B per day in the last two months of 2015.
So what happened on November 1st to cause such an avalanche of over-spending? Simple. President Obama signed the 2-year budget deal which removed spending limits through September, 2017. Calling this a “responsible long-term budget process”, President Obama and a bi-partisan majority of our elected officials saddled millions of unborn Americans with debt that they will never be able to repay and the consequences that come with being a servant to the lender. Aren’t we a caring bunch?
This country is on a spending binge that it cannot stop. We are addicted to debt in our culture. All of this will come home at some point to render us a weak and ineffective nation. You don’t strengthen the country by weakening the government. Few seem to understand this basic principle and it appears to be lost on nearly everyone we elect to Federal office, regardless of party affiliation.
Right now, we’re more concerned with Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in the polls and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Both important stories. But does anyone really care about our national debt? Given the deafening silence in response to the piling of debt upon debt, I can only conclude the answer is: “No.”.