Stop Digging.

The old saying goes that when you find yourself in a hole the first thing you do is stop digging.  Obama, Pelosi, and Reid need to put down their shovels.

Because of the recent and proposed spending of this profligate trio, the debt of the United States government will explode to a size never before seen in our nation’s history.

John B. Taylor, Stanford University Professor of Economics, recently compiled a series of charts showing just how deep of a hole we are about to find ourselves.

For example, the following chart shows the federal debt as a percent of GDP over the mid-term:

Mid_Term_Debt

As you can see the debt goes from about 45% of GDP in 2008 to about 85% of GDP by 2019.

If you think the trend corrects itself starting in 2020 you would be wrong.  The next chart shows what happens in the long term:

Long_Term_Debt

By 2025 the debt is over 100% of GDP.  By 2080 the debt is around 800%  800!

The United States as we know it will cease to exist long before our debt reaches 800% of GDP.  The chart is meant to be a demonstration of the speed at which we are sinking.  Be sure to check all of the other charts that Professor Taylor put together.  They will surely drive home the point that our nation is on an unsustainable fiscal course.

The best way to avoid a hole is to not dig one.  It’s too late for America.  Our leaders have already dug one for us.  Stop digging!

4 thoughts on “Stop Digging.

  1. Keep digging! I probably shouldn’t throw the B.S. flag when I’m this tired, but I smell baloney on at least one count. I agree that continuing to increase our debt is a bad idea. But to blame the curves above on the Obama-Reid-Pelosi triumvirate is disingenuous. Professor Taylor cites Congressional Budget Office numbers. On May 19, 2008, the CBO offered a similar analysis in a letter to Rep. Paul Ryan. That letter included a chart (Figure 1) that looks very similar to the second chart you offer above. I would suggest that that doomsday fiscal curve is not a product of specific Obama or Bush policies but the increased spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over a lengthy period when demographics dictate there will be more recipients and fewer (or at least a less rapidly growing sector of) working taxpayers. John McCain could have won in November, and we’d be looking at the same curve. Our current President certainly needs to do something (CBO recommends cutting health care costs as a big step; I might suggest rationing MRIs… or nationalizing the whole system), but our President has not dug that hole in eight months of policymaking. Our WWII vets dug that hole by having so many babies when they came home. Numerous administrations have dug that hole by guaranteeing our seniors basic income and health security in retirement. Feel free to propose ending Social Security and Medicare to fill the hole… or did you have something else in mind?

  2. Thanks for the link you provided. The information found there is very interesting. It underscores the point I made in my post. It is best to avoid digging a hole, but if you find yourself in one stop digging.

    For the sake of argument Obama, Pelosi, and Reid did not dig the entitlement hole that Mr. Orszag reported on in May of 2008. They are, however, in a position of power to extract themselves, and the nation, from the hole. Unfortunately, the policies they are promoting and laws they have enacted will do nothing of the sort. If they want to avoid the fiscal disaster that is heading our way they need stop the rapid growth of government.

    One final point, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are all entitlements. These entitlements are about to wreak havoc on our nation’s fiscal stability. Nationalizing healthcare would add a fourth massive entitlement to our government. If the original three are unsustainable there is no way a fourth would improve the situation.

    1. That didn’t answer the question, Andrew. The graphs above show what would happen even if we “stopped digging” — or, more accurately, stopped doing the things you don’t want Obama et al. to do. The CBO’s point was that the “digging” is from the entitlement programs. So the question is not whether you think a new entitlement program (like universal health care, which would actually save money and lives — a nice pro-life position) is bad; the question is whether you are telling Washington to end Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That, according to the analysis behind your graph, is the obvious solution. Care to bite that bullet?

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