Neither party cares about our national debt (USA Today editorial)
Remember how Republicans “excoriated President Barack Obama in 2009 for his $787 billion stimulus” and how “they took the Treasury to the brink of default in 2011 to force spending cuts”? Well now that they are back in power, “as [is said] in Brooklyn, fuggetaboutit.” The “compromise” announced late Monday would add $320 billion in spending over two years and raise the federal debt ceiling, which “on an annualized basis” is “a much biggest stimulus package than Obama's, which was spread over a decade."
And don’t forget that the latest package “comes on top of other spending increases, as well as a tax cut that will reduce government revenue by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. No wonder the nation is spending $1 trillion a year more than it is collecting, even at a time of relative economic prosperity."
Still, “the unavoidable conclusion is that neither party cares one whit about the national debt – now approaching $23 trillion – they are passing along to young Americans and future generations.” And “many Democrats have apparently thrown in the fiscal responsibility towel as well,” with their tone being set by progressive presidential candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Congresses and presidents have periodic fights over the 1/3 of government spending that requires a vote each year, and “sometime these battles include moralizing, brinkmanship and short-term disruption. *** But all of the time, they take our great nation closer to fiscal ruin.”
The headline for this USA editorial suggests impartiality, but the negative message is aimed primarily at the GOP. For example, the Obama stimulus package was justified in 2009 on the basis that it would be “timely, targeted and temporary," but it actually had the effect of accelerating the growth of federal spending on a longer-term basis.