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The National Debt is Still a Problem

The national debt is still a problem

America has a National Debt Problem:

As this meme so excellently shows, the national debt is still a problem for America. Conservatives should be more concerned by the national debt problem and our current federal deficit. Just a quick look at the national debt amount is truly astounding. Why, what is the current national debt? Well, the national debt clock shows that the current debt is over $22 trillion.

To me, $22 trillion (the current government debt) is an incomprehensible amount of money (which is a hint that, whatever the MMT idiots say, the national debt is still a problem). Think of all the tax dollars that it will take to pay off the rapidly increasing national debt that I described in my “The Skyrocketing National Debt” post. Those are taxes that could have been spent on important national defense programs, such as putting lasers on fighter jets, that will help us in the new Cold War with China. Or it could have been spent on repairing our crumbling infrastructure. Or best of all, never collected at all because tax cuts are good for all. 

But no, we’ll have to spend decades digging ourselves out of the national debt hole that our Republican and Democrat presidents have put us in. For us, the national debt is still a problem. Because of our irresponsible level of current spending, future generations will also have to say that the national debt is still a problem.

What is the National Debt?

Before continuing further with my opinion on why the national debt is still a problem, I think it would be a good idea to describe what the national debt is. But, I realized that the answer isn’t as simple as I thought because “what is the national debt” is a question with two answers.

Answer 1: The National Debt is Money the Government Owes

One answer is that it is currently over $22 trillion and is skyrocketing towards $23 trillion. That figure is the “national debt” owed by our government. It doesn’t take into account consumer or corporate debt. The national debt increases year by year, and recently is has begun increasing even more than usual each year.

The Bush, Obama, and Trump years have increased the debt tremendously. Trump and Obama in particular are the reasons why the national debt is still a problem; they both refused to slow down federal spending at all. Instead, they both ramped it up to astronomical levels. You can check out the national debt clock to see what it is, or other US debt statistics are, at an exact moment.

Answer 2: The National Debt is all Money Owed

The other answer is that the national debt is the amount of debt owed by US consumers, businesses and the federal government. The deficit is the yearly amount in the budget spent but not taken in. Bonds are issued by the government to make up for that shortfall. Consumers go into debt when they spend money they don’t have, but unlike the government, they are punished for that. Companies issue bonds to fund capital improvements or business expansions. Buying government and corporate debt is a way to invest, as I describe in my “Asset Classes Review” post.

Whether you look at the national debt as simply a monetary figure, a collection of all the long term money owned by individuals, corporations, and government, or both, it should be obvious that the national debt is still a problem.

Why Should Americans Care about the National Debt? Why is the National Debt Still a Problem?

The national debt meme above implies that Americans should care about the national debt. Specifically, it implies that conservatives should be worried about the national debt. In the Obama years, as the national debt skyrocketed, conservatives rightly expressed worry about the federal debt and yearly deficits. They understood that debt and deficits are a problem.

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With spending now higher than ever, you would think conservatives would be agitating to limit federal spending. However, conservatives and the national debt have a confusing relationship. The rise in the national debt under conservatives has been ridiculous. Bush doubled it. Trump is on pace to outspend even Obama’s ridiculous spending.

But when you point out that the national debt increased under conservatives, or more specifically that recent conservatives tripled the national debt, Republicans don’t respond well. They claim to be fiscally conservative, but then say that their spending was on “good causes.”

Sure, national defense is a good cause. I support high defense spending. But the other “conservative” programs that has led to a tripling of the national debt under conservatives, such as welfare spending and problematic farming subsidies, are not good causes. They are examples of federal overreach and irresponsible federal spending.

Conservative voters need to start calling out our politicians when they spend too much money; it is unacceptable that there has been such an extreme rise in the national debt under conservatives. Because of that spending, the national debt is still a problem.

Conclusion: Don’t Be Fooled, the National Debt is Still a Problem

The current level of deficit spending isn’t sustainable. It has led to huge, potentially impossible to pay back increases in the national debt. Current Gen Z conservatives will be on the hook for the irresponsible spending and increases in the national debt under conservatives before them. That is making federal spending increasingly unpopular.

Gen Z is a fiscally conservative generation. On social issues, as I point out in my post on my political positions, we are much more divided and less conservative. But, when it comes to spending, Gen Z is fiscally conservative. Because of that, Gen Z conservatives and conservative college students around the nation won’t stand for increasingly irresponsible levels of federal spending. The skyrocketing national debt needs to be reined in.

Throughout American history, the national debt has periodically been a problem. But, in the past, fiscally responsible American politicians have made every effort to pay back the national debt.

As I discussed in my review of The History of the US during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson, for example, Thomas Jefferson made every effort to develop a plan to pay back the national debt. And the Thomas Jefferson administration found a way to do so despite the relative poverty of early America! Similarly, the Washington and Adams Administrations, as described in The Age of Federalism, were very concerned about the national debt and used their meager resources to pay it back. We should certainly be able to pay back the national debt now.

The national debt is still a problem for Americans. But, if Gen Z conservatives and conservative college students around the nation pay attention to it and hound their supposedly conservative representatives to get to work on debt reduction, then perhaps the problem can be fixed. The national debt has increased under conservatives in the past. But if we Gen Z fiscal conservatives get involved, then hopefully that trend can be reversed!

By: Gen Z Conservative