Footing our growing debt service bill
Well, that didn’t take as long as expected.
In case you missed it, our federal government is now estimated to pay more than $1 trillion a year to service just the interest on our national debt — about $200 billion more than we spend on our military or Medicare.
Why are we suddenly paying so much?
Because the cost to service our debt has doubled in the past 19 months as annual federal deficits balloon and high interest rates make borrowing more expensive.
The origin of this “sudden” problem dates back to the early months of the covid pandemic when government lockdowns devastated the economy.
Initially, there was broad bipartisan support to borrow and spend huge amounts of federal money to stimulate the economy — forgoing any concerns that it might harm the economy over the long term.
In 2020 President Trump signed off on about $3 trillion in covid relief spending and a year later President Biden signed on for a few trillion more.
No small number of critics, including former Democratic Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, reported the New York Times, suggested that enough was enough and that the Biden boost would overheat the economy.
Other financial experts told us not to worry about higher inflation coming to get us all or said if it did come it would be temporary — “transitory” was the word they liked to use.
But that optimistic prediction didn’t work out so well.
Copyright 2023 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com