In the comments in the Bookwormroom about liberals one common theme is that liberals cannot and will not argue from the facts. I was planning to write a post about the national debt when I came across this web page. Here is a liberal with facts. For the most part, the discussion is pure, class-envy, rich-bashing, demagogic, liberal pap. But the facts that are expressed in the charts are not so easy to dismiss.
It is true that the national debt exploded under Reagan and the Bushes. Either lowering taxes did not result in the expected increase in income, or the Congresses (Democrat and Republican) and Presidents (all Republicans) wildly overestimated the effect and overspent like crazy people. By the way, the comments on post-WWII are interesting as well. It is undeniable that the late 40s and the 50s were, despite a couple of recessions, a time of explosive growth, even though (and correct me if I’m wrong on this) marginal income tax rates were much higher than they are today. Granted, other taxes like state income and sales taxes, and social security were lower, but still . . .
This raises a number of interesting questions. In light of the fact that the national debt increased so dramatically under Republican presidents, why should we expect Republicans to come any closer to getting a handle on that debt than Obama is doing? Given that, as the charts demonstrate, the national debt is rapidly increasing even as a percentage of our national income, when do we reach the point of no return where merely paying interest on the debt makes addressing the problem impossible? This problem has been put off temporarily by historically low interest rates. But those won’t last forever. Where does the government go to file for bankruptcy?
And, finally, to the point I intended to write about before I found that site. What does it say about American that we have allowed this debt to exist? We are piling up debt our children will have to pay for. If we had simply stolen our children’s credit cards, gone on a spending spree and given the cards back for the children to pay for, it would have been considered immoral. Why is it not equally immoral to do the same thing as a society? Yet I rarely hear the national debt discussed in moral terms. The discussion is all about the interpretation of the facts and what, if anything, can be done. It seems that no one is willing to draw a line in the sand and say this must stop! We cannot and will not as a society do this to our children! I think that’s shameful.
Of course, I shouldn’t just blame America. It seems that every Western society has gone the route of living beyond its means. What is it about our human nature that apparently not only allows us, but compels us, to harm our children in this way? Are we really that selfish?
As to all of the above, especially the answer to what happened under recent Republican presidents, I look forward to your ideas.