President Trump gets it. In his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 released Monday the president wrote:
Unsustainable Federal deficits and debt are a serious threat to America’s prosperity. Gross Federal debt is now more than $23 trillion. The 2019 deficit was $985 billion—the largest since the Great recession—and will climb above $1 trillion this year and for years after.
Such high and rising debt will have serious negative consequences for the budget and the Nation. It slows economic growth, as the costs of financing the debt crowds out more productive in-vestments and could eventually limit the Federal Government’s ability to respond to urgent national security needs, invest in key priorities such as infrastructure, and enact other pro-growth policies. In fact, by 2021, the United States will be spending more money on paying for the debt than for the budgets of the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Justice, Homeland Security, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration combined.
More on that coming up, but first, here is a 60 Minutes video from early 2007 on what was arguably the most critical issue at that time, and remains so today. This is very much worth your time.
No one paid attention, then or since.
Fast forward to today. President Trump’s budget calls for big cuts in spending. The Washington Times editorialized:
The green-eyeshade number-crunchers have warned the president that the nation’s current financial course is the road to ruin. His fiscal 2021 budget demonstrates he is listening. Congress must heed the alarm as well and join the switch to the alternative route that leads to fiscal safety.