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A Thought about the National Debt

"Interest payments currently consume about 6.5 percent of the federal budget, or $266 billion, making it the fifth largest budget line item behind defense, social security, Medicare and Medicaid. (emphasis added)

"In two years, the Office of Management and Budget predicts interest rates will rise to nearly 4 percent, pushing debt service payments to $474 billion, or nearly 10 percent of the federal budget. By 2026, those amounts rise to $787 billion and 12.2 percent of spending.

"And even though we’re dedicating such a huge chunk of federal revenues to the national debt, the amount owed keeps going up, because all we’re paying is the interest, without denting the principal, while we continue to borrow. (emphasis added)

"A nation unwilling to make even the thinnest of spending cuts has to borrow increasing amounts to maintain programs and add new ones, while meeting the rapidly rising debt payments.

"To say this is unsustainable is to state the obvious. But at this point, even a sincere commitment to fiscal discipline won’t defuse the debt time bomb. Doing that will require an austerity that Americans have not endured in modern times, and likely couldn’t stomach. Frankly, it means weaning the citizenry from the federal teat." (emphasis added)

~ Nolan Finley

Source: his April 22, 2017 column, "Debt is Real Trump Budget Cruelty," The Detroit News.

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