Casey Harper, The Center Square
This week saw the national debt reach a new milestone. Experts are warning that if federal spending is not curtailed, it will be dangerous.
Federal national debt now stands at $30 trillion. This is a significant increase from the $5 trillion it was in 2001. In just five years, the federal government had accumulated debts of $20 trillion.
The Biden government’s landmark was criticized by Republicans, even though the two parties have increased their debt steadily over the last 20 years. Although a few lawmakers called for significant cuts in federal spending, they have not gained much traction.
“Our National Debt has officially surpassed $30 trillion, but Biden and Democrats want to keep borrowing, printing, and spending until the US dollar is worthless!” U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill wrote on Twitter after the U.S. surpassed the milestone figure.
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Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, responded to questions about Wednesday’s rising debt.
“The president believes we need to have a sustainable and responsible fiscal policy which is why he put forward ways to pay for his major proposals,” Psaki said. “He is committed to a sustainable and responsible policy and ensuring that our long term investments are fully paid for like Build Back Better.”
However, spending spiked after President Joe Biden introduced two important spending bills to Congress. The debt ceiling was also increased multiple times by Congress last year.
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“In September our national debt was $28 trillion,” said U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. “In just 4 months, our national debt has hit $30 trillion. For comparison purposes, 28 trillion seconds equals 887,852 year, while 30 trillion seconds equals 1,000,000 years. Democrats’ spending is out of control [and] harming future generations.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. repeatedly cited poor economic conditions and debt levels in his opposition to President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” spending bill.
“I cannot take that risk with a staggering debt of more than $29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and harmful to every hard-working American at the gasoline pumps, grocery stores and utility bills with no end in sight,” Manchin said in December after helping block the bill in Congress. “We are also facing increasing geopolitical uncertainty as tensions rise with both Russia and China. Our ability to quickly and effectively respond to these pending threats would be drastically hindered by our rising debt.”
This plan was created in the wake of the passages last year of the COVID relief bill worth $1.9 trillion and the infrastructure bill that is worth $1.2 trillion.
“U.S. Debt just hit $30 trillion, or as Joe Biden calls it: $0,” said U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., apparently referring to Biden’s claim that his multi-trillion dollar social spending plan would add nothing to the federal debt.
Congress’ latest debt ceiling increase lasts through the 2022 November elections. However, after that, Congress will face another deadline for reaching the debt ceiling.
“This is a disservice to our children and grandchildren,” said Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla.
President of Truth In Accounting Sheila Weinberg argues that the federal debt is much more high-risk than it appears.
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“The Treasury Department’s reported debt doesn’t include the Social Security and Medicare liabilities. If those liabilities were included, a $30 trillion national debt amount was reached years ago,” Weinberg said. “According to Truth in Accounting, if those unfunded obligations are included today, the debt is more than $141 trillion.”
Weinberg said the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board does not require the U.S. Treasury to include retirement benefits owed to seniors in its debt calculations, “based upon the belief that Congress can change the law at any point in time and take away everyone’s promised benefits.
“Government officials and Congress do not highlight the true national debt, that includes the liabilities related to the Social Security and Medicare obligations because the number is so big and unsustainable,” Weinberg said. “If people understood the precariousness of these promises, then seniors would be marching on Washington.”
The Center Square permission granted this syndicated version.