Last week President Bush signed a $70 Billion “tax cut” into law with the principal beneficiaries being households that receive substantial interest and dividend income. While signing the bill, Bush declared, “With this bill, we’re sending the American people a clear message about our policy. We’re going to continue to trust the American people with their own money.”
Time out. Since entering office, Bush’s so called “tax cuts” have grown the National Debt by 50 percent, from $5.6 trillion to $8.4 trillion. Bush is not trusting Americans with their own money, he is stealing from future generations and dumping trillions of “their own money” into the laps of the current generation of taxpayers, with the primary beneficiaries being the highest income households. Bush and his Republican cohorts in Congress are borrowing from the future at a rate of $1.78 billion a day, a rate of better than $1 million in new debt every minute.
How can this happen to our youngest citizens and yet-to-be-born generations? Less than two months ago the Republicans quietly passed legislation raising the ceiling on the National Debt to $9 trillion. That ceiling will be reached sometime next year, at which time per capita share of the National Debt will reach an even $30,000, or $120,000 for a family of four. By contrast, when Reagan took office in 1981 and started this nonsense of cutting tax revenue and replacing it with borrowing, per capita share of the debt was only $4,000 per person, $16,000 per family of four.
Who gets hurt? The Feds have to fund their debt like anyone else. Their huge runaway borrowing has several profound implications. First is interest-on-the-debt, borne by all taxpayers. In 1981, the interest payment on the National Debt was $10 billion a year. In 2005, we taxpayers paid $352 billion in interest – more than twice the cost of the Iraq war since it started, more then five times the $61 billon the Feds spend on education. More ominous, about a third of the debt is held by foreign interests and better than half of current financing in the open market is being purchased by foreign interests, most notably China. The Republicans have mortgaged America’s future and our bankers are offshore. Arguably, we are now more dependent upon foreign capital for our prosperity than we are upon foreign oil.I truly wonder how tried and true conservatives can sleep at night. I wonder what philosophically serious conservatives see when they look into the mirror? For most of my lifetime, American conservatives stood for fiscal restraint and responsible funding of the public sector. Today, not one conservative’s voice is raised to try and stop the stealing from future generations. Not one of hundreds of Republican leaders in Congress and state houses across the land will stand up and speak out on this issue. How do they sleep at night? Probably some take sleep pills provided by the new and totally unfunded-by-current-taxes Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, pills that will be paid for by our unborn great great grandchildren.