Sorry, Kids

That's from the WSJ, demonstrating that Soaring U.S. Debt Is a Spending Problem. And they are not making it up; you can see pretty much the same graph from the latest Congressional Budget Office report here. The WSJ also has words:

You may have heard that the 2017 GOP tax cuts blew a giant hole in the federal budget—or so Democrats tell voters. The Congressional Budget Office’s revised 10-year budget forecast out Tuesday offers a reality check. Spending is the real problem, and it’s getting worse.

CBO projects that this year’s budget deficit will clock in at roughly $2 trillion, some $400 billion more than it forecast in February and $300 billion larger than last year’s deficit. This is unprecedented when the economy is growing and defense spending is nearly flat. The deficit this fiscal year will be 7% of GDP, which is more than during some recessions.

CBO says deficits will stay nearly this high for years, and the total over the next decade is now expected to total $21.9 trillion compared to $19.8 trillion in its February forecast. Debt held by the public will grow to 122.4% of GDP in 2034 from 97.3% last year.

And more words from the NR editors: America’s Deficit Disaster Gets Worse.

The bulk of the changes came from an increase in spending on student loans thanks to the Biden administration’s debt-forgiveness action, higher-than-expected spending on Medicaid, and the recently passed foreign-aid bill — all of which added to an already grim fiscal outlook.

Biden has repeatedly insisted that he has cut $1 trillion from deficits and that his budget would cut $3 trillion more. Both claims are deceptive.

The promised deficit savings in his budget depend on enacting offsets that remain unspecified. The assertion that he has cut $1 trillion from deficits is based on taking the peak Covid-era deficit (which he contributed to) and comparing it to deficits once the pandemic passed.

Their bottom line is sobering:

Unless major changes are made to alter the current path, Americans will face harsh trade-offs, with the possibilities including: crushing tax increases, severe spending cuts, the degradation of military readiness, economic stagnation, or some combination of all of the above.

This is a recipe for American decline.

And the headline above is heartfelt. Thanks to my general skinflintiness, and the mortality tables, I'm probably not going to be hurt much by the "harsh trade-offs". Neither will Biden, nor Trump.

I used to generate similar graphs myself, but frankly the WSJ and the CBO do a better job.

But to tediously repeat myself: I encourage you to blow up the above graph on a poster, haunt campaign events with it, and ask every candidate for Federal office: (1) Where should these lines go instead? and (2) What are you gonna do to make that happen?

Maybe use smaller words. Some of these folks ain't that bright.

Also of note:

  • Also a cowardly idiot. Dominic Pino identifies someone who will avoid those "harsh trade-offs": Ben Kamens Is a Perfect Spokesman for the Democratic Party.

    “Just got a call to let me know my student debt has been canceled. This is why elections matter. Thanks @JoeBiden.”

    Ben Kamens, the communications director for Representative Marcy Kaptur (D., Ohio), posted that on X today. It included a picture of the letter he received from Nelnet, the company that serviced his student loans. The letter begins, “Congratulations! The Biden-Harris administration has forgiven your federal student loan(s) listed below with Nelnet in full.”

    Kamens’s two loans were taken out in 2010. The original principal balances were $2,750 and $5,500. Again, he posted this on X for the entire world to see.

    As the text of his message demonstrates, he’s not the least bit ashamed about the fact that he, a grown man and college graduate with a full-time job, was apparently unable to repay debt with a principal of $8,250 over a span of 14 years.

    You maybe noticed the link to Twitter/X; don't bother. "You’re unable to view this Post because this account owner limits who can view their Posts." But the good folks at Twitchy managed to screenshot the post, and they also provide many predictable reactions. Perhaps the most on-target one being:


  • And he's not learning from his mistakes. Eric Boehm points out an inconvenient truth: Trump Said Tariffs Would Reduce the Trade Deficit. Instead, It Grew.

    During former President Donald Trump's term in office, he promised that higher tariffs on American imports would reduce the country's large trade deficit.

    At the time, many economists disputed that notion. Tariffs might marginally reduce the import side of the trade ledger, but they also reduce economic output (and therefore exports), so the net effect on the trade deficit was likely to be minuscule, they warned.

    No matter. In 2017, the White House's official Trade Policy Agenda highlighted how America's manufacturing trade deficit had grown from $317 billion in 2000 to $648 billion in 2016. That was evidence, the document claimed, that greater levels of trade had triggered "a period of slowed GDP growth, weak employment growth, and sharp net loss of manufacturing employment in the United States."

    You know what happened next. Tariffs were raised. Then more tariffs were added. President Joe Biden took over and left Trump's higher tariffs in place. American businesses and consumers paid the cost of those higher taxes. The average tariff rate on imports to the United States has climbed from 1.5 percent to over 3 percent, and annual tariff revenue has nearly tripled.

    So what happened to the trade deficit? It didn't fall.

    Prithee Read the Thing in its Entirety. But also read Don Boudreaux's mild retort to Boehm: The Accounting Misleads.

  • I abandoned him years ago, so this doesn't apply to me. Michael W. McConnell explains Why Republicans Don’t Abandon ‘Felon’ Trump.

    The charges against Mr. Trump in New York were bogus. The hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels weren’t illegal. It was the labeling of those payments as legal fees that constituted the crime—but that is a misdemeanor in New York, for which the statute of limitations ran out in 2019. The falsification of business records becomes a felony, with a five-year statute of limitations, only when done with the intent to conceal the commission of another crime.

    What was this other crime? The indictment didn’t say, and each juror was allowed to choose from any of three theories—which means that Mr. Trump could well have been convicted by a jury that hobbled together three different legal theories, even if a majority of jurors rejected each one.

    Toward the end of the trial, the prosecutors focused on a New York statute that forbids attempts to “influence” an election through “unlawful means.” Their theory—that all these shenanigans were designed to hide Mr. Trump’s immorality from the voters ahead of the 2016 election—might be true. There is, however, an insuperable problem with this theory. The payments to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that were unlawfully categorized as legal fees were made after the 2016 election. The business-records crimes couldn’t possibly have been committed with the intent to influence the outcome of a contest that was already over. It follows that Mr. Trump was wrongly convicted.

    Republicans, independents and fair-minded Democrats are therefore justified in regarding the New York case as an abuse of the system, brought with the intention of affecting the 2024 election. District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution was a far clearer and more dangerous attempt to influence voters than were mislabeled payments to Mr. Cohen. No wonder so many people tell pollsters they were unmoved by the verdict, or that they will vote for Mr. Trump because of it.

    I Am Not A Lawyer, but McConnell raises valid points. Including:

    Hillary Clinton did the same thing that Mr. Trump did. Her campaign reimbursed a Democratic law firm more than $1 million for payments to a third party to produce opposition research—the Steele dossier—and falsely described these payments as “legal services” and “legal and compliance consulting.” The Federal Election Commission fined the Clinton campaign $8,000 for the violation, while Mrs. Clinton herself skated. Republicans wonder why a similar penalty for Mr. Trump wouldn’t have been sufficient for the much smaller payments to Mr. Cohen.

    Of course, none of that detracts from the simple fact that Trump and Stormy had a sleazy liaison. Maintaining his perfect record of betraying every wife he's ever had.

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