Category Archives: Debt and deficits

Let 16-year-olds vote so they can defend themselves – against us

vote, Mark Moore, 16-year-oldsThe legal voting age since 1971 has been 18. Maybe that should be the maximum instead of the minimum, at least for a few election cycles.

I write that at age 48 after observing young people lately interact with the world created by supposedly responsible voting-age adults.

Exhibit A is the students at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who escaped from a mass killer while 17 of their classmates and educators didn’t. The killer, a clearly troubled 19-year-old, had purchased his military-style weapon almost as easily as he later purchased a drink at Subway after his rampage ended.

We adults refuse to do much about this. So the students are. Continue reading Let 16-year-olds vote so they can defend themselves – against us

Emptying tomorrow’s piggy banks

Piggy bank, piggy banks, debt, deficitHave you ever brought your children to the store and had to fend off one request after another to buy something? One effective way to make them stop, and teach them a lesson, is to tell them they can have what they want – as long as they pay for it themselves.

You can see the wheels turn behind their eyes as they’re confronted with the goodies’ cost versus their limited resources. What seemed so important when someone else was paying for it no longer is worth emptying their own piggy bank.

Apparently, many in Washington have never taken their children shopping. Or maybe their parents never took them. Continue reading Emptying tomorrow’s piggy banks

State of denial

tax, taxes, debt, deficits, spending, trillion, State of the UnionLet’s say you served on a company’s board of directors, and its by-laws required the president to give a periodic report. And let’s say your company was losing money – in fact, a lot of it, and had been for a long time. It’s deeply in debt with no real plan to get out. Worst of all, the company’s structure and culture virtually assure the debt will continue growing until someday its consequences are severe.

The report would have to cover a lot of things. But shouldn’t at least part of it include an honest appraisal of the company’s rising red ink along with a specific plan of action?

That’s what was wrong with President Trump’s State of the Union address, and most of the ones given by previous presidents. The speech stretched for nearly an hour and 21 minutes from the first word to last. It was not a bad speech. But, in all that time, Trump didn’t even mention the national debt. For the record, it’s now almost $20.5 trillion, or more than $62,600 for every American man, woman and child. Continue reading State of denial

Whose fault? This time, Senate Democrats

ShutdownSo now yet another manufactured crisis has ended, and we’ll see if we have another one by Feb. 8.

Here’s how the process should work: Congress should prepare a budget once a year – once – that spells out the nation’s taxing and spending priorities, and then it should make sure its numbers add up. Instead, it lurches from one unnecessary deadline to another, putting off the hard choices and adding debt. This past week’s was the 113th time since 1998 that Congress has passed a temporary funding measure, and this one’s tax cuts will add $31 billion to the deficit – about $100 for every American.

Both sides are at fault for Washington’s toxic atmosphere, but Senate Democrats are mostly to blame for this particular shutdown. They filibustered the funding bill in order to gain concessions for the 700,000 young people brought to America illegally as children – the beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. In the end, all they got in return was a promise that the issue will be debated in the Senate, which was probably going to happen anyway. Continue reading Whose fault? This time, Senate Democrats