The evidence of America’s fiscal brokenness is everywhere. Inflation—an economic phenomenon the experts promised was permanently relegated to history—is now running at forty-year highs, making all of life more expensive but worse, making fools out of all those taught to save their money for the deferred gain of building and investing. The nation owes $31 trillion and counting, and the interest the Treasury Department must pay is steadily marching higher and higher. The annual cost of interest payments will exceed the Pentagon’s budget within the next ten years.
The notion of “fiscal discipline” itself might as well be in a time capsule. Congress considers no budgets, legislation never hits against cost limitations, and every partisan disagreement is “solved” simply by spending more on the pet programs of the opposing party. The Federal Reserve creates trillions of dollars with a few keyboard clicks payable to big banks who will be paid interest for not lending, and in exchange for subsuming the nation’s debt, which alleviates policymakers from experiencing the hangover of their financial mismanagement—all while clamoring about the importance of its “independence” to escape government by the people.
So yes, the need for a budget—a fiscal plan—could not be more immediate. But there are some serious challenges facing any renewed effort to deal with this fiscal nightmare, and any budget intended for results must consider these.
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