President Trump and former President Obama are polar opposites in every way except one: government spending.
Both presidents decried the unsustainable national debt, and yet both presidents introduced budgets that will increase that debt in each year of their term. “The current fiscal path is unsustainable,” Trump said in a letter to Congress earlier this year. “And future generations deserve better.”
As Terrence Jeffery points out, that rhetoric sounds familiar…
Back in 2009, just before his first inauguration, President Barack Obama—no fiscal conservative—complained that the “deficit levels that [he was] inheriting” were “unsustainable.”
“At a certain point, other countries stop buying our debt,” Obama told CNN in an interview broadcast on Jan. 18, 2009. “At a certain point, we’d end up having to raise interest rates, and it would end up creating more economic chaos and, potentially, inflation. So, what we need to do is say that, instead of just printing more money, let’s look at medium term and long term. Let’s get a handle on Social Security. Let’s get a handle on Medicare. Let’s eliminate waste in government, where it exists.”
Obama, of course, did not get a handle on deficit spending. He did the opposite. In his eight years as president, he expanded federal entitlement programs—and the debt increased by $9.3 trillion.
Trump seems to be doing the same. His own Office of Management and Budget estimates that his new budget will cause the federal government to run a $984 billion deficit in fiscal 2019. That $984 billion leads to a $987 billion deficit for fiscal 2020 and a $916 billion deficit for fiscal 2021.
It seems that no matter how well-intentioned, our leaders in Washington are incapable of getting a handle on the budget. That’s because they have no incentive to make the tough spending cuts that must be made in order to get the debt under control. They’ll keep maintaining expensive, ineffective government programs as long as they think it will help get them elected.
But the American people understand that the current levels of debt are unsustainable. They care about the future of their children and grandchildren, and millions have joined the fight to force the feds to make those tough decisions.
The Article V Convention of States movement has teams in every state encouraging their state legislatures to call for a Convention of States. A Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that force Congress to be fiscally responsible by mandating a balanced budget, imposing spending caps, and limiting taxation. D.C. won’t fix itself. It’s time for We the People to rise up and take back our national finances before it’s too late.
Image Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Flickr