Looking At Our Public Debt Crisis One Decade From Now

Ten years is not a long time. Think about what was happening on March 27, 2004. You probably can’t remember the exact day but you probably remember the TV shows you used to watch and some other general facts about life. Before you know it another decade will go by. 2024 is not that far away.

From the Daily Caller:

The fastest growing item in the budget is the net interest payment to the nation’s creditors, according to Republican staff on the Senate Budget Committee.

With a current federal debt of about $17.5 trillion, the Congressional Budget Office projects that in 2014 taxpayers will foot the bill for $233 billion in interest payments alone. By 2024, the CBO believes that those payments will nearly quadruple to $880 billion.

Even the amount we’re paying now is a crippling scandal. $233 billion paid on interest is an incredible robbery of the American people. Compare that to what we have budgeted (via The Weekly Standard) for various areas of government spending:

  • Department of Education – $56.7 billion
  • Veterans’ Health Care – $55.3 billion
  • Federal Highway Budget – $40.4 billion
  • NASA – $17.6 billion
  • Border Patrol – $12.3 billion
  • Coast Guard – $10.0 billion
  • FBI – $8.3 billion
  • Federal Courts – $7.4 billion
  • Centers for Disease Control – $7.1 billion
  • Federal Prison System – $6.9 billion
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement – $5.6 billion
  • National Parks – $3.0 billion
  • FDA – $2.6 billion
  • Food Inspection – $2.3 billion
  • Secret Service – $1.8 billion
  • Census Bureau – $1.0 billion
  • Workplace Safety Inspections – $0.9 billion
  • Small Business Loans – $0.9 billion

So right now in 2014 we are spending more to pay interest on our debts than we have budgeted for the Department of Education, Veterans’ Health Care, the Federal Highways, NASA, Border Patrol, the FBI, Federal Courts, the CDC, Federal prisons, ICE, and National Parks.

And that is only a fourth of what we will be paying in a decade.

Yet Republicans were mocked and ridiculed for trying to stop the slide. In the meantime, it looks like all the other nations of the world are joining our government in speeding toward the meltdown.

One final comment: What I hate about this story is that the Republicans are basically warning about how much money will be diverted from basic services. I don’t care about that. The state should never have presumed to tax us or go into debt to provide such services. The real crime here is that this crisis will be used as an excuse to raise taxes and impose “austerity measures.” The debt robs from the American people. I don’t care that it might also rob politicians of the powers they once enjoyed to bribe us to vote for them.