November 25, 2014

Despite Debt Projections, Washington Is Overly Complacent

  • The national debt has grown significantly in recent years due to rising annual deficits. A deficit occurs in any year the government spends more...

How large is $7.9 trillion? Large enough to fund the federal departments of Defense, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Labor and Interior for 10 years.

It is also how much the government is projected to borrow in that time. And as noted recently by Chase Hagaman, New England regional director for The Concord Coalition, the borrowing to finance so much of the government will be on top of the current federal debt of well over $17 trillion.

That’s the highest level relative to the economy since the World War II era. But with deficits dropping in the short term, Hagaman says in a Nashua Telegraph op-ed, Washington seems overly complacent.

President Obama’s new proposed budget, for example, omits his previously suggested switch to “Chained CPI,” a more accurate measure of inflation for Social Security and some other programs. Lawmakers, meanwhile, recently reversed a modest reform in military retirement benefits.

“Systematic reform may be difficult and politically painful in the short term,” Hagaman says, “but it can mean a stronger and more prosperous country for ourselves and future generations.”