Our political representatives hear that same siren song, Democrat or Republican. The great thing about borrowing, they have learned, is that the pain of repayment is not felt by the people reaping the benefit, whether it is building a new football stadium or the people driving on smoother roads.
When the bill comes due, the stadium roof will be leaking, the potholes will be back and the grandkids will pay it.
If you want to be enlightened — and then thoroughly depressed — I’d suggest reading “Disinherited: How Washington is Betraying America’s Young.” The book by Diane Furchgott-Roth and Jared Meyer explains what every young person should know — that grandpa and grandma are putting you so far in debt, you’ll never get out.
Few young people know that the United States is $18 trillion in debt. Even fewer can conceive what $18 trillion means to them.
Like an infomercial, “Disinherited” keeps saying, “But wait, there’s more.”
If all of the future spending to which Congress has obligated us is matched against what will be collected in taxes without changing anything, the gap is $205 trillion.
This is what you get when you give every senior citizen $220,000 in Medicare benefits without taxing anybody for it.
This is what you get when you go to war for 16 years straight without expecting anyone except our armed forces personnel to sacrifice anything.
This is what you get when you tell people they paid into Social Security all their life, so they deserve a check, even though the amount they paid in wouldn’t last them more than a few years because those same politicians devalued the currency from when those seniors paid.
Some people say, just raise taxes.
Oh really? The book says doubling all personal income tax rates, so the top rate would be 80 percent and the bottom rate 20 percent would raise an additional $493 billion annually — about half of what was needed to cover annual deficits the past 10 years.
But wait, there’s more. The states have rung up their own deficits, including $5 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities.
Grandma and grandpa should be grateful that only 41 percent of those ages 18-24 vote, while 72 percent of senior citizens turn out. If the grandkids knew what we are doing to them, we’d be out in the street, along with a host of politicians.