George Will on National Debt

My favorite columnist is George Will of the Washington Post, who was the featured speaker at the Ethan Allen Institute’s thirtieth anniversary gala on May 31.

In his current column George writes “Last month, the [national] debt soared past the $32 trillion mark, up from $31 trillion in just 36 weeks. The pace probably will accelerate as the growth of borrowing puts upward pressure on interest rates, and as debt service becomes an ever-larger portion of the federal budget. By 2051, interest will be the largest item in the budget. Inflation, a consequence of fiscal mismanagement, makes itself worse by increasing spending on entitlements with benefits indexed to inflation….”. 

“The debt tsunami is the nation’s most important domestic problem, and it threatens national security via pressure to curtail defense spending. But regarding deficits, today’s reflexive, mindless partisanship is replaced by reflexive, mindless bipartisanship. [Donald] Trump: “Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security.” [Joe] Biden: “If anyone tries to cut” either, “I will stop them.” 

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a splendid nest of deficit hawks, notes that “By 2053, nearly 40 percent of all federal revenues will be spent on interest alone.” And “we’re on a path to add a staggering $127 trillion to the debt over the next 30 years.” Sometimes I think I’m the only person around who is worried about this coming catastrophe.


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  • John McClaughry
    published this page in EAI Blog 2023-07-18 01:52:05 -0400