Average student loan debt in New Hampshire is more than $33,000, and the national total is now $1.5 trillion. But it’s those same young college graduates who will bear the burden of our national debt, now $21 trillion, up from just $2.5 trillion in 1988. The debt doubled to $5 trillion in 1996, doubled again to $10 trillion in 2009, and doubled yet again to $20 trillion in 2017.
We’ll add more than a trillion to the debt in 2018, and more than a trillion in each of of the next four years. $40 trillion is just a few years down the road, because the Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. They’ll pay less tax, and begin to collect Social Security and Medicare.
Social Security says that in 2035 it will only be able to pay 75% of your promised benefits. It says this right on your benefit statement! The Medicare trustees say that they’ll run out of money in 2029, which is just 11 years from now. Federal Medicaid spending is growing like kudzu, strangling state governments even as it smothers doctors’ offices, hospitals, and Washington D.C.
If the government pays 2.5% interest on $40 trillion, or 5% on $20 trillion, the cost to taxpayers will be a trillion dollars a year. Congress only collected $3.27 billion in taxes in 2016, and should collect about $3.34 trillion in 2018.
A government that never balances its budget doesn’t have a budget process at all.