I want Clint Didier and Dan Newhouse to detail, before Election Day, what sustained actions they’d support in Congress to cut spending and raise revenue to eliminate the national debt by 2030.
Conservatives blame “tax-and-spend” Democrats for running up the “unsustainable” debt — now nearing $18 trillion. Liberals blame tax-cut-obsessed Republicans for reducing vital revenue. But five major parties have held national office since 1789 and the debt was retired once —179 years ago.
I researched this and found:
1.) The national debt’s retirement, announced with great fanfare in January 1835, was back in the red at year’s end, equivalent to $911,703 today. (The fiscal and calendar years were the same until 1843.) Other examples, all adjusted to current dollars: fiscal 1836 debt was $961,872 but 1839’s was $267.5 million; the debt was roughly $1.8 billion when the Civil War started and $38.8 billion when it ended.
2.) Since 1940, annual federal budgets have been in the black only 12 times.
Yes, $18 trillion looks apocalyptic compared to 1865, but don’t forget inflation since then. We’re also a much larger country today, and a global empire. So, prioritize spending, but don’t simplistically lop taxes without securing revenues from elsewhere.