“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship” – Lord Alexander Tytler, Scottish professor and historian
In the current political environment, one has to wonder if Utah is the last fiscally responsible political entity left in the world. We have balanced our budget every year and even seen surpluses in years past. To describe us as an oddity may be an understatement. If only our federal overlords were so conscientious. A little research will show that we are now increasing our national debt at a rate so profound, the death of our dollar is essentially a done deal.
It has long been lamented that debt in Washington is one of the only truly bi-partisan things anyone can agree on. Our own late Senator Bob Bennett once quipped “The only difference between a Democrat and a Republican is the type of programs they choose to overspend on.” Witty and, unfortunately, very true.
If we look at the entire budget for the United States from George Washington up until George W. Bush’s last day in office, the United States deficit spending totaled 8 trillion dollars. That is adjusted in 2021 dollars. That includes the Civil War, two world wars, untold social programs including the New Society, numerous brushfire wars such as Vietnam and Iraq, and countless other shibboleths.
Since 2008 we have added another 20 trillion to our deficit in just a few short years. Biden and his acolytes have already spent nearly 4 trillion in new programs this year and have another 6 trillion proposed in the months ahead.
I am not sure we know how profound a trillion dollars is. A trillion seconds ago it was roughly 30,000 b.c. A stack of 100 dollar bills equaling one trillion would extend from Chicago to New York. 1 trillion dollar bills laid end to end would reach the sun. A trillion miles is 300 times the distance of Pluto from Earth. In other words, a trillion is a big number.
And in just over a decade we have spent nearly 20 trillion, with many more trillions in the pipeline. Avoiding the difficult question of what this will do to the dollar, and in fact, the inflation is already starting to roll out and will inevitably get much worse, one must ask where has all this money gone?
And even more pressing, where are the responsible conservative voices seeking to slow or reverse this trend? Where is Mitt Romney? Where is Mike Lee? Where is John Curtis? Why is no one raising an absolute fuss over the crippling amounts being wasted and the utter decimation of our dollar? The answer may very well be it does not matter where it has all gone since no one seems to be held accountable anyway. Nothing seems to change no matter who is in office.
America’s future has been stolen. As our deficit approaches 30 trillion and more, it is obvious there will be no way to pay it back. And it must be asked, was that the intention all along? The dollar is in serious trouble, and the wealth that millions of Americans have worked so hard for over decades now lies in the balance. It could disappear very quickly in a historical repeat of the Weimar republic.
Can we turn this around? Doubtful. Do we have any political will at all to reverse the trend? It does not seem so. As we have managed ourselves so well locally, it is nothing short of criminal that our federal overlords have put us in such a position. Will we ever hold them accountable? Will we ever return to any sort of fiscal responsibility?