Cuper Scooper: Skip the Present, Buy a Bond

Cuper Scooper: Skip the Present, Buy a Bond

Selene Rubino

Whatever happened to fiscal responsibility?

How bad can a recession be that the U.S. federal government is planning to spend more than a trillion dollars that it doesn't have?

I'll be honest: I know barely anything about economics. I'm just a high school student. I can't even vote yet. But in 10 or 20 years, when Uncle Sam is due to pay back his bills, I'll be the one that's footing the costs. 

The costs are immense: I'm not just talking about the $700 billion from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, or the nearly $900 billion proposed stimulus bill currently being discussed in the Senate. There's also the $34 trillion shortfall in Medicare costs over the next 75 years, and the 25% of the total national debt owed to foreign investors. All of this contributes to $10,667,963,268,393.28 in total public debt.

In 2008, the U.S. gross debt was an estimated 72.5% of the GDP.

It's not that the U.S. needs to pay off all its debts, because a government is almost supposed to be in debt. But whatever happened to fiscal responsibility?  

I suppose that it disappears when jobs are on the line. With increasing unemployment and declining stock prices, people are becoming desperate to resuscitate their financial situations. If there's one thing all Americans believe in, it's the absolute necessity to have enough money to buy their kids a Christmas present.

The bank bailout opened the playing field to any and all solutions to the recession— regardless of the cost. People gasped when they heard about the $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act passing. The $900 billion stimulus doesn't get anywhere near that response.

That's odd, because it's a much more controversial plan. Unlike the bank bailout, the stimulus doesn't directly provide for long-term job creation. Which means the stimulus will not contribute to the future economy.

Instead, my generation will be left to pay off a large amount of money with the same number of jobs. Higher taxes. Less government everything. And a whole lot of foreign debt.

I doubt that people are already tired of talking about the recession. Rather, they've become resigned to the idea of a lot of federal debt. It is very hard to argue against a global recession, but when searching for solutions, voters have to keep in mind that the money they are spending is not theirs. It belongs to the future.