The government steals your hard-earned money, has plunged the country into debt, and has spent trillions on programs and wars of no discernible benefit to most of the American people. These are not the acts of an institution that loves you. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:
“Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Capital Consuming Gluttony
Did you know that in fiscal year 2022, federal tax receipts as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) hit a near record high of 19.6 percent?
According to the U.S. Treasury, in FY 2022, total federal tax receipts and additional federal government revenue topped $4.90 trillion. Yet, over this time, Congress spent $6.27 trillion. The difference, the 2022 deficit, was $1.37 trillion.
The difference, of course, was made up with debt. And year after year, decade after decade, these deficits have stacked up into a mega pile of debt. Presently, the U.S. national debt is over $31.4 trillion. As a reference point, in December 2000, the national debt was $5.6 trillion.
In other words, over the last 22 years the U.S. national debt has increased 460 percent. U.S. GDP over this same time, however, has increased just 157 percent, from about $10 trillion to 25.7 trillion.
You’d think with all that cash coming in from near record tax receipts as a percent of GDP Washington could balance the budget. Maybe it could even run a surplus and pay down some of the national debt.
President Andrew Jackson, for example, paid off the entire national debt in 1835 after just six years in office. He then took the federal government surplus and divided it among indebted states.
Alas, that’s not how the U.S. government works in the 21st century, where near record tax receipts will never be enough. Washington’s capital consuming gluttony is well beyond the reach of a human solution. Nature will have to take its course.