In the final hour of Fiscal Year 2023, Congress passed a continuing resolution funding the federal government through November 17, thus avoiding a shutdown.
Americans are no longer shocked by the political theater we have witnessed in recent years.
Yet, the continuing resolution still came as a betrayal to voters who had given the House of Representatives to the Republicans in 2022 in part based on their promise to rein in the government’s absurd spending levels that threaten the country.
Just days before, President Biden, fresh off his victory lap celebrating the moribund economy thanks to Bidenomics, addressed the American people, calling out the MAGA extremists who threaten “democracy.”
Tax collections are down and spending remains at a level that now threatens to exceed $2 trillion in deficit. Is it now the extremist view to not want to bankrupt our own nation?
The United States just recently exceeded $33 trillion in national debt. That is in excess of $250,000 per every U.S. household. Last year, the federal government collected roughly $5 trillion in taxes, but plans to continue spending $7 trillion per year. I do not need to call on my former banking background to state that this is simply unsustainable.
Imagine a family bringing in $50,000, but spending $70,000 with the idea that they would just continue to borrow the difference. Simply put, this is insanity.
Thanks to the resulting inflation of Bidenomics, interest rates are up significantly.
The new interest alone on this additional $2 trillion dollar deficit coupled with the refinance of the $8 trillion in national debt at the new higher interest level, is going to add an additional $400 billion in debt service. This will be due in the next year and a half.
We are currently at a state where over 20 percent of our taxes go to cover interest and this threatens to increase over the next several years to a point of 50 percent. It does not take a degree in economics to understand that. This is just simple math.
And that ignores the very likely scenario of a decrease in tax revenues as stagflation takes hold of our economy.
Back in January, Kevin McCarthy and one of his top lieutenants, Congresswoman Kay Granger, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, promised the American people that we would get 12 clean, single-subject spending bills. It was a significant reason why Kevin McCarthy ultimately prevailed in the battle for the Speaker of the House.
Yet, it required an eleventh hour omnibus spending bill to keep the government from shutting down on the eve of the end of FY23. They promised not to do this and yet here we are and it appears that it was by design.
By early July, most of the House Committees had completed their work to send these spending bills to the Appropriations Committee. Despite the fact that appropriations had only passed one of the 12 – the Veterans Affairs bill – McCarthy adjourned the House for five weeks even though everyone knew the end of FY23 was September 30.
When members of Congress returned, it became a mad dash to try and finish the remaining 11 appropriations bills with significant spending cuts as had been promised by Speaker McCarthy. But they only managed to pass Defense, Homeland Security, and State-Foreign Operations before deciding to renege on their promise and kick the can down the road.
It has been decades since this country has had an actual budget.
As I visit with the people of Texas’s 12th Congressional District, I hear their concerns. Cutting government spending is one of the items at the top of the list. The people love their kids and grandkids and do not want to consign them to a future of debt slavery due to our inept elected leaders and their reckless spending. They were not worried whether or not the federal government was going to shut down because they realized that the federal government is not the solution to most of our problems, but the cause.
It is time for new leadership in this country and for once a balanced budget.