Raise the Roof!

Raise the Roof!

Nope, this is not an article from 1998. This, unfortunately, is 2023, and we are still rolling this 30+ trillion dollar snow boulder down the hill.

If the US debt were a building, it would be taller than the Burj Khalifa after all the times we had to raise the ceiling!

Ok, enough dad jokes. Time to get serious

What is the Debt Ceiling

For those not familiar, the debt ceiling can be compared to a credit card limit. Just like you have a set limit on your credit card that you can't go over, the government also has a limit on how much debt it can accumulate, known as the debt ceiling. 

However, the government's credit card limit is much higher than a regular person's. Currently, it sits at 31.4 trillion dollars; that's trillion with a "T"!

Now, imagine that every time you reach your credit card limit, instead of paying off some of the debt, you simply ask the bank to increase your limit. And every time you do that, your debt just keeps growing and growing. That's basically what happens when the government raises the debt ceiling.

The debt ceiling has become a never-ending cycle of raise and repeat. 

Every time the government reaches its borrowing limit, the political discourse revolves around the question of whether or not to raise the ceiling. 

But, have you ever stopped to ask why we have to keep raising the debt ceiling in the first place?

Quick History

The history of the debt ceiling dates back to 1917, when the government needed a way to finance its involvement in World War I. 

Initially, the ceiling was designed as a means of controlling government spending, but it has since become a political tool that has been used to extract concessions from the opposing party. 

This political posturing has led to the ceiling being raised repeatedly, resulting in a never-ending cycle of increased debt.

If you want to freak out, watch the live ticker showing how much the US government owes.

The main reason for the constant increase in the debt ceiling is the lack of fiscal discipline in government spending. 

The government has a habit of spending money on various programs and initiatives without having a plan for how to pay for them.

The absurdity of this situation is even more concerning when you consider the effects of compounding. 

The government raises the debt ceiling to finance its spending, but the increased borrowing leads to higher interest rates and a weaker economy, making it more difficult to pay off the debt in the future. 

The more interest the government owes, the quicker we hit the ceiling. The quicker we hit the ceiling the more often we need to print worthless US dollars. 

It's a vicious cycle that seems to have no end in sight.

How do we solve it?

Reduce government spending

  • Stop creating massive Bills that include fund packages for things that have nothing to do with each other. This makes voting difficult because it becomes an all-or-nothing game.
  • Reduce target welfare programs that were meant to be temporary but have now become a permanent crutch for our country.
  • Require payoff plans for any government-proposed expense. They should answer where the money will come from to pay for X and how that allocation affects other US liabilities.

It won't be easy, but it HAS to be done.

Even if the US is able to triple its GDP and become the leader of the digital industrial revolution (fingers crossed), that doesn't solve the main problem of simple budgetary discipline.

Future generations will suffer if this issue is left unchecked.

At best, it will lead to the next great global war; at worst it will lead to the collapse of the United States as we know

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