Noted economist Herbert Stein once said, “Trends that can’t continue, won’t.” As federal debt leaps past $16 Trillion, it’s not hard to know when, and for whom, our current system will fail. Notably, there is one group that will pay the highest price for our current spending. This group has been completely disenfranchised from the political decision process – neglected by polls, focus groups, and minorities.
Not until 2020 will taxpayers born in 2002 have the right to cast ballots for their financial future. Based on our current trajectory, federal debt will have surpassed $26 Trillion by then. In the left’s desire to give everyone their “fair share,” big spenders on both sides have irresponsibly squandered trillions of dollars beyond the taxpayer’s understanding, leaving those who have no say in how it was spent with the bill. Federal spending has careened so far out of control that our biggest creditor, China, has urged restraint. Blasting the federal government, China’s state controlled mouthpiece, Xinhua said, “The U.S. is the largest debtor in the world who keeps eating May’s grain in April and robs Peter to pay Paul.”
By the time the class of 2020 graduate high school, they will be personally responsible for repaying well over $70,000 of goods and services that were consumed by America long before they began driver’s ed. This year’s deficit alone adds another $7000 to each and every taxpayer’s tab including teenagers entering the workforce (and voter rolls) for the first time.
For perspective, imagine yourself as a 19 year old, trying to make rent, fill your gas tank, and check out at the grocery store on $12 an hour. You make $2240 a month, but the price tag of this year’s deficit is $5760 per person. You’re trying to save up for college or trade school, but with a minimum federal tax rate of 24% there’s no way you can do it without going even deeper to debt. Everyone remembers being a starving student, but with these financial obligations, no matter hard you work, no matter how much you save, no matter how much you do without, you owe China another $192 every single day. This level of spending will force our kids to make a terrible choice: to spend their entire working lives funneling money to the government, or burden their children with debts that will never be paid off.
Our children are Peter.
To see the kind of future our kids face, we can look to Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland… the list goes on. In Greece, youth unemployment is around 50%. Spain’s nationwide unemployment is above 25% and climbing with even government jobs vanishing. In France 13 years of financial gains have been wiped out. Imagine if you woke up one day to discover you now had to live on the earnings of the job you had 13 years ago with no savings or assets to fall back on. France is one of the healthier countries in Europe and for 2012, a 1% growth target in the French economy is widely considered to be “unrealistic.”
One day the rising generation will look at the bill we’ve left on the table for them to pay, and they will hate us for spending their paychecks. They’ll only be able to dream of going to college, starting a family, or even saving for a rainy day, all so we could pay for an Ivy League college student’s birth control. They will envy the myth of personal savings accounts and loathe the need to take care of the older generation…and we will have earned it.