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Debt Is the Real Pandemic
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According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) latest “Update on the Budget Outlook,” this year’s $3.3 trillion federal deficit is not just three times larger than last year: it is the largest federal deficit in history. The CBO update also predicts that the federal debt will equal 104 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) next year and will reach 108 percent of GDP by 2030.

The CBO update also shows that the Social Security, Medicare, and highway trust funds will all be bankrupt by 2031. This will put pressure on Congress to bail out the trust funds thus further increasing the debt.

This year’s spike in federal spending was caused by the multi-trillion dollar coronavirus relief/economic stimulus bills passed by Congress and signed by the president. However, spending had already increased by $937 billion from the time President Trump was sworn in until the lockdown.

Federal spending is unlikely to be reduced no matter who wins the presidential election. Former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed increasing spending on everything from Obamacare to militarism to “green” cronyism. Yet some progressives are attacking Biden for being to “stingy” in his spending proposals. Even more distressing is how few progressives are critical of Biden’s support for increasing the military budget.

With some notable exceptions, such as his infrastructure plan, President Trump is not proposing any massive new spending programs. However, he Is not promising to stop increasing, much less cut, federal spending.

Most Republicans have abandoned their Obama-era opposition to deficit spending to support President Trump’s spending increases. This repeats a pattern where Republicans oppose deficit spending under a Democrat president but decide that “deficits don’t matter” when a Republican is sitting in the Oval Office. If Biden wins in November, Republicans will likely once again discover that deficits do matter, especially if Democrats also gain control of the Senate.

Government spending forcibly takes resources from the private sector, where they are used to produce goods and services desired by consumers, and puts them in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. This distorts the market, reducing efficiency and lowering the people’s standard of living. This, combined with pressure to monetize the federal debt, causes the Federal Reserve to pump money into the economy leading to a boom-bust business cycle.

Unless Congress begins reducing spending, the coming economic crisis will be even worse. The logical place to start cutting spending is ending all unnecessary overseas commitments, corporate welfare, and shuttling down all unconstitutional federal agencies — starting with the Department of Education.

The savings from these cuts can be used to start paying down debt and providing for those truly dependent on the current system while we transition away from the welfare state. Private charities, including ones run by religious organizations, are better than government bureaucracies at providing effective and compassionate aid to those in need.

Most politicians will not vote to curtail the welfare-warfare state unless their constituents demand it. The people will not demand an end to big government as long as so many believe that the government has a moral responsibility to, and is capable of, providing them with economic and personal security.

Therefore, our priority must be on getting people to reject the entitlement mentality and embrace the philosophy of liberty and personal responsibility. This will enable us to build a movement capable of convincing politicians to stop voting for more spending and debt and instead vote to respect the Constitutional limitations on government in all areas.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: Government Debt 
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  1. jsinton says:

    The planned demic is cover for the oligarchy/NWO/military-industrial-congressional complex/Beast to milk whatever value they can out of the dead horse that was once the very proud American nation. The last few drops of blood before it dries up and blows away. Like all tools of this type, it is very unpredictable and imprecise. The dead horse economy was already on the deathbed, this is simply a way to extract more money for the greedy. To destroy that which had still been strong. So the .0001% can build the bomb shelter in New Zealand or Uruguay and leave the masses to their fate. We can’t save it now, it’s just a question of winners and losers at this point.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  2. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) latest “Update on the Budget Outlook,” this year’s $3.3 trillion federal deficit is not just three times larger than last year: it is the largest federal deficit in history. The CBO update also predicts that the federal debt will equal 104 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) next year and will reach 108 percent of GDP by 2030.

    These numbers are pretty much the only useful thing I got out of this article. I’ve not turned against Ron Paul’s wisdom and opinions, mind you. It’s just that I’ve already known the rest of this financial shitshow of a story for years.

    The last paragraph with our priorities for getting out of this are wishful thinking, I’m afraid, Dr. Paul. Traditional Americans are bad enough at this point, but we’ve also imported 50 million foreign people most of who could not understand, much less agree with, that final paragraph with the solution.

    I’ll throw in one more comparison using that $3,300,000,000,000 figure deficit figure. I just looked at page 103 in the .pdf 2019-year IRS 1040 form. It has some basic numbers and pie charts regarding the US national budget. It happens to be that the TOTAL FEDERAL INCOME (in the ’17-’18 fiscal year, the one they’re using) is right at that same number – it says $3.330 Trillion. Think about this, people, if the Congress cut off all expenditures for a year, military, transfer payments and welfare, all departments, to ZERO, I mean, SPENT NO MONEY, but still collected the same in taxes, that would pay back just that $3.3 Trillion that has been overspent THIS YEAR. We’d still owe about $23 Trillion. Good luck with all that ….

    Speaking of which, people, easy on the mentions of Uruguay, will ya’? I don’t mind planning on having to live life down there with you guys, but not with our illustrious elites. I’m telling you, there’s nothing for rent in Del Boca Vista Uruguay!

  3. Durruti says:

    No argument with Ron Pauls’ essay & warning on the Debt.

    I apologize in advance for posting this here. But surely supporters of Ron Paul (our Greatest Statesman), will understand the importance of getting this news out. Those of you who reside on the West Coast might already be aware of this.

    Ecological & Political Crisis in American & Mexican West

    Shortage of water, fear of lack of water, economic & ecological crisis extends from Mexico’s West, north through California, & Oregon, and now there are fires in Washington State. The criminal overdevelopment, and abuse of the water tables by wealthy developers has led to the burning down of large portions of the Forest in America’s West (and much death & destruction of homes). There is a continuing damage of the Columbia River basin (separates Oregon & Washington States) from Radiation from an abandoned Nuclear weapons facility. The maintenance & supposed shutting down of that facility has wasted a $Billion a year for a quarter of a century. – One of many links with horror stories fit for Hollywood movies (but in this case, COVERED UP).

    Much of our food is produced in our Western States. California is our most populous and wealthy State.

    Farmlands, as well as Woodlands are damaged, & a Nation that lacks Sovereignty, and its people who lack POWER with LIBERTY is not able to care for itself.

    • Replies: @Thomasina
  4. @Achmed E. Newman

    Oh, crap, I forgot about interest in my calculation! OK, let’s get the FED to keep those rates down in the basement, say 1.1%, or we’re really screwed. For that 1.1%, a measly $286,000,000,000 ($286 Billion) that will have accumulated in a year at the low, low rate, on that total $26 Trillion. We’ll just get that by, like, borrowing or something…?

    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  5. Thomasina says:

    I once did a small bit of research on the aquifer situation. Dismal! Very few people ever talk about this.

    It is going to be THE serious situation ahead.

    • Replies: @Durruti
  6. @Achmed E. Newman

    I must admit that I feel tempted at times to think about where this all leads to.

    A thought experiment: What if all these unusual numbers – 3 trillion in debt I mean – that is unusual, to say the least – ok – what if these are more or less – formal things as long as nobody doubts the system as a whole. – Without such doubts, everything could go on – an on. Right?

    So – what is the real threat here? – That the USA become a bit more dysfunctional – and then what? The dollar would lose its magic. And be no longer attractive to foreign investors.

    What would be the biggest factor to make this happen? – The decline of – – – Wall Street? Or the decline of the worldwide military US dominance?

  7. @Achmed E. Newman

    The last paragraph with our priorities for getting out of this are wishful thinking, I’m afraid, Dr. Paul.

    Yeah, I have great respect for Ron and his philosophy, but he’s so naive about this. I think he’s too genuine and honest of a person to contemplate the underlying realities. I’ve lived in the hood before…good luck convincing them to embrace personal liberty and responsibility. They can’t even handle the responsibility of packing a lunch for their kids at school.

    Anyway, I have my eye on Chile. See ya down there, amigo.

  8. @Dieter Kief

    Hello, Dieter.

    The end of the financial shenanigans is inevitable, but the timing is partly based on psychology, just like the market, as you allude to with the doubts or lack thereof. If everyone else thinks the dollar is gonna last forever under this abuse, well it will for longer, I guess.

    Imagine a deadbeat individual who has been using new credit cards to pay off minimum balances on the older ones. At some point, the offers will quit coming in the mail. The whole thing falls apart and 10 CC companies have collection agencies on his ass. None of them may get their money, but the guy will be broke. I guess the CC companies are analogous to the holders of US Treasury bonds.

    Once the feeling that these bonds will become worth less gets pervasive, the psychology will take over and everyone will want to get out, making the bonds worthless, rather than just worth less. I think it will be a lot worse than just “more dysfunctional” though. I see people still trying to live like this was the 1980’s – ’90s with still quite a few good jobs around. They are borrowing to keep that quality of life. Americans don’t seem to want to downsize. (Maybe the young people do, but their downsizing without families won’t get us far in the long run.)

    Anyway, thanks for the reply Dieter. I don’t know the answer to what will trigger things. Perhaps the Kung Flu overblown Panic-fest response has already done it, and we won’t really understand till next year?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  9. @Dieter Kief

    Ooops, I meant to add this, Dieter: Just for the record, that’s $3.3 Trillion in ADDITIONAL DEBT, not total. It’ll bring the total debt to that $26 Trillion number I bandied about. OK $26 Trillion +/- $500,000,000,000 (pocket change).

  10. @Magic Dirt Resident


    As a matter of fact, it’s not even just packing lunches that’s too much. Apparently, the making of lunches, oh, and breakfasts, is just too much effort. Our government school district has been doling out the free meals since everyone has been away starting back in March. Once they found that having a huge line of black underprivileged people in monster SUVs waiting to pick up the 2 meals per kid each day courtesy of the property tax payers was too much, they went to Mondays, with each family picking up 14 meals per kid for the week.

    I don’t have any concrete plans, but Uruguay just seems like the best bet out of no really best choice. I have been to Argentina and Chile. I had wanted to visit Uruguay soon, but the Kung Flu put the kibosh on that trip, for a while.

    Good luck to you, Amigo!


  11. @Achmed E. Newman

    Of course – 3 Trillion additional debt from 2020.
    So – you have two hotspots in your analysis, Achmed – still growing personal debt of US citizens (not willing (or having no idea how) to downgrade) and US Treasury bonds.

    Then we have an actual crisis. Which might in Switzerland lead to a minus of maybe 7% GDP at the end of the year. Which means – the GDP of – roughly – 2010. And 2010 in Switzerland was not bad at all, I remember well. – Switzerland and Sweden by and large offer the brightest outlook economically in Europe right now.

    So – here’s that. Then I have a look at April 2020 – and that was the month with an astonishingly low unemployment rate in the US – “the economy is doing great (Orange Man Bad) “stock market is at an all-time high – all-time high” (you know who).

    Ok, that was April 2020. – While along came 1) CO-19.

    2) And a month later George Floyd

    (together with a mentally handicapped Presidential candidate of the US Democrats) – both things which deeply irritate me – even though almost from day one of the Floyd George story I was in alarm mode. People close to me would mock me publicly – : – Hold on, Dieter – what are you talking about? – Calm down…that’s less than zero… Well – it wasn’t and it ain’t.

    To end on a brighter note: You too think that it is not impossible that the USA will carry on pretty much in the way they did. New then would only be beastly big numbers of public debt.

    A systematic question that is unanswered (maybe unanswerable) is – how closely knit together are the military power of the US and its economic trustworthiness? – My hypothesis would be: It will last as long as a big military force makes sense (I think it still does).

    On an individual level, things could become much rougher than they are now. I base this idea on the Eastern Block which saw people in rather poor conditions but still loyal up to a point (which arrived in 1989…).

    But in the decades before that – I often wondered, how they achieved it that people were willing to live under such poor (and joyless) conditions without rebelling. To give just one hint: A regular plumber just like a regular medical doctor would not earn enough to afford more than fifty square meters two-room apartment.
    In Russia, you couples at times lived in one-room apartments – together with one or two of their parents…For young couples, the one-room apartment for them alone was something they had to apply for -and then wait. Ok – you know a lot about China, so my details might not have been necessary.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  12. The CBO update also shows that the Social Security, Medicare, and highway trust funds will all be bankrupt by 2031.

    What nonsense. What happens when the Pentagon needs more money? We never hear that the Pentagon will go “bankrupt.”

  13. Tom Verso says:

    “… our priority must be on getting people to reject the entitlement mentality and embrace the philosophy of liberty and personal responsibility.”

    When I read the title of this article “Debt Is the Real Pandemic” my first thought was that it was going to be about ‘consumer debt’ (credit cards, mortgage, college, cars, etc., etc.). To my mind personal consumer debt is a real pandemic.

    But, how silly of me! Just another of the infinite number or articles that have been published for decades about the ‘sky is falling’ government debt.

    Paul writes:
    “… our priority must be on getting people to reject the entitlement mentality and embrace the philosophy of liberty and personal responsibility.”

    How about: ‘our priority must be on getting people to reject hedonistic consumerism’ – insatiable need for new cars, phones, worthless college education, throwing out good (‘old style’) clothes and buying ‘new style’ clothes (do you really deed that new bathing suit because of the delightful fringe?), living on expensive (unhealthy) take out food, etc. etc. All on credit!

    Paul et al keep asking: how ‘we’ are going to pay off the national debt? How about: how are ‘we’ going to pay off our personal debt’ and what are the economic implications of ever increasing impossible to pay off personal debt?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  14. Durruti says:

    I once did a small bit of research on the aquifer situation. Dismal! Very few people ever talk about this.

    It is going to be THE serious situation ahead.


    The democraps are blaming the fires & devastation of the Entire WEST, including Arizona, & Mexico, on ‘Glabal Warming’. They use the crisis as an excuse to electioneer and, at the same time, misdirect all atention from the actual criminals.

    Hollywood’s “Chinatown” movie was a forecast of the dangers of uncontrolled capitalist expansion, (even predicted the pedafile connection of the Criminal Oligarchs). The overdevelopment, and wasteful development of the West required the looting of the water supplies (with the concurrent destructive impact on the Water Tables, and on human and plant life).

    We recall the Oligarchs tearing up the existing Railroad Tracks in California in the 1920-30s, in order to encourage the use of the less energy efficient Automobiles, and to profit on the changeover.

    We witness the wealthiest nation on earth destroying itself – within our lifetime. And the puppet (Quisling), political leaders are active, along with the controlled Media, in silencing dissent.

    We might try to Restore our Republic, which was assassinated, along with our last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy, in the Coup D’etat of November 22, 1963.

    Durruti – and his friend, Dr, Peter J. Antonsen

  15. @Dieter Kief

    Thank you for the interesting reply, Dieter.

    A systematic question that is unanswered (maybe unanswerable) is – how closely knit together are the military power of the US and its economic trustworthiness?

    Good question, that you brought up before. I don’t know if the military might alone is enough to prop up an financially failing country. The American people even are getting sick of the war mongering just on an economic basis, as most of them know how the military spends money.

    I think Americans still mostly believe that our military is the tops, due to this unprecedented no-contest superiority over every nation in the world for the last 3 decades. How can that last, when your supply lines stretch to China, and secondly, you make the military into a social experiment as first priority?

    Maybe it’s just bias (only been there once, long ago), but I just think of the Swiss as a more unified and reasonable people. Are they spendthrifts like Americans, Dieter, living paycheck-to-paycheck, even when they are upper middle class? That’s what I see here much too much.

    I guess China was worse off than Russia because the civilization started with less even before the Commies took the place into their hands. They’ve been un-blessed, with not much land that isn’t steep mountain terrain (well, same for the Swiss), and a huge population for centuries. Do you know that they had more people, something over 400,000,000 in the mid-1800s than the US has even now? What do you do with that? The improvements I’ve seen in that country in 10 years are simply amazing, but that doesn’t fix the culture…

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  16. @Tom Verso

    Well, Tom, how about both getting fixed? The reason Ron Paul brought up the US Feral Gov’t’s terrible financial state vs. that of consumers is simple. The latter is not the US government’s business directly. However, if we hadn’t had a Socialist welfare state for the last 55 years, we would not have the irresponsibility that you rightly decry today.

    So, yeah, his pointing out the stupidity and evil involved with the FED, the creation of currency on the fly, and the purposeful constraining of interest rates, causing financial pain for the regular people is not enough. Ron Paul should also point out how Socialism has bred out the fiscal responsibility in Americans and created a huge class of dependents and irresponsible people.

    Oh, wait, he does! All the freaking time. Keep reading regularly, and Dr. Paul will explain this again. I’m sure he’d appreciate your reminder were he to read the comments here.

    • Replies: @Tom Verso
  17. The central role of debt in the modern economy is something that I’ve written about before; for instance, here:

    Basically, I think that what the author here is saying is, as usual, too simplistic. Perhaps justified, in light of the need to appeal to a mass audience, but still, too simplistic. The debt is not something that can be paid down, because as long as we have central banking, there is more debt in the economy than there is money.

    Thus, the debt load will always grow, no matter how hard people work and save in an attempt to pay it off, though debt can be redistributed. Anybody who pays down his personal share of the debt will generally have done so by selling his labour/goods/services to other people who had to borrow money to pay for them. And the cycle continues.

    Now, obviously this is an author who has written a lot about why the Federal Reserve is harmful and why we would be better off with hard money. It just seems that putting all the facts in one place is, well, a ways above the expected comprehension level of his audience.

  18. @Achmed E. Newman

    Thnaks Achmed. I’m just wondering and musing about stuff,…That large fractions of the US middle class can get troubled by an unexpected 400 Dollar bill was one of those social science findings in theUS that really impressed me. 
    Neal Gabler was the one who delivered a look from inside which you might know. There might be others – but this looks like some very underreported territory:

    By the ghosts of Friedrich von Schiller & Wilhelm Tell personally and all the Angels in heaven (I was at a Swiss girl’s confirmation a few weeks ago) – for Swiss ears, this 400 Dollar bill problem sounds like – hell on earth. If a real peasant or craftsperson or nurse would confess she would worry about a 400 Dollar bill, people would instantly think about – you know – therapy – – or ask whether they could help out. Mind you: A train conductor or a solid craftsman makes 60 000 Swiss Franks a year – with medicare and his dentist’s bills already paid for. And their kids pay very little for very good schools and universities – if anything at all.

    Ron Unz – Ron Unz gave an interview on some well-hidden podcast lately and he talked at length about the struggling middle class – and he did mention these 400 Dollar bills as one of the – well, philosopher Ernst Bloch called such telling facts at times: Real-symbols – – – a paradoxical thought. (He in other words made a fool of himself at times just to point out, howe telling something is).

  19. Renoman says:

    People have been talking about the debt all my life and yet nothing happens. It’s simple really just say screw the Jewish bankers and hit the reset button I mean hey, what are they gonna do?

  20. Tom Verso says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    On Socialism and Balanced Budgets

    Yes of course there is a very and not easily understood (if at all) complicated interplay between government polices and social/cultural values. And, one must begin with acknowledging that complexity and analyzing the dynamics of the interplay of the many variables that determine conditions of the State and people at any given time.

    The problem that I have alluded to in my above comment is the propensity to posit single variable causes of the current state of affairs. The Balance Budget issue being the case in point, which, to my mind, is beginning to sound like ‘Chicken Little the sky is falling’.

    We have been hearing about the direr consequences of not Balancing the Budget for about 50 years (no exaggeration), but what exactly are the negative consequence?

    Indeed, there is, as I understand it, a school of thought that thinks government defict spending is positive (see: “No need to worry about a deficit when the government can print money, say some economists” at:

    More over, your characterization of American’s behavior as a function of the great evil -ism (i.e. social-ISM) is similar to the Balance Budget theory. The American people are supposedly suffering the consequence of Socialism, but they are the only people in the industrial and parts of non-industrial world who do not have free medical services. What kind of Socialism is that?

    Further, their real wages and standard of living has been dropping at a constant rate since the mid 1970s. What kind of socialism is that?

    American industry has been decimated and literally (physically shipped overseas). Is that a because of Socialism or Balanced Budgets?

    Students from my high school in the 1950s and 1960s could leave school with or without a diploma , walk a couple of blocks down the street to a General Motors plant and get a job that supported a suburban middle class life style (a house, two cars, boat, paid vacations, full family health insurance, and a similar retirement standard of living).

    That GM plant is no longer there. Where do the students coming out of my former high school go for work today? Fast foods? What kind of Socialism is that?

    That GM plant made among other things windshield wiper motors. I was an inspector on one of those lines. From time to time I was take off the line and sent to the shipping warehouse where boxed motors were waiting to be shipped to Detroit assembly plants.

    Mangers would randomly select crates of motors and I would re-inspect all the motors in the randomly selected sampling of crates. I can tell you that I never found one motor that had passed the line inspection that was flawed.

    One can say with mathematical statistical certainty that my plant shipped 100% functional motors.

    Today, every car manufactured in the world has a windshield wiper motor. But, the plant that I worked in no longer exists (literally it is physically gone). Why?

    Did that plant go out of existence and along with jobs because of Socialism or Balanced Budgets?

    In sum: subjective arguments about nefarious Balanced Budgets and Socialism are ideological – i.e. not historically or sociologically empirically verifiable.

    What is empirically verifiable is the real wages and standard of living of the working class people (i.e. people dependent upon W-2 wage income) has relentlessly been dropping for about 50 years.

    And, the working class has been maintaining the illusion of real wages and standard of living with debt.

    If they come to be convinced that they have to stop debt purchasing and demanding real job and real wages then we will get political, economic and social changes.

    I wish ‘country circuit preachers’ like Ron Paul would start using their platforms to inform the working class of the reality of their economic life instead of misleading them to believe that –isms or budgets are their problem.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  21. @Tom Verso

    Thanks for the reply, Mr. Verso, and sorry for the very late (internet-time-wise) reply on my end. You are right that a balanced budget and sound money alone may not have been the complete solution to all that ails America. As a Libertarian, I think Ron Paul is against tariffs, and that’s one of the very few things I don’t agree with him on.

    The shipping pf America’s manufacturing prowess, both tangible and involving human capital, to China has been a travesty brought on by a few greedy Globalists. Would a limit on US Government largess and a sound currency prevent that sort of thing? It would have helped a lot, IMO, as small business would have had a better chance here.

    What Socialism has done since 1965 (55 years!) is gotten a majority of the American people dependent on government at various levels. It is dysgenic, rewarding the irresponsible by feeding them, sheltering them, and raising their kids on the money from the irresponsible. Of course the standard of living will go down. Responsible and hard-working people, who previously were the backbone of the economy have not been rewarded by a rigged, not a free, market.

    You really lost some respect out of me by mentioning Government health care, Tom. Sorry, but there are examples all around of the incompetence and waste that is to be expected out of government by anyone with any common sense. American had a free market system in health care long ago. Most of us commenters would not remember personally, but I pay attention to people who do know. Dr. Paul, being in his 80’s does know.

  22. @Magic Dirt Resident

    “Anyway, I have my eye on Chile. See ya down there, amigo.”

    Good luck with that. When the US is Brazil Norte and China dominates the globe, neither New Zealand, Uruguay or anywhere except maybe Switzerland/Russia will be ‘safe’. On the other hand, if Chile/NZ/Uruguay behave themselves and pay tribute they may survive.

    Billionaires thinking NZ will be a safe haven in the absence of US hegemony – well, their only possible plan is “I, for one, welcome our new Han overlords”. I’m not sure they’ve thought it through, unless it’s a nuclear exchange they are worried about. China would be foolish to consider such a thing when all they have to do is wait, but perhaps US elites know more about US plans than they want to tell us.

    US elites really have screwed the pooch. They have delivered themselves into Chinese hands in exchange for a few fat decades (for them, not for working Americans).

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