December 5, 2016
The election is over and the candidates covered a multitude of topics, both serious and nonsensical. But one thing they didn’t discuss was our current deficit. In 2016, we spent nearly $4 trillion. The bulk of it falls into five categories.
First is health care, which accounts for $1.1 trillion. Of that, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan total $955 billion. The rest is the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare.
Social Security is next at $944 billion. Combine that with health care and it comprises half of the overall budget! Defending our nation costs $615 billion. About 40 percent of that is for ongoing operations and new equipment. “Entitlement” Programs that help protect seniors and the poor total $508 billion, with nearly 80 percent of it dedicated to seniors.
And lastly, there’s interest on our debt. The budget called for $283 billion towards debt. But we actually spent $432 billion on interest payments!
And make no mistake – these numbers will be larger in 2017. They almost always grow. How can they not? We have $20 trillion in debt on the books and it’s growing. All in all, it’s not a pretty picture. By the 2021 inauguration we could be near $30 trillion in national debt!
To me, it doesn’t seem to be a sustainable model. Eventually these debt payments will come due. Plus, interest rates have to go up, don’t they?