Will COVID-19 Break the National Debt?
GOP lawmakers are starting to voice concerns about the national debt as Democrats talk about a fourth stimulus package.
Congress has already spent more than $2 trillion on three coronavirus-relief packages designed to keep Americans afloat during the pandemic. Such massive spending is expected to increase the national debt, which is currently at $23 trillion. When combined with lost tax revenue from lockdowns across the country, the increase in debt over the next year could easily exceed $4 trillion.
Analysts already expect the national debt to eclipse the size of the entire US economy this year for the first time since WWII. The same thing is expected to occur in the UK.
“Let’s weigh this very carefully because the future of our country in terms of the amount of debt we’re adding up is a matter of genuine concern,” says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
McConnell’s concerns were echoed by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who tested positive for COVID-19 last month and recently returned to Washington after a quarantine.
“My advice to the Senate and to the American people is let’s be aware of what we’re doing by creating all this new debt, and let’s think before we jump into a terrible, terrible conclusion,” said Paul. “No amount of money, not all the money in China, will save us from ourselves…The only hope of rescuing this great country is to reopen the economy.”
Congress is going to have to make some incredibly tough choices after the pandemic blows over. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, has proposed raising the retirement age and increasing gas taxes to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19. Others favor social bonds and carbon taxes.
For years, experts have been saying the US economy will collapse when the national debt reaches $35 trillion. This was projected to occur no earlier than 2030, but with COVID-19 spending, it could occur even sooner.
Unfortunately, Republicans and Democrats will continue to blame the deficit on each other, with neither party stepping up to find a solution. The deficit will continue unchecked until we reach a breaking point.
I am suspecting President Trump to step up in his second term to work on the debt. No one has ever won a second term by focusing on the national debt. It is just a bad campaign issue.
Yes the national debt is terrible. The fact that we have two wars wearing on for 19 yrs ,one of which was a war of choice, a huge tax break for the MAGA rich and corporations who paid little or nothing to help support this country while hiding their wealth over seas. Of course those things didn’t effect the national deficit.. now we have a pandemic which mr trump was warned of but chose to ignore while systematically dismantling the system put in place to help deal with it. Now of course cleans up the this disaster is too costly No fuckin shit! I think Mitch and the rest of the partisan lemmings need to take a nice deep breath, stock up on Lysol IV’s and prep up for ultra violet light enemas. Remember old people are the most vulnerable to this virus we are also overwhelmingly republican. What cold possibly go wrong with that scenario?
If I recall correctly:
In response to outlandish media claims of “up to 2 million deaths in the US”, back in Early February, Trump chose to downplay the danger, in his own non-specific way: It will not be so bad, and blow over soon (paraphrased).
That is a long way away from ” dismantling the system put in place to help deal with it” in my opinion. I think he was trying to reduce the level of panic, which is a commendable effort.
The 2017-2018 “seasonal” Flu season in the US had 959,000 hospital admissions, 60K-80K deaths. (wikipedia)
So far the COVID-19 Flu in the US has 975,000+ cases, unknown hospital admissions, and 54,000+ deaths. (worldometer)
There are reports indicating the rate of hospital admissions and deaths are declining. We may find out the “Chinese” virus maybe only as bad as a bad flu season.
Meanwhile, the economy is is in the ICU, and they cannot find a ventilator to fit the patient.
While I share your sentiment that we are going too far, the 2 million was what the model said would happen if we did nothing. And the 50,000 cases so far have happened in only about 6 weeks.
There was no way that Trump, nor any elected politician, could have allowed this to carry through to its worst, he would have been defeated easily in November if he had. But we have made great progess and it is time for the nanny state to let go a bit.
In my opinion, the crisis was real, Trump handled it, about 2 million lives were saved, and now it is time to open up again.