Commentary: The Treacherous Road to Runaway Inflation

In January, 2001, America had a balanced budget, low debt, and was at peace. Here, briefly, is what lay ahead: war, financial crisis, civil unrest, massive growth of the federal government, and now severe inflation.

Never in the history of America has our government in its ineptitude created such a false economy, risking hundreds of years of hard work on unsound and unworkable economic policies. The Founders wisely relied on dispersion of power. They knew there would be dishonest and incompetent politicians but, in this case, the entire government is infected with deceptive leaders.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act

United States currency

The $3.5 trillion spending bill set up to follow the $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill (which has little to do with infrastructure) should be called what it really is: The Higher Inflation and Bigger Debt Act.

The Democrats would like you to believe it is only a reconciliation bill. This is vital to them because a reconciliation bill only takes 50 senators and the vice president to pass the U.S. Senate.

However, this additional $3.5 trillion comes after trillions of emergency spending prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider what the Congressional Budget Office has written about the fiscal situation before the $1.1 trillion and $3.5 trillion bills are passed:

Here is what the Congressional Budget Office forecasts (not counting Biden’s enormous spending plan): 

“By the end of 2021, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 102 percent of GDP. Debt would reach 107 percent of GDP (surpassing its historical high) in 2031 and would almost double to 202 percent of GDP by 2051. Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad. A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”

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The Congressional Budget Office Says the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Will Increase Deficits by $256 Billion over 10 Years

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday that the bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill will add $256 billion to the deficit over the next decade, undercutting its backers’ claims the spending had been offset.

In FY2020, the deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion. So far in FY2021, the deficit is $2.2 trillion. The national debt is climbing to $29 trillion for the first time in U.S. history.

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Commentary: Taxpayers End up Paying off the Insane Tuition Costs of Grad Programs at Elite Colleges

A see of college graduates at the commencement ceremony.

“Columbia and other wealthy universities steer master’s students to federal loans that can exceed $250,000. After graduation, many learn the debt is well beyond their means,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reports on Columbia University’s Master of Fine Arts Film program, one of the worst examples, in an article titled “Financially Hobbled for Life: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off”:

Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000.

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Biden’s ‘American Jobs’ Plan Could Cost Taxpayers about $666,000 per Job Created

President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris

President Joe Biden’s proposed $2 trillion American Jobs Plan could end up costing taxpayers more than $666,666 per job created.

The Washington Post gave Biden “two Pinocchios” for saying the American Jobs Plan, his infrastructure and jobs proposal, will create 19 million jobs. Both Biden and his Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have made the 19 million jobs claim. The source of the statement is a Moody’s analysis, which CNN pointed out had estimated the U.S. economy would add about “16.3 million jobs over the same period if the infrastructure proposal does not get passed.”

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Cleveland.com Praises DeWine Fundraising ‘Haul,’ Forgets About Campaign Debt

At the end of January, Cleveland.com praised Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) for a “record fundraising haul,” but buried an important part of the story in the process.

“As of Friday, DeWine’s campaign reported having more than $3.6 million in the bank after receiving more than $1.6 million since July 9, 2020, according to a filing with the Ohio secretary of state’s office,” the site said in a January 29 report, which was updated on January 31.

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Commentary: Debt Is the Most Predictable Crisis in U.S. History

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson issued a stern warning in last week’s Wall Street Journal: “A world-class financial system can’t exist in a country that fails to maintain the quality of its credit.”

America’s debt problem was already wildly out of control for the past 20 years, but we now face truly unprecedented additional levels of debt issued by Congress in response to the pandemic. From 2000 to 2019, the federal debt rose from $5.6 trillion to $22.7 trillion, and it is expected to top $27 trillion by year’s end, a whopping 19 percent increase this year. Another trillion in virus relief spending now seems to be at the low end of spending estimates going into 2021.

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Report: Consumers on Track for Record Year of Debt Repayment Before Coronavirus Hit

U.S. consumers were on track for a record year of debt repayment before the coronavirus shutdown, according to a new 2020 Credit Card Debt Study published by the personal-finance website WalletHub.

Consumers entered 2020 owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt after a $76.7 billion net increase during 2019. By the end of March, however, they posted the largest first-quarter credit card debt paydown – $60 billion – since at least 1986.

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Pew Report: Expect Increase in Debt Collection Lawsuits, Debt Collectors Seizing Stimulus Checks

A new report published by Pew Charitable Trusts suggests that with the increase of debt collection lawsuits, “debt collectors may seize $1,200 coronavirus checks intended for household expenses.”

Before the coronavirus restrictions began, American household debt had already increased by $1.5 trillion between 2008 and 2019. As debt increased, so also did an aggressive approach made by creditors and third-party firms to use state civil courts to pursue collections through debt claims, Pew says.

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Commentary: Deficits Are Secondary to What You’re Paying For

US Capitol

“I am not worried about the deficit,” Ronald Reagan famously said. “It is big enough to take care of itself.”

If you pay attention to the libertarian purists, President Reagan earns mixed reviews on his economic policies. After all, in 1983, the federal budget deficit exceeded 6 percent of GDP. But Reagan was untroubled by federal budget deficits for at least two reasons, and in both cases he has been vindicated by history.

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Ohio Bill Allowing Students to Transfer Credits Unanimously Passes in the State House

by Todd DeFeo   A bill aimed at allowing students to transfer general education course credits from one public university in Ohio to another could bring with it potentially higher costs for schools, according to a fiscal analysis of the bill. The state House unanimously passed House Bill 9, which…

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Federal Report Says Millennials Are Poorer Than Other Generations

by Ryan McMaken   One of the challenges in looking at income and wealth data is getting a sense of how different demographic groups are affected. It’s relatively easy to find median income and wealth data over time for the entire population, for example. But then problems of interpretation immediately…

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Commentary: Trump, Reagan, and Big Government

Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump

by Jeffery Rendall   As I strolled through the excellent and memory-provoking exhibits at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (in Simi Valley, CA) the other day I was struck by how similar President Donald Trump’s approach to today’s politics is to the way Ronald Reagan handled the subject a half…

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Commentary: The Ticking Fiscal Time Bomb Set in 1937 Could Tip America Into Despotism by 2030

US Flag

by Robert Osburn   Celebrated this past July 4, America’s founding story of freedom is truly remarkable: unity, courage, integrity, and national integration (incorporating people from around the world). In most other places, the freedom story is bloody, exclusive, and, ultimately, tyrannical. Take Nicaragua, for one example: In 1979, the Sandinistas…

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Metro Nashville Faces Reality of Heavy Borrowing in $34 Million Revenue Shortfall

John Cooper

Surprise! Nashville is growing skyscrapers and other developments at an ever-increasing rate yet faces a $34 million revenue shortfall. Councilman-at-large John Cooper, who is on Metro’s Budget and Finance Committee says Nashville’s revenue continues to grow faster than most cities, to the tune of a couple billion dollars, NewsChannel 5…

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