National leaders must address U.S. debt crisis

Kel Wilson’s Forum essay regarding the national debt is important (“National debt risks leaving financial mess to children,” The Herald, June 1). It’s one of the reasons I subscribe to your paper.

Despite Wilson’s research from the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Public Debt Clock, and economist Raghuram Raja, it’s not a risk that we’ll leave our children a financial mess. It’s a certainty that we will. The ratio of debt to GDP will grow from 100 percent in 2024 to over 190 percent in 2050, per the Penn Wharton Budget Modeling enclave. That group offers options to avert budgetary calamity, such as raising taxes on the wealthy. Politically, a non-starter. Social Security will be on the ropes by 2033, Medicare will teeter or fall in 2036. Predictably, our elected “leaders” will just “kick the debt can down the road” for our children’s children to face.

As I read Wilson’s work, I recalled that our debt increased $7.7 billion under President Trump and $6.2 billion under President Biden. Neither candidate has said, typed or tweeted anything meaningful about our debt. Why on Earth would they? Wilson’s figures, while scarily accurate, exceed the grasp of the average voter.

Wilson’s right. Inflation will continue to rise. Confidence in the U.S. dollar will erode, our southern border will implode, and Taiwan faces real threats from the People’s Republic of China.

Our elected leaders will not have the courage to act on our debt crisis, and the next administration will begin tearing apart the fabric of the safety net of the Great Society of my youth.

Eric Steiner


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