The debt limit was raised again, but this doesn't address America's real problem: unsustainable government spending.
THE PROBLEM: Dan Mitchell, a senior fellow at CATO, and Abby McCloskey, program director of economic policy at AEI, spend their work days analyzing the budget. Both will discuss how government "solutions" are the real problem.
DANGEROUS DEBT: It's hard to wrap one's brain around almost $17 trillion of debt. Movie producer Seth Meier and actor Brian Stepanek made a video that does a great job explaining the government's debt problem. They compare Congress to a man going to a bank to ask for a loan. On YouTube, it's been watched more than two million times.
GENERATIONAL THEFT: The biggest reason our debt is such a threat to America's future is that people my age refuse to die, and we demand the "entitlements" we were promised. National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru talks about what this debt will do to younger generations.
SPENDING PROBLEM: Bob Beckel, co-host of "The Five," will try to help me understand why many Democrats say America "does not have a spending problem."
DEFAULT: Most Americans hardly noticed the partial shutdown. But we're told default-not paying our bondholders in full, or delaying payment-would be a catastrophe. Would it? I'm skeptical. It would be best if government cut spending, but assuming they won't, all the options are bad:
1.Don't pay Medicare and Social Security.
2.Inflate the currency.
3.Stiff (or give a haircut to) the bondholders.
I hope we never default, but I'd think it would be the least evil of the options. Russia defaulted. Argentina defaulted. Both recovered relatively quickly. I think we'd recover. But Garett Jones, an economist at George Mason University, argues that default would be terrible.
MY TAKE: Now we've almost $17 trillion in debt, and when my age group retires, the debt will grow by more than a trillion dollars every year. That's a disaster. There is so much we could cut, and should cut. When I interviewed people outside of our studio, many agreed that government should cut spending. But when I asked them, "cut what, exactly?", most had no clue. But there's plenty to cut. I'd begin cutting tonight, and there's much more here: www.downsizinggovernment.org