by Veronique de Rugy
The American Institute for Economic Research
After FY2020 deficit spending went from $1 trillion to $3.7 trillion in the span of a few weeks, some Republicans have felt the need to signal their belief that maybe such a gargantuan increase in national indebtedness couldn’t go on like that much longer. Something needed to change. But that’s all we got: meaningless virtue signaling. Washington is the land of the bipartisan big spenders.
As a reminder, before this pandemic – and before the destructive reaction by government officials around the country – we experienced 10 straight years of economic growth, including in wage rates. That should have been the time not only to eliminate or reduce budget deficits but also to implement reforms aimed at ensuring fiscal prudence over the long run. Instead, however, Republicans and Democrats only further opened the government-spending faucet. Massive amounts of additional debt, a ‘gift’ to our grandchildren, were accumulated. And when spending caps got in the way of this spending spree, Congress simply got rid of the caps.