Ross: We are facing a debt crisis because we want to

May 9, 2023, 8:27 AM | Updated: 10:02 am

debt default...

President Joe Biden talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The debt crisis finally forced me to look up all the charts that explain the problem and why it’s so hard to solve.

What it boils down to is that we’re used to getting free stuff without paying for it.

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And to make it real, I’ll talk about my own situation. It’s a terrible betrayal of my privacy, but I’m sure my iPhone already knows all of this, so why not you?

My wife and I both get Social Security. We could live without it; we end up giving most of it away (and taking a deduction for it), but if our payments were cut, I’d feel cheated!

I’ve paid into that program for 49 years and 11 months, and I expect the government to keep its promise.

Then there’s my 401K. My deposits were tax-exempt, and those deposits have now been growing tax-free for 45 years. Yes, I will have to pay taxes when I start making the required withdrawals – however, if I give the money to my alma mater, it escapes all taxes. Alma maters, of course, love this, which is why it’s in the tax code.

But when you add that tax break to the tax breaks on capital gains, and on employer contributions to medical insurance, and other breaks, it all adds up to another $1.2 trillion not collected last year.

The numbers go on and on – and I haven’t even touched defense spending! Which is still more than China, plus India, plus the UK, plus Russia, plus the next five biggest defense spenders combined.

There are ways to fix this. Since 2019, there have been at least seven proposed solutions from liberals and conservatives to control the national debt, but Congress couldn’t pass any of them.

And Congress couldn’t pass them because anyone running for Congress on a promise to make substantial cuts in any of the programs I mentioned would never get elected!

Even people who think that the debt is a huge problem would never vote for that person.

And so that is why we are here. We’re here because we want to be.

If you’re brave enough to look at the charts yourself, there’s a link to the data.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: We are facing a debt crisis because we want to