Math Wins: the National Debt and Public Discourse


By RU Twisted

“We should cut PBS.”

“BLERRGGHHH!! Do you hate the arts?!?!?!” 

“We should dismantle the Department of Education.”

“RABBLE RABBLE do you hate the children!?!?!?”

“We should defund_____.”

“YOU HATE CHILDREN, THE ARTS, OLD PEOPLE, AND PUPPIES!!!!”

This is basically the state of public discourse today. An individual or a group of individuals points out that, given 1) their lack of effectiveness, and 2) the fact that we haven’t the money to continue supporting them, we should cut funding to or completely eliminate a certain agency (or several).

This is met with all the rational thought of a teenage girl at an Ariana Grande concert.

Of course we all know this. Pointing out the lack of logic in public discourse is what we regularly do here, so nobody is surprised when we mention it.

But stop and consider our present situation. The National debt is currently approaching $20 Trillion. That’s $165,000+ per taxpayer.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Our current tax revenue? Almost $3.5 trillion. I’m not a mathematician, but I think it’s pretty obvious there’s a bit of a discrepancy there.

Of course the Bernie Sanders-types will cry for “higher taxes on the rich!” as if that is some sort of panacea for everything wrong in the world—crying for the wealthiest among us to be punished for their success because clearly they don’t deserve it (I guess?). They demand more spending—just that it should be offset by more taxes on those who, “like, totally can, like, afford it, man.” Or something.

Setting aside the astonishingly brutal historical precedence for why that’s a dangerous road to travel down, what’s more troubling is the lack of seriousness among nearly all politicians towards the issue of federal spending and what it’s doing. This isn’t just a phenomenon of the Political Left anymore—the vast majority of people holding public office and working in the numerous government agencies appear to be almost entirely oblivious to this little-known concept called…

Math.

It doesn’t lie. It doesn’t take sides. It doesn’t really have a “spin.”

What it does do is show that we as a country are spending way, way, way, way, wayyyy too much money. And that it cannot go on forever.

So it won’t—and then what?

Obviously here is where we get into differing opinions that are invariably colored by partisanship. But on the original point—that we are spending way too much, not bringing in enough, and that it can’t go on the way it is forever—there really is no argument.

You can’t get around it. Math wins.

It is for this reason that I have stopped having sympathy when people lose their minds about a certain program or agency being defunded or cut back. I’m not going to listen to people whine about how a certain political party “hates poor people” or “children” because they are advocating what is the inevitability of our current situation.

I’m not going to honor an argument suggesting that “you don’t know what it’s like!” regarding a certain agency that may have helped them at one time in the past (insert: Meals on Wheels, Medicare, Affordable Care Act, etc.) because short-term fixes that lead to bigger, long-term problems are not solutions—and they never were. 

In other words, pretending that huge problems don’t exist so that you can feel good about the small ones right in front of your face may work okay for you in your everyday life, but they don’t work for me, and they don’t work for America as a whole. All these billions of dollars being flushed down the toilet on various programs never should have been implemented in the first place, so don’t get pissed off when they get the hammer dropped on them due to this thing I call reality.

Again, you can’t get around it. Math wins.

America cannot afford to keep funding all of what it’s funding. It may not be tomorrow or even next year that we have to face the Grim Reaper of fiscal death, but it’s coming and it is inescapable.

So, no, I feel no sympathy for any government endeavor getting cut, and I will not give credence to any argument attempting to pull at my heartstrings for not “thinking of the children.”

Your anecdotes don’t beat the math, and the latter is going to have a reckoning whether it affects “the children” or not.

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About

RU Twisted is the Editor-in-Chief of Unapologetically American. A former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political tool, welder, bartender, and failed musician (to name a few), he enjoys fighting leprechauns, eating Frosted Flakes off the back of his pet woolly mammoth, and pontificating about the possibility of blending the fields of quantum physics and home economics.


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