It is deeply disappointing that in his first State of the Union Address President Trump failed to mention the state of the nation’s finances.
He could have told the American people that the national debt is at its highest level relative to the economy since the end of World War II and is on an unsustainable path.
He could have warned that health care and retirement income programs, primarily Medicare and Social Security, are steadily growing on autopilot faster than the revenues needed to pay for them as the population ages.
He could have provided plans to pay for the added spending he called for in defense, infrastructure and border security.
He could have acknowledged that the recently enacted tax cuts will lead to the return of trillion-dollar deficits as soon as next year — deficits which must ultimately be paid for with spending cuts or result in a higher debt burden on future generations.
He could have explained that legal immigration is a source of strength for the economy and an offset for the dramatic decrease in workforce growth as the baby boom generation moves into its retirement years.
He could have called for bipartisan efforts to put the debt on a sustainable path.
He did none of these things.
Instead, he simply chose to ignore the nation’s fiscal challenges.
At best, it was an incomplete accounting of the state of the union.