“Isn’t it a shame,” the late journalist Earl Wilson once asked, “that future generations can’t be here to see all the wonderful things we’re doing with their money?”
Chase Hagaman, New England regional director for The Concord Coalition, recalls that quip while noting that new projections confirm that Washington’s budget woes must be addressed soon — and that younger Americans and future generations have much at stake.
Yet elected officials and candidates for federal office this year have largely ignored the subject, Hagaman writes in an op-ed this week in the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine).
Federal debt held by the public is expected to reach 77 percent of GDP this year, far above its historical average. Under current laws, that could rise to 86 percent within a decade and to 141 percent within 30 years — far above its historical peak of 106 percent shortly after World War II.
“Continued inaction on the nation’s fiscal challenges,” Hagaman says, “will mean a weaker economy, lower standards of living, fewer government services, higher tax burdens and less control by future generations over their own destiny.”
He calls on this year’s political candidates to offer concrete, credible plans to stabilize the debt and eventually put it on a downward trajectory.
A Review of August Budget Projections (CBO)