The Corner

The Debt Ceiling Debate in Perspective

Secretary Geithner often argues that the reason we must raise the debt ceiling is that 40 cents of every dollar the government spends is borrowed. That fact, in my opinion, is the perfect argument for why we can’t continue on this path.

The chart below uses data from the Office of Management and Budget’s FY2012 budget and shows that 43 cents of every dollar spent in 2011 is borrowed (CBO data shows 40 cents rather than 43, which explains the 3 cent difference). Some of the increase, of course, is the product of the recession and the shortfall in tax revenue (that part of the increase will go away when the economy picks up). However, the rest is the result of large spending increases, some of which won’t go away when the economy recovers.

This fact alone propels our current fiscal state further along the historical trend of budgetary deficits. As the critical debate over the debt ceiling continues, the amount of spending that is borrowed should be put in proper perspective. This makes all the difference in addressing the underlying habits driving our current deficit.

Veronique de Rugy — Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More