A Small Continuing Resolution Victory Could Have Big Consequences

by | Oct 2, 2023

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Federal spending is so out of control that it only took three months for the federal debt to increase by one trillion dollars to over 33 trillion dollars. In contrast, it took almost 200 years for the federal debt to reach one trillion dollars. So the federal government racked up more debt in the last three months than it did from the ratification of the US Constitution until Ronald Reagan’s first term! There will be even more shocking increases in the future since, according to some experts, federal debt is increasing by approximately 14 billion dollars a day.

Those tempted to blame the increase on President Biden, the Democratic Congress, or the covid-related spending spree, should consider the debt increased by around a trillion dollars a year in 2017 and 2018 — years when Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.

One more statistic to keep in mind is that the government’s debt already exceeds America’s gross domestic product. In other words, the US national debt, according to the government’s own figures, is already worth more than the value of everything produced by American businesses.

Americans should keep these facts in mind when the media attacks as “irresponsible” the small group of Republicans who refuse to vote for a continuing resolution or CR, and thus risk a government shutdown, unless the CR is accompanied by spending cuts and reforms that would take federal spending off autopilot.

Unfortunately, the welfare-warfare spending coalition has once again triumphed over the small group of fiscal conservatives, as a continuing resolution that did not even pretend to cut spending passed in Congress over the weekend.

Fiscal conservatives and the growing wing of the GOP opposing foreign intervention did achieve one significant victory: The CR did not contain the Biden administration’s requested additional aid for Ukraine. The successful effort to strip Ukraine funding from the continuing resolution may threaten President Biden’s effort to obtain billions more in funding for Ukraine.

Since the start of the conflict, the US government has wasted more than 100 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine, which is close to Russia’s entire 2023 military budget! Not only does the Ukraine-Russia conflict have no impact on America’s national security, it could also have been avoided had the US not helped orchestrate a 2014 coup in Ukraine. The Ukraine conflict is thus another example of Ludwig von Mises’s observation that the unintended (or intended) consequences of government intervention are used to justify further government action.

Unless the US reverses course and begins to cut spending, the Federal Reserve will be forced to end its limited efforts to fight price inflation. Instead, the Fed will bow to political pressure to keep interest rates low in order to help government manage its ever-increasing debt. This will lead to both a rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status and a major economic crisis.

The best place to cut spending is the so-called “defense” budget that makes Americans less free and less safe. Hopefully the successful effort to strip Ukraine funding from the CR is the first of many victories by the antiwar fiscal conservatives over the military-industrial complex and its politicians, lobbyists, and propagandists.

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