No, It’s Not Spending That’s the Problem

We should shortly be getting the CBO’s latest budget outlook, which includes the effects of the Trump tax cut. To prepare ourselves, here’s the projection from last year’s long-term budget outlook:

Over the next 30 years, net spending increases from 19.3 percent of GDP to 23.2 percent. That’s about one percentage point per decade, mostly due to rising health care costs. In other words, it’s not a lot. What’s more, if technological advances slow down health care spending—something I find likely even if it seems hard to believe right now—spending won’t go up even that much.

But if you add interest on the national debt, spending goes up nearly 9 percentage points. That’s the killer, and there’s no technological advance that can change this. In the 2018 version of the CBO report, this will get even worse thanks to last year’s tax bill.

Despite what conservatives say endlessly, spending is not the problem. We can easily manage an increase of 1 percent per decade for the next few decades. It’s only if we refuse to pay for it that the national debt explodes.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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