What's Wrong with Making Future Generations Pay for our Debt?
Wow, that whole debt-ceiling debate was scary. For a while there, it looked like a few radical extremists were going to keep the country from going further into debt. And then where would we be? Without all the free stuff we like, because some people are stuck on the primitive notion that a budget should balance? I think you can say without hyperbole that people who think like that are literally terrorists, except a million times worse.
What makes people think the government should spend less money than it brings in? Probably racism. Also, a lust for violence. Because there is no logical reason for the government to spend less. None.
I do know one reason people keep bringing up as to why we should spend less: Because otherwise we leave the debt for future generations. But no one ever explains why that's a problem.
Let's look at this logically. There are three groups who could possibly pay our debt: People of the present, people of the past, and people of the future. Basically, the extremists are arguing that people of the present should pay for the debt, but that's obviously insane. For one thing, the national debt is currently over 14 trillion dollars, and we don't have that kind of money. If we were to even think of paying it down, we'd have to cut spending, when right now we need to be spending even more. That first trillion of stimulus money didn't turn the economy around, so we clearly need to spend another trillion. And probably another trillion after that. Because that will create jobs by... well, I'm not sure how jobs are created. Ask Paul Krugman; he'll explain it to you.
Anyway, the point is that it's quite apparent that people of the present -- us -- just can't pay down the debt. So let's move on.
The other possibility is to have people of the past pay it down, but we can't make them do it without a time machine. And even if we had a time machine and could go back and steal all their gold, that's the exact sort of thing that would get you kicked in the face by Jean-Claude Van Damme. So let's just give up on that idea.
That leaves only one possible group to pay down the debt: People of the future. We can leave the debt for them to pay without the use of time machines and without angering any time cops, so it's perfect. The only objection I ever hear to it is that we should feel bad for leaving all this debt to our children and our children's children. This is also stupid reasoning. Why, you ask?
Because future generations are a bunch of jerks.