Friday, December 20, 2019

Bankrupting the Economy and the Environment

I fear for our nation, our society, and the world. 

While listening to the impeachment proceedings I was constantly reminded about the great economy that we are experiencing. One of the great successes ascribed to the current administration is the roaring economy. An economy which is on fire and growing. 

Here is the scary truth--the economy is not on fire--it is being bought and paid for with the national debt. The national debt was $19.573 trillion when the current administration took over. It is estimated to be  $24.057 trillion at the end of 2020. In four years the national debt has risen $5 trillion!!! That is a 23 percent increase in the national debt which will stand at 106% of out total GDP. (source: National Debt by Year Compared to GDP and Major Events)

Where do we think this will end? The bills are going to become due someday. We are mortgaging the future prosperity of our children and grandchildren for transient prosperity right now. They will have to pay the bills. 

The second aspect of the current administration that is frightening is the wanton disregard for environmental issues. A opinion piece in the New York Times titled Trump and His Party of Pollution, provides some hard thoughts on the subject. These are even scarier than the economy because it is likely that we could damage the Earth in such a manner that it will be rendered unable to support human life. The United States used to be one of the world leaders in protecting the planer all the way from the snail darter to the whales. The weird part is the the reduction of pollution controls is not saving us money! It is actually, according to the article, costing us $89 billion per year. 

The United States must be the leader and advocate for the planet! Abrogating that responsibility is leaving our grandchildren with a problem that they may not be able to solve. When the oceans die and the ice caps melt--the world will become a very hostile place to try to eke out an existence. 

The Economy and Environment--lost in the facade of a boom economy. What will our grandchildren think?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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