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U.S. national debt (photo: Wiki­media Commons)

His­tor­i­cally, and espe­cially since the 1970s, Repub­licans and Democrats have made com­pro­mises by allo­cating funding for numerous projects into one, all-encom­passing bill- an omnibus bill.

Pres­ident Donald Trump and the 115th Con­gress proved that they are no excep­tions to this unfor­tunate his­torical trend.

The federal government’s pro­jected deficit for this year is over $1 trillion. This takes into account the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul Trump signed in December as well as Friday’s 2,200-page, $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill.

Kelly Phillips Erb wrote in Forbes that the bill allo­cates $11.4 billion to improve cus­tomer service within the Internal Revenue Service, $1.6 billion for to add more fencing along the Mexican-American border, and $500 million for opioid crisis research. The bill also included a 2.4 percent pay raise for the mil­itary as well as increased funding for NASA and the National Park Service.

The budget con­tinues allo­cating tax­payer dollars to Planned Par­enthood, the Patient Pro­tection and Affordable Care Act, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — three items that Trump said he wants to defund.

Repub­licans have a majority in both houses of Con­gress, however the bill passed easily, winning 65 – 32 in the Senate and 265 – 167 in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Though rumors spread of a veto, Trump signed the bill into law on Friday in order to prevent another impending gov­ernment shutdown.

$1.3 trillion is a hefty price to pay for a bad com­promise.

The debt increased from $20 to $21 trillion in a record six months under Trump. Despite this, unprece­dented levels of spending con­tinue. To put this in per­spective:

There are cur­rently only $70 billion in cir­cu­lation.

Until the estab­lishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the United States gov­ernment had accu­mu­lated only $2.9 billion in national debt.

In the 1930s, FDR added $236 billion to the national debt, a 1,048 percent increase from the debt at the end of Herbert Hoover’s term.

Reagan, whom many deify for his drastic tax cuts, added $1.86 trillion to the national debt, a 186 percent increase from Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton added less than Reagan, with $1.396 trillion.

George W. Bush added $5.849 trillion, a 101 percent increase from Clinton.

Obama added $8.588 trillion, a 74 percent increase from the younger Bush.

$21 trillion is by far the highest debt the United States has ever expe­ri­enced.

With Con­gress’ spending habits, it is also likely the lowest amount of debt we will expe­rience in the fore­seeable future.

According to the Con­gres­sional Budget Office, Con­gress will add $10 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years. The omnibus spending bill alone will add $1 trillion to the year’s deficit.

Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates arbi­trarily low — roughly half the amount they should be nat­u­rally — to allow the gov­ernment to spend as it will. These low interest rates increase the amount of loanable funds, which in turn means more bor­rowing from banks and con­sumer spending. GDP increases, cre­ating a false sense of wealth, as the arti­fi­cially low interest rates send false signals to buyers and sellers in the loanable funds market.

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve increased the interest rate by .25 percent, and they plan to con­tinue increasing it over the next two years.

The federal gov­ernment cur­rently spends $500 billion, 12.5 percent of its $4 trillion annual budget, to pay off the debt. As the interest rate rises to a normal level, spending on the debt will consume upward of 25 percent of the federal government’s annual budget.

The gov­ernment could either cut other parts of the budget to allocate funds to pay off the debt or increase the size of the annual budget.

Judging by Trump’s most recent spending bill, the gov­ernment will not stop spending any time soon.

So what does that mean? As the CBO pre­dicts, $10 trillion in debt over the next ten years. Ask Venezuela what happens when a country accu­mu­lates incredible amounts of debt and has to pay for it at a high interest rate.

Trump is not to blame for our debt, but he it at least par­tially at fault for expanding it.

Justitia omnibus, the official motto of Wash­ington, D.C., means justice for all. Trump might have for­gotten justice, but he at least remem­bered omnibus.

Alexis Nester is a sophomore studying eco­nomics.

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    Gov­ernment by it’s very nature is corrupt. Repub­lican or Democrat, it’s in their best interests to provide the pork to con­stituents. This is why the best thing Trump can do is SHRINK the size of the Federal Bureau­cracy. Put a cap on hiring, shrink it through attrition. They can’t restrain spending, they have no INCENTIVE to spend less. On the con­trary. It’s going to take a line-item veto and a bal­anced budget amendment to even come close to reigning in spending-and even then, Con­gress would find ways around it-just like they ignore Budgets now. The Omnibus was shameful, but Con­gres­sional spending has been shameful for decades. Through BOTH GOP and DEM Admin­is­tra­tions. The only hope of our Republic is to take a meat-cleaver to the bureau­cracy and get rid of mass numbers of them. And you’ll be fighting the MSM all the way, because they’re in love with Big Federal Gov­ernment.