There is no clause in the U.S. Constitution requiring generational fairness, yet most Americans from the birth of our nation through the end of the 20th century have agreed that debt incurred ought not to be passed on to others for payment.
In the 1990s, Ross Perot and New York’s “national debt clock” cautioned Americans that we were reaching dangerous and/or immoral levels of debt. The federal government responded by making an exemplary bipartisan effort (Democratic president and Republican Congress) that resulted in four consecutive budget surplus years (fiscal 1998 through 2001). As a result, debt declined by $500 billion to $600 billion, and the national debt clock was halted.
Since the advent of the 21st century, both major political parties have totally disregarded fiscal sanity, and the debt level has exploded to more than $16 trillion, excluding a backlog of more than $2 trillion in public infrastructure maintenance and repair.
Is it still possible to avoid dumping most of this debt on our children? The two major parties offer only alternative programs for cutting annual deficits, with no suggestion for again reversing the national debt clock.
When politicians speak of “cutting taxes” or “avoiding any tax increase,” they are really speaking of “socking it to the kids.” I have lost hope in the two major parties and so voted for the Progressive Party candidates in the recent election.