Off to the races

For the past five years or so, federal spending has been limited by sequestration, a system that Congress passed to reduce federal spending deficits by $1 trillion over ten years. It put caps on federal spending, and decreed that any increase in spending would have to be balanced by spending cuts or revenue increases somewhere else. Even with that in place the national debt continues to grow. The federal budget deficit was $666 billion in 2017, driving the national debt to over $20 trillion.

Well, hold on to your hat.

The two year spending bill passed by Congress early Friday morning will add another $300 billion over the next two years, with no counterbalancing cuts or revenue enhancements. In fact, combined with the federal tax reforms passed in December, which are expected to raise the deficit $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, the deficit appears to be heading for the stars.

Congress seems to have given up on the idea of setting spending limits before appropriating funds. There’s little interest in fiscal restraint. After five years of sequestration, it’s time for a bipartisan blowout.