McClaughry: $32 trillion debt bi-partisan disgrace

By John McClaughry

My favorite columnist is George Will of the Washington Post, who was the featured speaker at the Ethan Allen Institute’s thirtieth anniversary gala on May 31.

John McClaughry

In his current column George writes “Last month, the [national] debt soared past the $32 trillion mark, up from $31 trillion in just 36 weeks. The pace probably will accelerate as the growth of borrowing puts upward pressure on interest rates, and as debt service becomes an ever-larger portion of the federal budget. By 2051, interest will be the largest item in the budget. Inflation, a consequence of fiscal mismanagement, makes itself worse by increasing spending on entitlements with benefits indexed to inflation….”. 

“The debt tsunami is the nation’s most important domestic problem, and it threatens national security via pressure to curtail defense spending. But regarding deficits, today’s reflexive, mindless partisanship is replaced by reflexive, mindless bipartisanship. [Donald] Trump: “Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security.” [Joe] Biden: “If anyone tries to cut” either, “I will stop them.” 

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a splendid nest of deficit hawks, notes that “By 2053, nearly 40 percent of all federal revenues will be spent on interest alone.” And “we’re on a path to add a staggering $127 trillion to the debt over the next 30 years.” Sometimes I think I’m the only person around who is worried about this coming catastrophe.

The author, a Kirby resident, is founder and vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute. To read all EAI news and commentary, go to

Categories: Commentary

12 replies »

  1. Our future generations in this country will never catch up to the debt spending in this country with the current administration. If by a miracle we get a conservative president in 2024 the debt will take years of rising taxes on the working people and many budget cuts in our government to make a dent. It has always amazed me that so many Americans just spend, never thinking of the eventual pay back day!

  2. Mr. McClaughry-You definitely aren’t the only one who is worried about the clear upcoming catastrophe. They are sinking our ship on purpose to make us one-world slaves. We must all (across the US) rise up and do a modern-day version of the tax revolt which happened in American history called ‘the Boston Tea Party’. If not, what can we do? Biden & his gang -namely, part of the cabal, are already deeply settled. We can’t wait until elections 2024-by then our country will be completely destroyed and so many can’t see it.

  3. I am extremely worried, as this dept causes rampid inflammation, further devaluing the dollar. This reality will impact all people. The young people don’t care, they are all onboard with the new social contract, aligned to the socialist convention, being rolled out by the United Nations.

  4. The amount is so large that most people can’t comprehend it’s size.
    $32,000,000,000,000.00 (one trillion is 1,000 billion, one billion is 1,000 million so 32 trillion is 32,000 billion dollars or 320,000 million dollars. It can’t be repaid, default is the only solution. The USA Gross National Product for 2022 was just over $6 trillion dollars and it spends that and more to run the country with deficit spending. 2020 the government paid $479 Billion in interest payments on the debt at which time the debt was around $28 trillion. These are the professional politicians you all vote for and think they’re great.

  5. Let’s start the Vermont Daily Chronicle Commenters and Commentators Against Debt (VDCCCAD). Take the pledge now to not receive Social Security or sign up for Medicare. Don’t burden future generations with more debt. With Debt to GDP ratios going to surpass 100%, sign up now by commenting!

    • Why should anyone who has worked their whole life and had money taken from them and their employer to fund their social security account in later life? Same for medicare. There would be no debt burden if the government hadn’t stolen all the money in the trust fund and also extended the fund to pay for social security disability. Do you ever think before you write? Have you done any research on the history of wasted government money expenditures? The country has funded wars, rebuilt other countries, squandered taxpayer money on pet projects and wasted billions if not trillions. The government gives other countries more money for nothing than has ever been spent on social security or medicare/medicaid. Only a nonthinking person (I was going to say moron but I’m being nice instead) could come up with such an ill conserved comment.

    • Really, I will admit that social security is a ponse scheme system. But as an individual approaching 60, I was forced to paid into Medicare and Social security since I was 19. I have been working full time since I was nineteen. Maybe instead of paying off college loans for students that will reap the financial benefits of their college education, we should just have returned the approaching retires social security contributions to invest as they see fit. I guess the younger generations do not care about social security, as they are more concerned with Universal Basic Income.

      • cj, i understand your comment but they don’t have the money to do that because the trust fund has been used and there isn’t a cent in it. The whole system is based on numbers in a computer with nothing to back it up. Since the USA was taken off the gold standard, the numbers are only backed by the good faith of the government that is now $32 trillion in debt. Colleges are a huge rip off that puts young adults into debt to support academia so they can build little dynasties for themselves. There is no reason that a college degree should cost $100,000.00 or more. Parents are sucked into the scam thinking their children will succeed if they get a degree, yes and no. Most college graduates suffer under huge debt while trying to pay for their lives. Parents should not send their kids to these indoctrination centers of liberal craziness. Most of them have huge endowments in the millions. The whole system has been vandalized for the tenured professors that live in the academia bubble. They do more harm than good. One man’s opinion.

  6. Mr. McClaughry, you are not alone in this concern. Voting these criminals out of office and making huge changes in our processes is the only fix and then it still falls squarely on our progeny to live with and continue to fix. We can dig our way out, but major changes must occur. It’s not “climate change” that everyone should be worried about that will affect their lives, its poverty. Which is where we are headed. And once we get close to default, another large country will just waltz right in to “save” us.

    • There are many ways to economize. How about plain vanilla bridges instead of designer bridges? A bridge just needs to get you to the other side without getting your feet wet. Apply this principle across the board and we will be on our way.