Tags: government accountability office | debt | budget

Media Continues to Ignore Approaching Budget Armageddon

Media Continues to Ignore Approaching Budget Armageddon

Monday, 15 April 2019 01:37 PM Current | Bio | Archive

There was plenty of “news” to choose from this week.

Julian Assange's removal from the Ecuadorian Embassy; the battle over illegal immigration with its boarder security and sanctuary city undertones; the failure of the British politicians to fulfill the will of the voters with Brexit; continuing social media privacy concerns; the fallout from the political maneuvering over the Mueller Report; Hollywood drama in the CollegeGate scandal; and of course the continuing promises by the 2020 presidential candidates to give you what they all know they can never deliver covers most of the “big” stories.

But the biggest story continues to be ignored.

Under the radar the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued report number GAO-19-314SP on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. My review of the mainstream media failed to identify even one report of this occurrence.

GAO-19-314SP is titled: “The Nation's Fiscal Health: Action Is Needed to Address the Federal Government's Fiscal Future.” Some of the findings listed in the report include:

  • “Congress and the administration face serious economic, security, and social challenges”
  • “the federal government is highly leveraged in debt by historical norms.”
  • “absent policy changes … the debt-to-GDP ratio would surpass its historical high of 106 percent within 13 to 20 years”
  • “the federal government’s fiscal path is unsustainable”

This should have been the biggest story in the last few days, plastered across the headlines of every newspaper in the land. But instead it was ignored. Why was it ignored?

Jeff Cox, writing for CNBC this past week, quotes Allan Greenspan: "I think the real problem is over the long run, we've got this significant continued drain coming from entitlements, which are basically draining capital investment dollar for dollar." Cox further relates Greenspan’s opinion that, “While he said the economy looks ‘reasonably good’ in the short run, he expects that over the longer term, growth ‘fades very dramatically.’"

On Jan. 17, 2017, The Government Accounting Office published: “The Nation’s Fiscal Health” GAO-17-237SP with the same dire conclusions.

In "Another warning on US national debt for our politicians to ignore" for The Hill in February 2017, I discussed this report and asked “Can we the people of this country have any faith that our representatives in our government will even bother to read the GAO report let alone heed the warnings to establish fiscal responsibility?” I also provided citation after citation that laid out the negative consequences of the national debt which only continues to grow!

It seems that we are in a perpetual election year cycle! At the end of the last presidential election, we immediately went into the midterm election cycle. As the midterm election cycle closes we are immediately cast into the throes of a presidential election with candidates declaring for an election that is still over 18 months away! Some of these candidates are promising: free Medicare for everyone; free tuition for everyone; free housing for everyone; free universal child care.

Although this is good for the polls and it sounds appealing to the voter, none of these promises will ever come to fruition given the realities presented in the GAO report.

Most candidates propose to pay for their free programs with fictitious funding that would be the envy of Merlin’s attempts to transform lead into gold. As a matter of fact no declared candidate has proposed a viable “plan [that] is needed to put the federal government on a sustainable longterm fiscal path” as the 2017 GAO report opening line reminds us is required.

As long as our media continues to concentrate on the “big stories” that feed their market shares; as long as our elected officials continue divert their focus like Don Quixote chasing their political windmills; as long as our candidates make naive and financially negligent promises; and as the media, our elected officials and our candidates continue to ignore report after report warning that “the federal government’s fiscal path” will remain “unsustainable” heading toward an economic Armageddon, we will realized all too late that we have been sucked into a financial black hole with no escape.

John M. DeMaggio retired after 30 years of service as a Captain from the U.S. Naval Reserve Intelligence Program. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Forensic Science from John Jay College and a Master’s of Science from Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. Privately consulting in counterterrorism, forensic science, and investigations, he also conducts international counterterrorism training, having retired as a Special Agent in Charge and serving as Co-chairman, Investigative Support and Forensic Subgroup, TSWG, developing interagency counterterrorism technology. He is also an op-ed contributor for The Hill. He previously published “Mitigation of Terrorist Effects on Victims’ Motivation” in U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Center Colloquium. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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There was plenty of “news” to choose from this week.
government accountability office, debt, budget
Monday, 15 April 2019 01:37 PM
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