Steady as she goes? For the sixth straight year, the poverty rate (defined as $23,492 or less income for a family of four) in American has failed to improve…”flat-lined” is how one economics professor put it. Worse, the economic “doldrums” are expected to be the new paradigm for the foreseeable future—high poverty rates and higher income disparities. We’d use “malaise” but that’s already been taken by Mr. Carter. So “doldrums” it is, then, for Mr. Obama.
Well over 46 million Americans are now mired, evidently quasi-permanently, in poverty. But wait. There’s more.
The New York Times suggests that Federal deficits over the short term may fall briefly…meaning this year and next which coincidentally may be long enough for Mr. Obama to escape office unscathed. But starting 2016, the deficits are projected to rise with devastating consequences. Says the Times, by 2023 (a scant decade from now) the annual deficit is projected to consume 3.5% of our national GDP…and this level is considered by a goodly number of economists to not be sustainable.
And by 2038, the Federal deficit is expected to devour 6.5% of the GDP…so it seems a fait accompli that between 2023 and 2038 an American economic Armageddon is all but certain, if this nation continues its present course. Which brings us to our title line.
If the New York Times, the Grey Lady of all things liberal, including profligate spending, is issuing words of caution…then the course we are taking has got to be bad. That being the case, when will our Legislators quit squabbling over the best chairs on their luxury cruise, and actually get down to working on the navigational charts? Or wasn’t that 2008 iceberg off port bow big enough to elicit concerns on the bridge?
P.S. As for the prediction by the New York Times, we hazard of guess that the reckoning may come much sooner, likely in fiscal year 2017 or 2018 when interest payments on the Federal debt are forecast to gobble up 10% of all Federal outlays. But, we quibble over a five year time frame. Still, there seems little doubt now over the fate of the Ship of State. America is set on a collision course with some very ice cold reality.