Commentary: John Block Reports from Washington
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And now today’s commentary.
Congress is back for the so called “Lame Duck” session. They will be expected to pass legislation
to keep the government funded or it will shut down. But they should not spend more money. Too
much money chasing too few goods drives inflation. We all know that when Covid hit us, we
flooded the economy with money. We are hopeful that the Federal Reserve increase in interest
rates will help to push inflation down. That won’t be enough if we keep fanning the flame of
inflation with more money.
The more money we hand out the more our debt goes up. We have to pay interest on that debt. We
paid $1.06 trillion last year to service our debt. As interest rates go up, we must pay even more. In
recent years our national debt has exploded. We have $24 trillion of publicly held debt. Projections
are that our gross interest expense will hit $1 trillion per year. Families and businesses cannot
survive if debt payments eat up all their income. Neither can our government. Let’s put the brakes
In 2010 our Congress passed PAYGO – “Pay As You Go” legislation. President Obama signed the
law. It requires that any spending that increases the deficit must be offset by mandatory cuts.
Sounds like a commonsense idea. But it has not happened because the offset has been waived by
Congress. If Congress would just pass a package of cuts in spending as required by PAYGO, we
could avoid the debt increase. The bottom line is we desperately need to put an end to deficit
spending. With 40 years of high inflation here is another idea that could slow down government
spending. It isn’t new. We have tried it before, but members of Congress don’t like it because it
prohibits them from spending on special little projects in their districts to get votes. They are called
earmarks. Such small projects should be left to the state, city or county.
Last March the Omnibus Spending Bill had 5,000 Congressional earmarks costing $9 billion. It is
time for our Congress and President to step up and deal with our debt.
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The views expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not necessarily those of sfntoday.com nor the Southern Farm Network.