What is even being debated about government budgets?
It’s obviously not a matter of what we can and can’t afford.
Most people who complain about deficit spending and growing debt are perfectly fine with unfunded wars that are wars of choice and an increasing number of prisons being built to hold those who commit victimless crimes. They are more than willing to spend money to kill people and imprison people, but apparently not to help people.
It’s not about the money, rather about who deserves what and how much. Such people want to live in a Social Darwinian ‘meritocracy’ where the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer, and that is simply supposed to be the natural order of things. They would deny this, but this is what their choices and actions have inevitably led to.
The military-industrial complex which is built on government spending is the single largest sector of our economy.
That doesn’t even include the alphabet soup agencies involved in intelligence, investigation, security, and who knows what else. That doesn’t include the growing prison-industrial complex along with the growing police state and all that it entails. That doesn’t include all the money spent to help big business by offering subsidies and tax breaks, negotiating trade agreements, securing/defending access to natural resources and cheap labor in other countries, selling natural resources on public lands at below market value, giving government contracts to cronies, and allowing the privatizing of various publicly-funded benefits while socializing or otherwise externalizing costs.
And don’t get me started about the massive black budget that rarely gets mentioned, much less seriously discussed.
For a fraction of a percentage of what we spend on all of that, we probably could offer high quality education and health care for the every American citizen. If we weren’t spending all that money on the security state, on the corporatocracy and on imperial aspirations, we could easily pay off the entire debt and never have to worry about deficit spending again.
The answer is obvious and simple, but those who complain the loudest (or rather those whose complaints most often get heard and debated in mainstream media and politics) don’t care about obvious and simple answers. I’m not sure they even understand and it is in their interest to not understand or to pretend they don’t understand.
Still, the ‘debate’ goes on and so does the problem. Those benefiting from it all, the political and corporate plutocracy, are content with the status quo.