The U.S. national debt has reached $30 trillion. This should be the political scandal of the decade, but the debt that Congress racks up every year is easy to ignore because it often seems like a faraway, non-tangible issue. However, the growing debt is likely going to impact all Americans and could sink the economy if left unchecked. 

The scale of the national debt is hard for an ordinary person to wrap his or her head around. For perspective, if the federal debt were paid down right now, every man, woman, and child in the U.S. would owe the federal government over $90,000. But in reality, the burden per American taxpayer is even higher than that since children don’t pay taxes, nor do the poor. 

The federal spending binge shows no sign of slowing. In fact, the pace of the debt rise is only accelerating. At the beginning of 2020, economists predicted that the debt would reach $30 trillion by the end of 2025. But the coronavirus pandemic gave politicians an excuse to blow out the federal spending at a more rapid clip in the name of an “emergency.” Under both President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, the federal government has recklessly spent trillions of dollars every several months; taxpayers were promised this was necessary due to “these unprecedented times.” Americans were told to stay home, to keep their children from attending school, and to refrain from normal life for months (and now years) on end. The government insisted that the lockdowns, which we now know were ineffective at preventing COVID deaths, were necessary, and that exorbitant government spending would make up for any damage to the economy. 

Instead, the federal government simply harmed the economy even more, driving up inflation and creating a massive labor shortage problem, by foolishly spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money and weaponizing the Federal Reserve to print money we don’t have. Trillions of dollars were spent on stimulus checks for Americans, which significantly contributed to the labor shortage still impacting our economy; trillions were spent on payouts to companies, including major public companies; and more than $100 billion went to criminals, including hostile foreign entities.  

How will ordinary Americans be impacted by the rising national debt? Reckless debt spending is typically followed by a major economic crash. High spending on centrally-planned social programs, the Vietnam War, and the oil crisis of the 1970s led to harmful stagflation that hit the pocketbooks of all Americans. Prices went up significantly for items and goods across the board, while high unemployment simultaneously sank the economy until President Ronald Reagan’s reforms were put in place. 

Currently, families are already being harmed by skyrocketing inflation, paying more every day on essential goods and food. But if the Biden administration continues on its current track, the situation could get much worse—especially if federal economic and regulatory policy leads to a second phase of the current supply chain crisis. 

Sadly, neither political party seems seriously interested in solving the national debt problem. Trump instituted tax cuts with no serious spending cuts, based on the false assumption that economic growth alone could reduce the deficit. 

Meanwhile, Democrats have completely abandoned moderation in favor of Democratic socialism. Mainstream figures on the Left, including President Biden, now openly call for the simultaneous expansion of government and implementation of major tax hikes. But even higher taxes won’t put a dent in $30 trillion debt, which exceeds the total value of goods and services produced in a year—especially if federal spending continues to simultaneously increase. 

As the federal debt continues to grow, options to get it under control dwindle. When a credit card bill is due, Americans have the option of declaring bankruptcy. But when the government debt bill is due, we will all be held responsible.