The evidence is in: Neither political party cares about deficits and debt.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, the former Republican congressman and host of the eponymous cable television political show "Morning Joe," commented the other day about how the two national political parties arrive at similar outcomes from different directions.
The Democrats, he said, are the tax-and-spend party.
Meanwhile, the Republicans, are the tax cut-and-spend party.
Whichever party is in control the federal government no longer even pretends to live within its means and has no stomach for limiting, now or in the future, the growing annual budget deficit or the exploding national debt.
EARLIER THIS WEEK President Trump unveiled the 2019 budget plan, which proposes spending well over $4.4 trillion while projecting a $1 trillion revenue shortfall. Note: Even this plan takes no account of what Congress just passed, a $300 billion budget addition putting more money into the Pentagon and various domestic agencies. Nor does it fully account for lost revenue from the major tax cuts passed near the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, the White House says it soon will announce plans for a $1 trillion-plus national infrastructure initiative, including seeking tens of billions for a border wall with Mexico.
The proposed budget acknowledges there's no chance whatsoever of lowering $1 trillion annual deficits for at least 10 years. Add that to the national debt which already exceeds $20 trillion.
Think about this: When one adds spending for the Pentagon, for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and interest on the national debt, pretty much everything else is running off borrowed money.
LET'S CALL THAT by its name: Stealing from future generations.
Politicians of both sides have decided to spend what they want now while expecting the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of America to pay the bills. When the day of reckoning comes - and, oh yes, come it will - today's politicians and beneficiaries of government largess will be long gone. So why worry about it now?
Scarborough's observation is dead-on. Democrats never met a spending opportunity they didn't like. Republicans love to spend just as much - more, apparently - but choose to reduce revenues to the government at the same time for a double-whammy.
The only difference is who gets the goodies. Democrats prefer to lavish money on domestic programs for poor people. Republicans would rather target benefits to business and the wealthy. Either way, working folks in the middle - you figured it out; that's you - get squeezed.
THERE'S A SCHOOL OF THOUGHT that waves off deficits, with the idea we're only borrowing from ourselves. When push comes to shove the lender can afford to be benevolent.
Then there's the famous quote by President Bush's veep Dick Cheney in preparing a second round of tax cuts in 2003: "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."
Maybe. Could be true.
But it's a riverboat gamble that, one, easily could backfire and, two, leaves future generations to suffer the consequences if it doesn't work. How can anybody think that's fair?
Apparently, at least two groups are fully bought in:
• The political class, which benefits at the ballot box by spending what America doesn't have.
• And we, the people, who like what we're getting without the bother of paying for it.