If anyone was confused as to how we’re sitting at $22 trillion in national debt, the partial shutdown hysterics should have cleared that right up. The non-stop stories lamenting the temporary halt of a $70 billion per year food stamp program, while casting a $5.7 billion request for border security measures as unreasonable and expensive perfectly encapsulates the thinking that has us heading for economic disaster.
The commentary was so surreal that the man who confused everyone by replacing small, medium, and large sizes with tall, grande, and venti came out making the most sense.
In a wide-ranging interview last week on CNBC, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz outright stated that our national debt is the most pressing domestic crisis facing the nation. Schultz panned the flurry of progressive pipe dreams, such as a $32 trillion “Medicare for All” socialized medicine scheme, “free” college tuition that would cost at minimum $70 billion per year, and the multi-trillion dollar “Green New Deal” plan that would radically alter how people live their lives.
He asked the most obvious question one could: “I ask myself how are we going to pay for all of these things?”
When the founder of Starbucks starts talking more fiscal sense than any of our elected officials, that should give one pause. Especially when you consider how overpriced and underwhelming that company’s coffee is.
Schultz has continued to speak out on how radical these proposals are for future generations and hit on something that some newly-elected officials apparently don’t understand: nothing is free. Every one of the programs and ideas being espoused as “new” are just old ideas to spend other people’s money wrapped in new slogans.
Schultz may indeed be serious about an independent bid for the White House in 2020. The merits of his candidacy aside, it is reassuring that he understands that priorities in Washington are already out of whack without the fevered socialist dreams of those who seek to spend money that doesn’t yet exist from people who have yet to be born.
The fact that Schultz—a lifelong Democrat and social progressive—has identified a problem usually only discussed by fiscal conservatives suggests that there may yet be hope to start a national conversation necessary to turn things around before it’s too late.
In the context of ongoing and largely shallow disputes over funding priorities by Congress, having someone of Schultz’s caliber and business acumen pierce through the fog and identify the real problem is encouraging.
Both for solving this existential economic threat and for perhaps bridging an increasingly polarized American electorate.