The 2008 crisis was a singular event in the financial history of this country, an event that prompted the government to spend over $1 trillion in excess of the taxes collected for every single year from 2009 to 2013. It is not as if the crisis was resolved in 2014. The government ran annual deficits of $400-plus billion that year as well, as in 2015 and 2016.
As a result of these huge deficits during the eight years following the 2008 crisis, the government issued more debt than it had in all of its previous 230-plus years combined. Over the past 30 years, the government has relied extensively on debt issuance to fund the ever-growing list of entitlements and social spending.
Due to lower interest rates having been invoked as a result of the 2008 crisis, debt has become much less expensive to issue. The government’s policy of spending more than its tax receipts has been relatively easy to maintain. For example, in 2016 the average interest rate the gov...
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