For all of the hand wringing about the $700B bailout, the Feds have put our nation’s children on the hook for about $8T (and counting) without a single vote from Congress (who, by the way, is doing everything they can to do as little as they can so that they can avoid political liability that comes with actually doing anything). I have a feeling that if (a) Americans weren’t so constitutionally apathetic and (b) ignorant of what is happening, there would be marches in Washington, Greenwich would be burning, and people in Manhattan would be throwing bricks through every piece of tinted glass on Wall Street. Hell, this country was started by enraged citizens chucking tea in Boston Harbor because they felt they were being unfairly taxed, and now we sit around doing nothing while HALF OUR GDP is spent to bail out the criminally stupid (and sometimes just plain criminal) without due process.
Maybe not enough people care about the debt burden on our nation’s children because the only people who are having kids these days are the bottom half of the income ladder, who pay no federal taxes. The upper half is too busy working dual incomes (about half of which goes to the government) to have kids (I don’t remember the stats, but the birthrate is well below replacement).
So, the people who pay for the government have no interest in the next generation, and people with an interest in the next generation have no stake in the government. Exactly a recipe for bad government and massive public debt.