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The New Draft: Government Debt

Writes The Ayn Rand Institute on End The Debt Draft:

Forty thousand dollars. That’s roughly your share of the U.S. national debt. That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared to the debt the government’s going to be racking up in the years ahead thanks mainly to America’s old-age welfare programs.

As the Baby Boomers retire, the bill for Social Security and Medicare will grow fast, setting off a debt tsunami. Economists can estimate the difference between how much government is on track to spend and how much it will raise from taxes. They call this “the fiscal gap.” That number is astronomical: $205 trillion dollars, or more than half a million dollars per person.

Today you and millions of other young Americans are being drafted into debt. Like the military draft, the Debt Draft treats the lives of young people as the property of the state. You have been conscripted to finance other people’s retirement and health care needs, regardless of what impact this will have on your life. Your duty is to set aside your own happiness in order to serve the needs of the old.

Responsible individuals only take on debt they can manage, and only when it serves important goals and values: to go to college, buy a home, start a business. But imagine being forced to pay someone else’s student loan debt, or someone else’s mortgage, or someone else’s credit card bill. Would that be fair? Of course not. But that is what the Debt Draft amounts to.

Now, let me be clear. Whatever the parallels between today’s debt disaster and the military draft, there is a vast difference. The military draft left countless young Americans maimed or killed, which is something that we should be careful not to trivialize. But there is a parallel between that and the welfare state that we must not ignore. Both turn young people into servants.

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