Bergman: Bad News Doesn't Get Better With Time
Washington, May 23, 2023
If you were to ask my colleagues, staff, or even my wife about how often I say “bad news doesn’t get better with time,” their answer would likely include adjectives such as excessive, ridiculous, or even exhausting.
However, acknowledging both good and bad news allows us to accept reality, address situations thoughtfully, and make decisions wisely. As an airline pilot and U.S. Marine, I quickly learned that understanding the “bad news” in each situation allowed me to make decisions early to protect lives and assets.
However, in Washington, D.C., there seems to be a total aversion to addressing bad news of any kind. Politicians, many with good intentions, fail to address or even acknowledge problems or the need for corrective action. So let’s discuss the bad news that we already know: Our nation’s financial situation is dire — at best. Our debt and deficit are wildly out of control, due entirely to Washington’s extreme spending addictions, AND we face an impending debt ceiling crisis.
According to the United States Treasury, here are the facts:
The national debt stands at nearly $31.5 trillion (that’s $31,500,000,000,000), which is an average of about $94,000 per American. The Fiscal Year 2022 deficit is already over $1.1 trillion, which means we have spent over $1,100,000,000,000 more than we have collected.
So, we know the bad news, but what is our action plan? Do we just gripe about it and use it in the next election as a talking point? Do we ignore it completely as has been done by most politicians for decades? Or do we acknowledge that our debts and deficit are the biggest national security threat facing our nation, and act now? I understand the gravity of that statement. Russia, China, Iran, and even our very own southern border are all grave threats to our national security, yet I believe that our financial situation is an even greater threat.
I went to Washington to shake up the status quo and get things done — so that’s what we are doing. America must not default on our debt. That isn’t up for debate. Our legislation responsibly raises the debt ceiling while making course corrections to Washington’s spending addiction — leaving critical programs like Veterans Affairs benefits, Social Security, and Medicare untouched.