Robert Reich: The Middle Class Pay for the Government. The One Percent Profit From It | Opinion
The biggest untold story about how we pay for government involves a big switcheroo by America’s wealthy.
Decades ago, wealthy Americans financed the federal government mainly by paying taxes. Their tax rate was far higher than what it is today.
Now, wealthy Americans finance the federal government mainly by lending it money, and collecting interest payments on those loans, profiting when the rest of us pay them back.
Follow the money: As the debt continues to grow, interest payments are becoming huge. Taxpayers could soon be paying more in interest on the federal debt than we spend on the military or on Medicaid.
Interest on the debt is expected to hit $390 billion next year, nearly 50 percent more than in 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office.