The words of (History can’t teach me anything) Peter Suderman

Anytime I encounter the irresistible urge simultaneously to feel superior to someone’s else’s ignorance, while shaking my head in wonderment (Yes, that’s a real thing; you should experience it, sometime) I read an article by Peter Suderman.

Image result for peter suderman
— Forget facts. Forget history. He knows what he knows.

According to his site: Peter Suderman is features editor at Reason. He writes regularly on health care, the federal budget, tech policy, and pop culture.

Before joining Reason, Suderman worked as a writer and editor at National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, Doublethink, and Culture11.

His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, Vox, Politico, The New York Post, Newsweek, The Washington Examiner, and numerous other publications.

He lives in Washington, D.C.

His latest demonstration of his inability to learn from facts and history is titled, “Deficit Politics May Have Gone Away, but Debt and Deficits Are Worse Than Ever”

This is how his article opens:

“For most of the Obama era, the federal deficit—and, by extension, the debt—was a crisis.

“This was a bipartisan belief, held, or at least paid respectful lip service, by the Tea Party radicals and top administration aides as well as by President Obama himself.

“Hence the battles over the debt limit; the imposition of sequestration cuts that, fully implemented, were intended to reduce spending by more than $1 trillion over a decade; the concurrent increase in tax rates on high earners; the creation of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, better known as the Supercommittee; and the Simpson-Bowles debt-reduction proposal to which it led.”

Nevermind that the “Great Recession” was cured by massive deficit spending. And never mind that the past 10 years of economic growth have been marked by 10 years of increasing federal debt.

And never mind that every depression in U.S. history has coincided with federal debt reduction (Look it up, here.)

Hey, why let facts get in the way of intuition swayed by profound ignorance?

I won’t go through all the nonsense of his wholly laughable, but overly long, treatise. Rather, I will take you to its ending:

“Sustaining this casual attitude toward fiscal looseness thus requires believing that there is essentially no limit, no meaningful upper bound, to the amount of debt that the federal budget can sustain, an idea that even many of today’s more sophisticated debt-doesn’t-matter boosters don’t subscribe to.

“Alternatively, it requires a high degree of confidence that our nation’s political class will more or less responsibly take our national ledger right up to the brink but no further, finding the precise last moment in which to exercise fiscal restrain.

“If you believe this, I would gently suggest you acquaint yourself with some politicians.

“Otherwise, you have to worry, at least a little, that today’s trajectory is toward crisis, if not now, if not at current debt levels, then at some future date we’ll only discover when it’s too late to prevent, when the consequences can’t be avoided.

“And that worry should be increased a little more by the possibility that today’s free-lunchism is not only increasing the likelihood of an eventual crisis, but making it harder to solve, if and when it does arrive, by seeding amongst voters the idea that hard choices won’t ever be necessary.

“It is making the already challenging project of achieving public consensus harder still.

“So yes, the predicted crisis may not have arrived quite yet. It may even hold off for a while longer.”

“But the nature of politics means it draws ever closer, and ignoring the issue, as we are now, only makes it worse.”

Hmm . . . did his repetition of the words, “crisis,”trajectory is toward crisis,” “an eventual crisis,” and  “the predicted crisis ” remind you of the famous words, “ticking time bomb”?

Here’s a reminder from,“It is 2019, and the phony federal debt “time bomb” still is ticking.”

Back in 1940, the federal budget was a “ticking time-bomb which can eventually destroy the American system,” said Robert M. Hanes, president of the American Bankers Association.

By 1960: the debt was “threatening the country’s fiscal future,” said Secretary of Commerce, Frederick H. Mueller.

By 1983: “The debt probably will explode in the third quarter of 1984,” said Fred Napolitano, former president of the National Association of Home Builders.

In 1984: AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland said. “It’s a time bomb ticking away.”

In 1985: “The federal deficit is ‘a ticking time bomb, and it’s about to blow up,” U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. (Remember him?)

Later in 1985: Los Angeles Times: “We labeled the deficit a ‘ticking time bomb’ that threatens to permanently undermine the strength and vitality of the American economy.”

In 1987: Richmond Times–Dispatch – Richmond, VA: “100TH CONGRESS FACING U.S. DEFICIT ‘TIME BOMB’”

Later in 1987: The Dallas Morning News: “A fiscal time bomb is slowly ticking that, if not defused, could explode into a financial crisis within the next few years for the federal government.”


In 1992: The Pantagraph – Bloomington, Illinois: “I have seen where politicians in Washington have expressed little or no concern about this ticking time bomb they have helped to create, that being the enormous federal budget deficit, approaching $4 trillion.

Later in 1992: Ross Perot: “Our great nation is sitting right on top of a ticking time bomb. We have a national debt of $4 trillion.”

In 1995: Kansas City Star: “Concerned citizens. . . regard the national debt as a ticking time bomb poised to explode with devastating consequences at some future date.”

In 2003: Porter Stansberry, for the Daily Reckoning: “Generation debt is a ticking time bomb . . . with about ten years left on the clock.”


In 2005: Providence Journal: “Some lawmakers see the Medicare drug benefit for what it is: a ticking time bomb.”

In 2006:, “We have to worry about the deficit . . . when we combine it with the trade deficit we have a real ticking time bomb in our economy,” said Mrs. Clinton.

In 2007: USA Today: “Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen.

In 2010: Reason Alert: “. . . the time bomb that’s ticking under the federal budget like a Guy Fawkes’ powder keg.”

In 2011: Washington Post, Lori Montgomery: ” . . . defuse the biggest budgetary time bombs that are set to explode.”

In 2014: CBN News: “The United States of Debt: A Ticking Time Bomb

*On Jun 18, 2015: The ticking economic time bomb that presidential candidates are ignoring: Fortune Magazine, Shawn Tully,

*On February 10, 2016, The Daily Bell“Obama’s $4.1 Trillion Budget Is Latest Sign of America’s Looming Collapse”

*On January 23, 2017: Trump’s ‘Debt Bomb’: Deficit May Grow, Defense Budget May Not, By Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr.

*On April 28, 2017: Debt in the U.S. Fuel for Growth or Ticking Time Bomb?, American Institute for Economic Research, by Max Gulker, PhD – Senior Research Fellow, Theodore Cangeros

Feb. 16, 2018  America’s Debt Bomb By Andrew Soergel, Senior Reporter: Conservatives and deficit hawks are hurling criticism at Washington for deepening America’s debt hole.

On April 18, 2018 By Alan Greenspan and John R. Kasich: “Time is running short, and America’s debt time bomb continues to tick.”

On January 10, 2019, Unfunded Govt. Liabilities — Our Ticking Time Bomb. By Myra Adams, Tick, tick, tick goes the time bomb of national doom.

On January 18, 2019; 2019 Is Gold’s Year To Shine (And The Ticking US Debt Time-Bomb) By Gavin Wendt

Keep in mind that the phony “time bomb” began to “tick” at least as far back as 1940, when the total debt was $40 Billion. Today, 80 years later, it has risen 52,500% (!) to $21 Trillion, and still the bomb ticks.

In eerily Trumpian fashion, Suderman doesn’t seem embarrassed by being wrong, wrong, wrong, over and over and over again.

Like Trump, he just knows in his gut that he is right, and let the facts be damned.

Well, at least it gives me the wonderful chance again to “feel superior to someone’s ignorance, while shaking my head in wonderment.”

Thank you, Peter.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.


3 thoughts on “The words of (History can’t teach me anything) Peter Suderman

    1. I suspect that deep examination would provide examples that predate 1940, and no doubt there will be future examples. Every once in a while I’ve Googled “debt” and “bomb”, which is how the list, which originally ended in 2007 (See:, now ends in 2019.

      Since ignorance is infinite, I’m sure your great, great, great . . . grandchildren will be able to extend the list into perpetuity.


  1. The ticking time bomb of debt is like all the end of the world predictions of the bible, prophets, Nostradomas, Catholic church, etc. FEAR the future and behave ( control!!) as we the old power structure want you to.


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