I’ve heard this phrase repeatedly cited, regarding the “national debt”. It’s called “kicking the can down the road”. I’ve heard it in the USA, Europe, and other contexts.
“Kicking the can down the road” is a lie. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
When the government prints money for X, that isn’t free. The cost is inflation. The cost is not deferred to the future. The cost is immediately paid via inflation.
In the USA, the Federal government has a budget deficit. Politicians raise the national debt limit a little. A few months later, they have the exact same debate again. The politicians play a game of chicken with other people’s money. “Give me what I want, or I’ll ruin this massive extortion racket we both profit from immensely!”
In Europe, many governments are insolvent. Those governments are given new money and loans, but only enough to last a few more months. A few months later, the same thing happens again.
In Europe, the bailout money isn’t going to the people. It’s going to banksters and insiders. In a corrupt financial system, one of the rules is “A ‘too big to fail’ always gets a bailout.” By “too big to fail”, politicians really mean “too politically connected to fail”. If money is directly given to banks, that is too obviously corrupt. Instead, money is given to the banks’ creditors, and the net effect is the same.
The “crisis” with European government debt is not “OMFG! These governments are bankrupt!” The real crisis is “OMFG! Our bankster friends will be bankrupt, if the government defaults!”
Why is government debt sacred? Why can’t governments default? Insiders make a ton of money off government debt. The only time a government is allowed to default, is when insiders sell and short-sell the debt before the default.
In a paper monetary system, insolvency can always be postponed. Insiders can always print new paper, and bail out their friends.
The only cost is inflation. Until hyperinflation occurs, insiders can always print new money and give it to themselves.
Unfortunately, the global financial system is coming dangerously close to hyperinflation. Insiders think “We just stole $X. Why not steal $2X? Why not steal more and more?”
“Kick the can down the road” is a fnord phrase. It means “We’re printing new money to bail out our friends. Maybe we won’t do that the next time. We’ll be responsible eventually.” They say that each time, and keep doing it.
In a paper monetary system, you can’t “kick the can down the road”. If new money is printed to finance a bailout, there is an immediate cost of inflation. There is no free lunch. The cost is not deferred to the future. The cost is immediately paid via inflation. The phrase “kick the can down the road” helps obfuscate what’s happening.