On Monday, the Treasury Department released the 2018 fiscal year numbers for the U.S. government. It’s not pretty as Washington is significantly in the red – by $779 billion, the largest government shortfall since 2012, the year before sequestration began.

Part of the blame goes to higher spending and part to tax collections that were lower than they would have been absent the tax cuts. Government spending in 2018 hit $4.1 trillion. That’s even higher than the 2017 number, which at least was under $4 trillion.

That problem is compounded by a tax cut that has not "paid for itself," leaving government revenue lower than expected. Although total revenue (only half of which is individual income taxes) is still slightly higher than last year – up from $3.32 trillion to $3.34 trillion – it is not as much as had been expected previously, and not enough to cover increases in spending.

Worse, these problems aren’t likely to get better. The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan and independent government watchdog, estimates that the annual deficit will rise to $981 billion next year. That’s 4.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. One year later, it is projected to pass $1 trillion.

Continuing on this path paves the way for rising national debt and indicates little willingness in Washington to actually tackle the growing problem.

This has serious repercussions for the future. The key issue is if the government will be able to pay off its debt.

Indeed, if that debt gets too large then the government could be forced to default on it or drastically cut spending to pay for it, otherwise known as austerity. If investors think that the U.S. is less likely to pay them back, bond yields will rise so that it costs the government more to borrow money that it will increasingly depend on to fix budget shortfalls.

Of course, the government could also just print more money, but that would lead to inflation, debase the dollar and probably permanently damage the U.S. economy.

In all cases, such rapid increases in deficits and national debt today kick the burden of paying for spending to the next generation of taxpayers.

This is not a sustainable nor fiscally responsible model. Republican lawmakers who have often championed fiscal responsibility over the spending measures of their Democratic colleagues, must hold themselves and their president accountable – even if it means pushing back on proposed spending and tax cuts.

Robbing the future with sky high deficits might make for nice numbers for the economy today, but it will be disastrous in the long run.