Who are they kidding?
[Cross-posted at Proportional Belief.]
There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the prospect that Congress might cut some $50 billion from its budget over the next five years. Where, O where, can we find that kind of money? Will the elderly, children, and minorities soon be starving in the streets? Will they soon have no access to medical care?
Get a grip, people. Anyone who claims there is nowhere to cut the Federal budget is either lying, ignorant, or both. A couple of economists have put this in perspective:
Despite the"sky is falling" rhetoric warning of the dismantling of government, the budget reconciliation savings are exceedingly modest. The House's $54 billion of reconciliation savings represents just half of 1 percent of the $7.8 trillion entitlement spending planned over the next five years. The challenge is no greater than that facing a family of four making $50,000 a year and suddenly faced with the need to pay off a $250 emergency room bill over a five-year period.
The Federal government's budget for 2005 is approximately $2.3 trillion; even assuming it did not grow over the next five years (though of course it will), that means $11.5 trillion dollars over five years. The $50 billion the politicians and the special interest groups are fretting over cutting is less than one-third of one percent of the budget. They can't cut that? Please. I'll bet that federal agencies lose that much money every year.
Daniel Scott Summars - 11/16/2005
USA Today 14-Nov-2005
That is just absolutely amazing (really).
There's hardly a peep out of Congress or the Executive Branch for the last 5 years.
Now they're concerned ?
Where were they for last 5 years ?
Is it because of the growing number of economists (with sophisticated models) making dire predictions ?
Or, maybe, perhaps it is 77 million baby boomers soon earning, spending, and being taxed less,
and drawing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, prescriptions, and welfare ?
Or, maybe it's the $8 Trillion National Debt (representing $38 Trillion in interest in 2005 dollar$) ?
Or, maybe it's the $1.6 Trillion deficit in the GPBGC and pensions (this will be worse than the previous S&L bail-out) ?
Or, maybe it's the $1 billion per day in interest, over $1 billion per day in borrowing ?
Or, maybe it's the $6 billion per month in IRAQ ?
Or, the $40 Trillion of personal debt ?
Or, our decreasing competitiveness, trade deficits, cheap foreign labor, and global plunder ?
Or, the rising cost of illegal aliens (a Dallas policemen was shot and killed this week by an illegal alien) ?
Or, the rising cost and unreliability of the health care systems ?
Or, the declining quality and increasing cost of public education ?
Or, our energy vulnerability, urban sprawl, and no energy plan ?
Or, the rise of corpocrisy, corporatism, investor/stock fraud, and corporate welfare ?
Or, our ridiculously costly and abused tax system ?
Or, the disappearing 40 hour work week ?
Or, our crumbling infrastructure ?
Or, government continuing to grow ever larger (more jobs in government than manufacturing),
becoming increasingly irresponsible and unaccountable government ?
We'd better get a handle on this fast.
Please see: http://VOIDnow.org
This is the most simple, easy, responsible way to peacefully
force government to be responsible and accountable too, by
simply doing the one thing we should have been doing all along.
William P Perry - 11/15/2005
I have bookmarked
Bureau of the Public Debt: The Debt To the Penny link so I am able have ready access to it when posting to forums such as this. So here you have it!
Some people often say that George Washington is rolling over in his grave because of the way the US Gov't is being run into debt (amongst other things) especially since he left US with this bit of fatherly advice:
"As a very important source of strength & security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible: avoiding occasions of expence by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it--avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expence, but by vigorous exertions in time of Peace to discharge the Debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear"
United States, 19th September 1796
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