Budget Math

I wish I knew where they got their deficit spending number, but KVNU’s For The People really caught my attention with the side-by-side listing of the deficit spending in the budget President Bush just signed. They claim that $240 Billion of the $555 Billion is deficit spending. That’s over 43% of the total budget being paid with imaginary cash. The original excuse for deficit spending (back in the Depression era) was that it could be used to fund emergencies, as a temporary measure to get us past tough times such as war or depression. The problem here is that no matter how great the emergency, if you are spending everything you earn plus another 76% of what you are bringing in it’s time to find a way to reduce your costs by 40% (which would still leave us with deficit spending this year of $20 Billion).

What really got me about all of this is that although we are in a war right now that war only accounts for $70 Billion so we could remove that spending completely and we would still have $170B out of the $485B being paid on promises. (That’s still 35% deficit spending.) There was $28B in domestic spending that the President didn’t want (only $142B to go) and $10B in pork earmarks. In other words, nobody even attempted to spend less than 30% of the budget with play money. If Congress had started with the budget proposed by the President and simply subtracted everything they didn’t like we would still have been spending more than $100 Billion dollars that we didn’t have. I think we can say that this government is numerically bankrupt – who cares that they exercised their power to raise their credit limit so as to prevent them from being financially bankrupt this year.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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4 Responses to Budget Math

  1. Reach Upward says:

    Rep. Steve Urquhart likes to point out that most states achieve balanced annual budgets on a regular basis, while this kind of thing completely eludes the federal government. But even regular deficits might be understandable if they averaged out over time (say 10 years, or even 15) to a balanced budget. If that were the case, it would simply mean that the end of the budget cycle made for an artificial divider, and that on the whole, we had a balanced budget.

    But that is not what we’re doing. The federal government overspends whenever it suits the politicians. We are locked into so many ongoing discretionary programs that are automatically re-authorized without vote (or with a tacit vote) that the thought of controlling spending is out of the question.

  2. David says:

    You and Rep. Urquhart are both very right. States demonstrate that staying within the limits of income can be done, and I could accept temporary deficit spending. Right now we face the prospect of taking a century to repay our debt if we were to pay $100 Billion per year.

  3. Word has it that Bill Clinton balanced his budgets while Bush can’t balance the nose on the end of his face. But in reality (as Hillary’s book should have been titled, ‘It Takes a Congress to Balance a Budget’.

    It would do us well to stop sending the same tired people back to the US Congress (seniority be damned), but instead get some leaders who understand that the Constitution means what it says. Then we’d have no problem balancing the budget.

  4. David says:

    We can’t even hope to send representatives to Congress who understand that the Constitution means what it says when the majority of the electorate has no understanding of the Constitution, and with the education that most of us have received, an understanding of the constitution is not something that is widely had. Those who understand it do so because they have taken the time on their own to study it.

    We need an informed electorate if we want a chance at a leadership that possesses understanding of the Constitution.

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