I'm fed up with our country being the brokest country on earth. We're like some celebrity who gets paid millions but has to declare bankruptcy. Any day now I'm expecting to see the Behind The Music special on America. "They seemingly had it all but blew it on entitlements and bridges to no where".
photo: screengrab Benhind The Music VH1
Running a deficit for the feds is nothing new. Every year of my 46 years of life we have run a deficit except the last 3 years of Clinton/1st year of Bush and Richard Nixon's first year in 1969. That's 41-5 if you're slow on math. And those 5 did little to pay down our debt as you can see we have hung on to a hefty debt since WWII.
And every year we seem to have same debate. How can we raise more tax dollars? For 2012, we're now projected to have more tax dollars sent to Washington than ever before. 2.7 Trillion dollars! And yet that's no where near enough. We will be about a trillion short. For 2013 we're on pace to spend between 3.5 & 3.8 trillion. We average 400 billion per year just on the interest for our debt. If we were to get back to debt-free government, that would cut our spending by 1/6th or so. Which is a heck of a lot more savings than 85 billion cut from the sequester!
Here is what I'd like to see candidates do. Tell us how much you plan to spend and how you plan to get there. Currently we argue over how much each group of tax payers should pay. That is putting the cart before the horse in my opinion. What we first need to know is what you plan on spending. No one seems to want to tell us that. We get a bunch of crap about how they're going to go line by line and cut waste. Yet our budget has risen by at least 100 billion dollars every year since 1997 which was the last time we froze. By the way 1997's budget was 1.6 trillion, or way less than half of our current 3.8 trillion budget. For all the people who like to talk about how great the economy was under Clinton, ask yourselves 'did Bill have to chose to close the school for the disabled kid or the poor kid'? Those are the false choices that will bloat a budget to double it's size in 15 years. Using rate of inflation. 1.6 trillion in 1997 is 2.3 trillion today. If we ran our government exactly like we ran it in the good ol days of Bill Clinton we could run it for 2.3 trillion dollars. Which means we would have a 400 billion dollar surplus for 2012. Which means we could start really paying down this debt. It's like we should have the candidates bid for the job! "I could run this country for a budget of _____". Crazy? Maybe so. But it can't be as crazy as budgeting to spend a trillion more a year than you plan on taking in.