If the budget/debt ceiling debate doesn’t focus voter’s on 2012 nothing will. After cramming ObamaCare through Congress using a parliamentary procedure (Reconciliation) meant for routine spending bills not massive entitlement bills; after cajoling and threatening and “rewarding” (we call it something else in the private sector) loyal party members with scads of taxpayer money for pet projects if they voted to support ObamaCare; after listening to Nancy Pelosi so aptly declare: “We have to pass the bill to know what’s in it…” if you were still sitting on the sidelines, now is the time to engage in the debate.
Let’s set aside the $1.whatever Trillion spending boondoggle that is ObamaCare. Let’s focus instead on the question of spending and the sustainability of spending of our federal government.
Fact: in 2011, the US is projected to spend $772.4B on pensions, $874.4B on health care (before the effects of ObamaCare spending kick in in 2014), $417.1B on welfare, $254.5B on interest on the accumulating debt (projected to be in excess of $15 trillion by the end of FY 2011) and $830.9B on defense. Compare the budget in 2011 to the budget in 1961.
Just fifty years ago federal spending on pensions was $12.8B ($760 billion less than we pay each year to retirees in 2011). Health care costs were $1.6B ($872.8 billion less than 2011, and this is before the enormous costs of ObamaCare commence. It should also be noted here that despite exponential growth in health care payments since 1961, our health care system and availability of health care to the poor was so egregiously wanting, that we had to pass Obama‘s $1 trillion solution to fix it. What we couldn’t do with $872 billion surely we can accomplish with $1 trillion more! ) Welfare costs were $3.2B. Our interest payment on debt outstanding was $7.5B and our defense spending totaled $57.0B.
Consider: Since 1961 the federal budget has expanded 3,735%. According to the government’s own cost of living calculator. $10.00 in 1961 is worth the equivalent of $75.49 in 2011. In other words, while the average citizen in the United States has experienced a 654% increase in living expenses since 1961, the government has expanded its budget by 3,735%.
And is borrowing over 40 cents for each dollar spent.
This is the debate of 2012. Obama wants tax increases–more of your money–rather than to temper spending. And this is before the effects of the inflationary monetary policies of QE2 etc. seep into the economy and turbo charge consumer prices. The question for each of us: are his policies sustainable, effective, or for that matter, constitutional.
What is the primary purpose of government after all?
To protect her citizens from harm. And that includes reckless economic harm.