By FITSNews || Back in 2001, when former U.S. President Bill Clinton was leaving office, the once-reliable Congressional Budget Office projected annual surpluses of approximately $850 billion from 2009-12.
Imagine that! Government spending less money than it took in, and then using these massive surpluses to pay down its debt (which in 2001 totaled $5.7 trillion) and pump more money into the private sector.
A novel idea, right?
So … what happened?
Well for starters, George W. Bush and Barack Obama happened. Along with their “Republican” and Democratic Congresses, which were ostensibly elected to rein in the “wasteful spending” of the other party – but then proceeded to one-up their “ideological opponents” on fiscal recklessness.
Republicans aren’t for “limited government,” people. They’re for ridiculously large government growing at ridiculous levels. And Democrats aren’t for “big government,” they’re for obscenely large government growing at obscene levels
The only thing that changes is which party has its hands on the spigot …
Now, just nine years later, the projected deficit spending for 2009-12 is more than $3.7 trillion, part of the reason we’ll have a $14.4 trillion debt by the end of this year and a $20.3 trillion debt (if current levels hold) by the end of the decade.
Fiscal conservatives also maintain that the Congressional Budget Office – which has become extremely malleable to political pressure – is low-balling those figures, sort of like the Department of Labor is low-balling unemployment data.
The bottom line, though, is that the empire is burning.
By 2020, the interest payments on our debt alone could top $1 trillion, which amounts to around 30 percent of the current federal budget.
How is America going to afford that? Particularly in light of the impending collapse of Social Security and Medicaid?
It’s not …