SOONER OR LATER, IT ADDS UP … OR NOT
By FITSNEWS || Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. reached a deal this week to fund “most” of the federal government through September 2015 at an annualized rate of $1.1 trillion. Obviously this spending plan – passed by a lame duck Congress – doesn’t address the government’s overextended, unsustainable entitlement obligations, which comprise nearly two-thirds of all federal spending in a given year.
The budget agreement – which conservatives rightfully classified as a “GOP surrender” – was reached as the government’s debt crossed the $18 trillion threshold, a dramatic escalation in deficit spending that has failed to kickstart the national economy.
The new deal contains billions in new “war spending” to subsidize America’s ongoing “War on Terror” – over and above the $521 billion the Pentagon is already receiving. It also contains billions of dollars to ostensibly safeguard citizens against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
Beyond that, it’s loaded with billions of dollars earmarked for familiar pork – like subsidies for the money-losing Amtrak program.
The good news? Congress did strip funding for Barack Obama‘s latest proposed internet regulations – which represent a clear and present danger to our First Amendment freedoms.
For those of you keeping score at home, total federal spending in 2014 was roughly $3.5 trillion – for the second year in a row. Of that total, $2 trillion was mandatory – meaning it went to fund entitlement programs like Social Security. After peaking at $1.4 trillion in 2010, so-called “discretionary spending” has actually slowed to around $1.1 trillion over the last four years – although that’s little consolation given the massive ramp up in debt. This spending also doesn’t include increases in the interest taxpayers must pay on the growing mountain of borrowed money.
Federal spending has grown 63 percent faster than inflation over the last twenty years, according to the latest budget data released by the Heritage Foundation.
“Three major budget categories—major health care programs, Social Security, and interest on the debt—will account for 85 percent of nominal spending growth over the next decade,” Heritage’s Romina Boccia wrote this week. “Entitlement reform is a must to curb the growth in spending.”
After posting modest surpluses as recently as 2001, “Republican” and Democratic presidents and Congresses have exploded the debt – including ringing up annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion from 2009-12. The deficit declined to roughly $500 billion this year – but it is projected to rise again over the course of the coming decade and could hit $1 trillion again by 2021.
The recent explosion in deficit spending – along with the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy – was supposed to stimulate the economy. It didn’t. All it did was starve the middle class at the expense of government dependents and wealthy, well-connected special interests.
As far as we can tell, this spending plan does absolutely nothing to rectify this fundamental fiscal injustice … nor does it in any way reduce the destructive power of Washington’s ticking budgetary time bomb.
Will, you are almost there but you need to dig a little deeper into the number. Discretionary spending is not down. Look at how the government does their accounting. The payments they have been receiving from the banks as part of TARP and Freddie and Fannie has been taking down the “expense’ side and not as revenue. That way they can show spending is going down, when it really has not.
That Republican revolution this November really is changing Washington.
Starts in January.
Sure thing Charlie Brown.
Keep dreaming, Wake Up.
Yeah, if I’m Obama I’m smiling. I got everything I wanted. Hey, you know what’s really cool. This ensures we’ve funded Obamacare all the way through to open enrollment in October 2015. Yup. They really put the screws to him this time. Can’t wait until next year – maybe they’ll just hold the spending increases to 8% overall. Looks like the RINO Consultant Establishment screwed the conservatives again. How does it feel to get plugged by your own guys. Ain’t much Tea left the in the Party.
Up next, the Boehner McConnell Immigration Reform bill of 2015, complete with amnesty and marginal border enforcement (and a $40 billion rider for states expanding Medicaid.)
I know, it’s just a taste of what’s not to come…change of any sort.
Not a problem, Federal Reserve will print another $1.1 trillion … it’s just funny money.
It’s articles like this that really make me appreciate Economist’s View and the links I find there. http://economistsview.typepad.com/
How’s that RINO horn feelin’ now?