It’s the Spending, Stupid

There is a lot of talk going on about the “fiscal cliff” and raising taxes. What few if any in the U.S. government seem to be willing to say is that this notion that Congress needs to take this so-called “balanced approach” to solving the problem of debt caused by Congress’s excessive spending, is a lot of nonsense. The government does not need more revenue. What it needs is to cut spending. And putting a lot of weight on the tax revenue side of things is not balanced at all. It is unbalanced, but it is also an attempt to misdirect the attention of the people.

Despite what the politicians in charge are saying, the U.S. government takes in lots of money. And by lots of money, I mean something in the neighborhood of two and a half trillion dollars. Trillion. With a T. As in $2,500,000,000,000. The problem is obviously not a lack of revenue. The problem is the government spending far more than it takes in. The fact of matter is the President and Congress work hard to spend more money than the government takes in.

And do not let them fool you on their so-called spending cuts. What they have cut, and what the sequestration cuts, is not spending at all. What they have cut, and what the sequestration cuts, is projected growth in spending. In other words, actual spending has not been cut. Just the projected increase in spending in the future. Spending itself will not be diminished by these cuts.

The problem that caused the increase in the national debt is not too little spending or too little revenue. The problem that caused the increase was too much actual spending. The federal government is fiscally irresponsible and the discussion they are having about the “fiscal cliff” is a joke. Neither side is actually serious about cutting spending, which is what needs to happen. Absolutely nothing they are doing right now is going to solve their over-spending problem.

And no, raising taxes on the wealthy is not going to do anything to solve the problem. The amount of revenue to be added by the President’s so-called “balanced plan” will not cover even half of the deficit the U.S. government racked up this year. Just the deficit mind you, which is only about $1,100,000,000,000. That is how much more the U.S. government spent after it spent approximately $2,500,000,000,000 in revenue. The U.S. national debt is about $16,200,000,000,000. And yes, that is over sixteen trillion dollars.

Anyone who tells you raising taxes on the wealthy and cuts in projected spending growth will solve this problem is either lying to you or a fool. I will leave it to you to decide for yourself which of those labels applies to President Obama and the leaders of the U.S. Congress.

2 Responses to “It’s the Spending, Stupid”

  1. Since Congress failed last year to reach a debt deal, Budget Control Act provides for automatic spending cuts to begin on January 2, 2013 that will amount to $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. Frankly, that only amounts to about $120 billion per year which is a drop in the deficit bucket. Defense spending would be cut about $55 billion in 2013, which translates to at least a 10% cut to every program, project and activity that’s not explicitly exempt. Another $55 billion will be cut from projected levels of nondefense spending, which would include things like education, food inspections and air travel safety. That amounts to about an 8% cut to programs, projects and activities.

    • Normally, I would delete this comment as spam, given the source. But I wanted to use this as an excuse to make a point I cannot stress enough. The so-called cuts that the sequestration will impose are cuts in projected growth of spending. Which means, nothing in the federal budget would actually have less money after the cut than it does now. They would all get spending increases, just not as high an increase as they might have otherwise received. So basically, nothing about the sequestration cuts is actually going to hurt anybody. As I said, it’s the actual spending we need to be worried about. Because regardless of the nature of the cuts, unless Congress actually commits to reign in spending, the cuts won’t matter because Congress will just authorize itself to spend more anyway. Bread and circuses, people, bread and circuses.

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