It’s the spending, stupid

or How Congress Adjourned to Guarantee Your Tax Increase in 2011!By picking up their ball and bat and going home, the tax-and-spend Congress ended the game because they knew they were losing.  The “stop the tax hike” game is of what I speak. The general consensus among the pundits was that a vote to extend the so-called “Bush” tax cuts would have prevailed from the conservative side — most Republicans and quite a few Democrats — and by calling the game, a loss was avoided.

We’re going to talk about deficits and debt, so click on this thumbnail and get a good look at it. But first let’s contrast the discussion about a tax “cut” and reality.

Now what? If November does not produce a conservative sweep by republicans (note the little “r” as in those who believe in our constitutional republic) then another health care style “cram down” will certainly occur; and if there IS a sweep by little-r’s then one might reasonably expect an attempt by the tax-and-spend crowd at a revengeful tax-hike.  Either way November goes, the tax-and-spend bunch may have assured your taxes are going up.

It kills me that the media talks about how to pay for the tax cuts. First, extending existing law is not a tax cut; and doing so does not require looking for a way to pay for anything. Second, it’s spending we must find a way to pay for.  A recent report (and I’ll get it sourced) indicated that when Pres. Obama took office — when the tax-and-spend bunch had already been in control of Congress for two years — the projected 10-year deficit was about four trillion. After less than two years of the current administration the 10-year deficit has doubled (in a mere 18 months) to just under eight trillion. That’s dollars, by the way.

Why do we care? Because deficits must be financed and, just as when we personally spend more than we earn, we borrow from a bank, friend, etc.  The U.S. borrows by issuing bonds and an increasingly large portion of that is from China. The “deficit” is an annual figure of how much spending exceeds revenues.  Repeated annual deficits result in a steadily increasing total amount owed — debt — and that figure is growing steadily.

How much is our national debt and where is it headed?  Firstly, absolute numbers are hard to grasp. If I just tell you the debt is a gazillion dollars, that means little. If you personally owes (for other than your home) as much as you make in a year, that means something to you. It’s bad. It’ll take you a long time to pay that off. The federal government calculates the same thing by comparing the total national debt as a percentage of GDP. Here is the chart which shows a trend that is rapidly headed toward World War II levels. What is the absolute number? It’s $13 Trillion and headed northward. Projections by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) project that the debt will exceed GDP by 2015. That’s not long from now.

What happens when we can no longer pay back what we owe?

How to control spending? Just get back to our constitutionally mandated limited government. Reduce both scope and size. Reduce the areas in which government is trying to regulate, and reduce the numbers of people doing it. Here’s a great example of how our government has become the nanny state to cure every vexatious situation:

The Senate passed a bill late Thursday that would create limits on the volume of television commercials and put the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in charge of regulating them.

The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) is an attempt to put an end to TV commercials that are many times louder than regular programming, a problem that has annoyed viewers for decades. The bill passed the House in December and will have to go back there for one last vote before President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

via Senate Passes Bill To Give FCC Power To Regulate Volume Of TV Commercials – Roguegovernment.com – The news web site of radio host and film maker Lee Rogers.

Give me a break already. I hate loud commercials as much as anyone but am perfectly capable of pressing the mute button. Those advertisers are totally losing me, and I suspect many viewers, because we either mute those loud commercials or flip the channel.  At any rate, I wish instead of spending time on such frivolity the Congress would try to solve a few of the limited number of problems within the legitimate federal purview like winning (not just exiting) a war.

It’s the spending, stupid. And until Congress cuts its appetite the electorate will continue to roar like a lion.  The silent majority just may have been awakened.

Sources used:

http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/forecasts_trends/archive/2010/06/08/america-s-national-debt-tops-13-trillion.aspx

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart_gs.php?year=1792_2010&view=1&expand=&units=p&fy=fy11&chart=40-fed&bar=0&stack=1&size=m&title=&state=US&color=c&local=s

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About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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