Cost of Iraq / Afghanistan so far? $3.5T
For the first time in our history we have undertaken a major war effort and didn’t levy a tax increase to pay for it. Not a single person in Washington is pounding the table saying WTF about this lunacy.
In this broken logic world of ours government has all these new expenses it has taken on and hasn’t much considered that it needed money to pay for them.
Bush created a new cabinet department, Department of Homeland Security, that in FY 2011 has a budget of $56B. There has never been a tax increase that explicitly paid for this entire new Washington bureaucracy. As of 2009 DHS had approximately 230,000 employees. I bet each of them gets a paycheck that has a U.S. government logo on it. Each gets medical and an attractive retirement plan. BTW. That retirement plan, the one that funds federal retirees, has been borrowed against by the government with the amount borrowed from retirees currently representing approximately 9% of U.S. debt.
Medicare Part D pharma costs over a ten year period are currently estimated (2006-2015) to be in the $560B range. This was an unfunded program that is in effect debt. Why? Same old song. Bush didn’t want to raise taxes to pay for it.
Adding debt without creating an offsetting revenue increase, or a way to pay for it, is the most basic problem we face. Across time various administrations have markedly increased debt or reduced taxes but have done nothing to address the shortfall on the revenue side. The current congress is still in this same mode where there is a refusal to get revenues in line with fixed costs. The fixed costs are there and were established by previous legislation and are now obligations. Congress wants to cancel out some of these obligations. One of these is Social Security. Government has borrowed heavily against it. This is intragovernment debt. Money we owe to ourselves. Congress is no more entitled to fiddle with this debt than treasury debt owed to creditor nations. But some persons in congress don’t see the debt to citizens as equivalent to debt held by creditors. This is as wrong as can be.