What Deficit Reduction Plan?

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.

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4 thoughts on “What Deficit Reduction Plan?

  1. cmaukonen

    For one thing Bush never had to pick up the tab for anything himself in his entire life. And I’ll bet that goes for a good number of congressman. They expect someone else to pick up the tab and cover their sorry asses.

  2. I echo C on this.

    w never had to pay for any mistake he ever made–whether on purpose or not.

    But that is the way it goes for corporate management as well, I guess!

    And Personal Responsibility is the slogan for the repub party; always has been and always will!

    1. They mouth the words, “I take personal responsibility…” and that’s as far as it ever gets. In real terms there isn’t an iota of liability. It’s the same with corps. Corps never admint any liability for anything. They merely pay somebody, usually pennies on a dollar, and go their merry way.

      They do so with the full knowledge they’ve made a vast profit on the overall transaction. And our government, our elected officials, back them all the way on this arrangement.

      And we are powerless in the face of the outrage we are experiencing at present. Repubs, banks etc wrecked the global economy and now are attempting to pay for it on the backs of the working class, showing us exactly how awful they are. And no matter how awful this is and how bad it looks there are a lot of people who look at it and see nothing wrong. I don’t know how you do that.

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