Sunday, April 10, 2011

Budget Follies: Eight Days In April, Or, Why The US Is Doomed

Charts depicting US federal debt (nominal and ...                            Image via Wikipedia
The eight days leading up to the US budget agreement were days of intense politicking, back-and-forth concessions, and hard-nosed bargaining.  Out of it all came an agreement that chopped a full 38.5 billion off the budget. Obama grinned and lauded it as historic. Leaders from both parties had found common ground and "acted on behalf of our children’s future".

Problem is this. In those same eight days,  actual US debt rose by $54.1 billion.  And, since the start of 2011, actual US debt has risen by $653.4 billion -- equivalent to 16 years of 2011 budget cuts.

If saving 38 billion protects America's children, what does over-spending by 653 billion do to them?

I know, I know. The budget is an annual, on-going thing, so, cutting it is good, and the current spending levels are a one-time (actually, two-time) spend-fest designed to get the country moving. But, debt is debt. And there's only so many tax-payers to go around. Already, a vast number of Americans pay no federal tax -- usually the ones who insist on a generous federal government. And a mere 8% of Americans pay 60% of the entire tax bill (these are the "rich who pay no taxes").

So where's the money going to come from to finance this debt (paying it off is out of the question)? There just aren't enough rich guys to go around.

Civil unrest in America when the debt chickens come home to roost and the politicians demand sacrifice on the part of all Americans -- the unionized, the government-pensioned, the government-entitled, as well as the ordinary wage-earner -- and not just the wealthy?

Don't count it out.

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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"