Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Yes, our federal government deficit has exceeded $1 trillion, and yet we keep spending. Making matters worse, it’s a milestone in non-wartime government history that will be short-lived, soon to be eclipsed by the $1.84 trillion deficit the Administration is expecting by October.*
For those of you who may say, “Com’on, the economy is huge. It’s not such a big number when you think about it. The dollar isn’t worth what it used to be.” (No kidding.) “We’ll get things under control when the economy recovers. Blah, blah, blah,” you’re nuts if you think a $1.84 trillion budget deficit isn’t significant.
Unbelievably, the Administration has yet to spend $697 billion of the $787 billion the President said was needed on an “emergency” basis. (And people thought the Bush Administration was incompetent for its untimely handling of hurricane Katrina.) Meanwhile, the economy is going to, and may have already begun to recover on its own. What to do, what to do?
Personally, I’d reallocate the $697 billion to those households which have been most affected by the recession who will spend the money we give them immediately, without endless delays or wasteful “pork.”** Okay, you don’t like that idea. Fine. Then just don’t spend the $697 billion. Round numbers, that will cut the current budget deficit to a measly $400 billion, chump change by federal government standards.
As for the $1.84 trillion deficit forecast for October, well, as President Barack “Buzz” Lightyear would say, “To infinity and beyond!”
Somebody’s going to have to pay for all this, in the form of taxes and essential government services we’re not going to enjoy – and I think we all know who that’s going to be.
*AP article on Yahoo! News, “Budget deficit tops $1 trillion for first time”.
**Suggested reading… “Occam’s Economics: A simple, back-of-the envelope plan to regenerate consumer spending – immediately.” which I posted Thursday morning, July 8.