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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

$1.2 Trillion Deficit & You

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: As President-elect Obama and congressional Democrats propose various ideas for a potential $1 trillion stimulus bill, the Congressional Budget Office released its economic outlook today projecting that the deficit for fiscal year 2009 will be $1.2 trillion, 8.3% of gross domestic product. The Wall Street Journal notes that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, pointed out that the deficit has not reached such a high percentage of the GDP since World War II.

The Washington Post expresses concern about the deficit level and how much new spending proposals could add to the already massive national debt. The Post writes, “At $775 billion over two years, the package under discussion would represent a massive and risky expansion of the federal debt even if the government were not already running an annual budget deficit of more than $400 billion. This endeavor is not to be undertaken without due diligence and appropriate debate.” The Post editorial cautions about “angling for pet projects” in the infrastructure spending proposals and says, “Spectacular waste would undercut both the economic effectiveness and political sustainability of a stimulus program. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has constructively suggested converting some or all of the infrastructure money into federal loans which would give governors an incentive to take only what they could actually use.”

The Wall Street Journal also reports on a new proposal from Obama to require states to cover part-time workers with unemployment insurance and subsidize health insurance for laid-off workers. “But the proposal, along with others to subsidize health insurance for the laid-off and expand Medicaid to out-of-work Americans, are sparking bipartisan concern over the potential, long-term impact on a federal budget deficit that is expected to hit $1 trillion this year, even before the stimulus plan,” according to the WSJ. “Republicans and even some Democrats said some of the items show too little concern for the long-term impact on the national deficit,” The Journal notes that even Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) says new “pending proposals that have a permanent nature to them” give him pause. All of these concerns demonstrate the need for the “due diligence and appropriate debate” on these huge new spending proposals.

In considering a $1.2 trillion deficit, are you concerned, frustrated or even angry at Congress or the Government in general? Please, take a moment to reflect and to ask yourself, "Did I contribute to this problem?" Were you one of hundreds of millions of people pushing to get "your fair share" and maybe even cheering the receipt of funding for some local pet project (although worthy in your eyes) funded by Federal taxes or grants (a euphemism for tax money). I am not talking required roads, etc. But what about the funding for all those state and local area "pork" projects. You may not have thought about them as "pork" because you wanted them, and you wanted someone else to pay for them. And, your elected Congressman was willing to help and to take credit when your area received the money.

How about funds for a new college or university building hidden within a veteran bill, or a local museum, or "historical" building, or a local walking trail, or a local library? How about the studies on the sex life of "whatever creature"? Each of us seem to be able to recognize "pork" projects funded in another state or neighborhood. But what about the "pork projects" in your own state, and your own county and communities? While a project may be good and local citizen's may well opt to fund a project, but that project becomes a "pork project" when the funds come from other people's money who have no say or interest in your area, or when it is borrowed against the future of other people and their children outside of your region, or when the funding is despicably hidden within or added to a bill in return for some payoff from or favor to another elected official.

John F. Kennedy said, "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." One of the greatest freedoms we have in America have and hopefully will have in the future is the freedom to make our own choices. The freedom to spend our own money after the Government takes its share. We even have the freedom to experience failure and to make mistakes and to sometimes find ourselves in debt. But using our freedom to in partnership with "big government" and our elected officials to seek, to accept, and to use funds taken from others or borrowed (debt) against our children's future to fund our "local pet projects" is neither honorable or morally right.

The consequence: has been an inherent cheering on by society of the creation of the $1.2 Trillion deficit. Some may want to argue what about the cost of "the war." We could debate this another time. But consider this: The funding of the military and the war (and we hope peace) are within the scope of the functions to be carried out by the Federal government as authorized by the people in the Constitution. But funding a "road to nowhere," or funding a local university building with an elected person's name on the building, or funding government agencies who continue to further invade and limit the free choices of individuals and businesses are not required functions of the Federal Government. And the cost of these actions and agencies have driven the cost of government to a $1,200,000,000,000 deficit. Are you / we now ready to heed President Kennedy's words and to realize it is time to stop asking "what your country can do for you."

Tags: $1.2 Trillion Deficit, Congressional Pork, deficit reduction, government inefficiency, government waste, pork-barrel spenders, stimulas bill, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:58 AM - Post Link


Anonymous Tony Leach said...

You're right Bill. How much is enough and far is 'too far'.
From what I'm seeing.....I don't think the majority of people care as long as they have their TV and get some of their paycheck. To be honest though I think most people complain...but never take it any further. Sooner or later the government is going to overstep and people are going to say something and take action....but I fear by then it will be too late.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

301,554,000 is the population of u.s.a. or tax payers .If you multiplie the population with $3980.00 each tax payer owed . you will get $1,200,145,120,000.00 paid back for the 1,200,000,000,000.00 stimulas bill. not counting the interest. So if multiplie $13.00 back a week in tax dollars with 52 weeks a year you will receive $676.00 a year. then you add $800.00 for a family stimulas check. you now have now recieved $1476.00 a year. so lets recap $1476.00-$3980.00= $2504.00 paid back in interest for your $1476.00 stimulas plan. From the words of a man that was not shot " stop stealing from me "


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