Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Federal Spending Has to Come Back to Earth

President-elect Obama's proposed $1 trillion stimulus package is the latest in a long sad history of bad ideas, ranking right up there with Coke 2 and the circular firing squad. His intentions are honorable, but the economy just doesn't work that way.

All that is guaranteed from such a large chunk of money is a larger federal debt. Federal spending rose 25 percent this year, and that was before the bailout. Washington economists have yet to digest those figures. The budget deficit went from $162 billion in 2007 to $454 billion this year.

Want some more numbers to scare the bleep out of you? Good, cuz I got 'em.

The federal government is going to throw away $450 billion this year on interest payments on the national debt. $450 billion. Just for interest. That payment will be the fourth largest outlay behind Medicare and Medicaid ($700 billion), Social Security ($699 billion), and defense ($656 billion).

At current revenue levels, which are mighty lousy thanks to the economy, in 30 years the government will only be able to cover half of its expenses. Now in 30 years a lot of things will change, including the revenue stream. But if Obama continues to spend our money with complete abandon to the consequences he will saddle this country with a debt that no previous president could ever have dreamed of. And he will not save our economy, he will only prolong our pain.

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