Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spending Factoids and Tea Party Reality

Steve Chapman hit a grand slam in his Trib column. Factoids worth remembering:

...Since last September, a federal budget that was already growing steadily suddenly accelerated out of control. The ride began in the winter of 2008, when Congress and President Bush agreed on a fiscal stimulus package of $170 billion in tax rebates and incentives. It picked up speed in the fall, when the Treasury spent $85 billion to take over insurance giant AIG and Congress approved $700 billion to rescue failing financial institutions.

By the time Barack Obama took office in January, projected federal outlays for this year had soared by nearly $1 trillion over last year, and the budget deficit had nearly quadrupled. But was that enough? Not nearly. Obama saw Bush and raised him, immediately pushing through another fiscal stimulus program with a price tag of $787 billion.

Fiscal hawks thought the budget was out of control before. Now they look back on the pre-2008 profligacy as a golden age of budgetary restraint.

(At the State level, Three-Card-Monte Doyle is doing his damndest to keep up, increasing the State budget by damn near TEN PERCENT over the next biennium. He has no foggy idea of how to pay for it, and is likely to leave another $900 million++ "unaccounted for" by the close of the biennium. And he STILL won't have repaid the $400 million he stole from the Highway Fund.)

More Chapman:

The problem is not just the spending supposedly needed for the current economic emergency. Obama claims that he will cut the deficit in half, to $533 billion, by the end of his first term. Two problems: 1) The Congressional Budget Office says the more likely number is $672 billion, and 2) that is 46 percent more than the deficit in 2008. Worse yet, the CBO says the deficit will then resume its upward trajectory, reaching $1 trillion by 2018 and nearly doubling the national debt over the next decade

There were "anti-tax" people--and "anti-Obama" people--present at the rallies. And the Republican Party establishment attempted to wrest paternity of the rallies, too.

But this was actually Santelli's movement--a Fiscal Sanity movement--which had two over-riding aims.

1) Reduction in size and scope of the Federal leviathan; and 2) a concomitant and significant reduction in Federal spending.

The same objectives held for the State of Wisconsin.

1 comment:

J. Strupp said...

That "upward trajectory" has everything to do with the pending health care crisis that has been outright ignored over that last decade. Instead, we managed to burn through a budget surplus that could have been used to soften the blow from this pending nightmare.

CBO projections are going to be horrible. That's set in stone. The real question is whether or not President Obama can find a viable solution to the pending health care crisis. I have no problems with his administration's attempts to find a solution to our health care crisis even as we deal with our current great recession.