There really are only two numbers Americans should keep in mind: 10 and 13.
The federal government brings in $10.8 billion every single day. It then turns around and writes checks totaling $13.3 billion every single day.
That is $10.8 billion in income and $13.3 billion in expenditures.
This is not only indefensible, it is unconscionable. Yet, the left defends it as a good thing and repeats the administration lie that we don’t have a spending problem.
Clearly this is a problem. President Barack Obama’s solution? Borrow more money.
It doesn’t help that the national media continue to spread the administration’s misinformation. I am not sure, anymore, if it is because of the media’s liberal bias, or if it is simply incompetence.
For example, when the president and Congress reached the deal last week raising the debt ceiling and reopening government, NPR sent out an email news alert telling people a deal had been reached to avoid “default.”
That, of course, is nonsense. The debt ceiling is merely a credit limit. If we reach the credit limit and default, that is a conscious choice by the administration.
I have no doubt, had the debt ceiling not been increased, Obama would have ordered his administration to default rather than stop unnecessary spending. That is because Obama does not lead. His only goal is to “win.” To him, shutting down the government was OK because he thought he could “win.” And he proved this was the case by his behavior in trying to hurt as many people as possible by barricading open-air monuments that are often unstaffed when the government is operating anyway.
That is not the behavior of a leader, it is the behavior of an arrogant narcissist who must win at all costs.
Unfortunately, that has become the nature of Washington these days. It is all about the game and not about the act of good governance or performing a civic duty.
For example, the GOP capitulation on the debt deal and reopening government was purchased with pet projects galore. Obama said he would only sign a clean continuing resolution. However, he must not have been talking about pork.
For example, there was $2.2 billion set aside for a dam and locks on a river that flows through Kentucky, home state of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The original amount was only $775 million.
Then there is another $450 million for rebuilding projects in flood-struck areas of Colorado. That’s well beyond the limit of $100 million for the Department of Transportation as allowed in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act.
Then there was $174,000 for Bonnie Lautenberg, widow of longtime Sen. Frank Lautenberg who died in June of viral pneumonia. Congress almost always gives a death benefit to widows. However, Lautenberg was worth more than $59 million as of 2011, according to The Hill.
One good thing in this clean CR is that there will be no cost-of-living raise for members of Congress this year.
The whole thing would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.
The kicker, though, is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Today, we are spending $13.3 billion for every $10.8 billion that comes in. Yet, we could honestly balance the budget with just some minor restraint.
We don’t need to raise taxes and we don’t need to cut spending. That’s right. We can actually increase spending every year and still balance the budget.
The key is restraint. If we limit government’s growth to 1 percent a year, the budget will balance in three years, according to Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell using Congressional Budget Office numbers.
If we allow government spending to grow by 2 percent a year, we would balance in four years. And if we decided to let government spending grow by 3 percent a year, it would only take seven years to balance.
So government spending could actually grow every year and we would still balance the budget in a relatively short time.
Why not do this?
Because the profligate spenders in Washington, of which Obama is king, refuse to live and govern as responsible adults.