When the members of the political left start understanding the federal budget math – you can be certain that it’s way past time for members of the political right to start getting their act together. Once the facts are largely agreed upon, then it’s up to each side to communicate their plan to bring the numbers back into balance.
Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Not when the political problem is simply summed up as follows: Republicans mostly elect second or third tier talent which in turn hires second or third tier staff.
The concept of reaching voters nationwide or statewide with the solution to the budget messes might as well be quantum physics. Clearly, a lot of political action for many of our current political leaders doesn’t involve many efforts to inform voters.
How much debt do we have fall into before the Republican Party gets its act together and puts this country back on the right track? It’s up to the GOP to stop allowing the taxeaters to dictate policy to the taxpayers.
This title from a piece by left of center billionaire commentator Mort Zuckerman says a lot:
He cites some facts:
- “The deficit quadrupled from $459 billion in 2008 to $1.85 trillion this year.
- It has gone from 3.2% of gross domestic product to 13.1%, twice the post-World War II record of 6% in 1983 under President Reagan.
- What’s more, the debt surge is unlike the one that accompanied WWII in that it will not be temporary.
- The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reckons that the deficit will run for a decade and will still exceed $1.2 trillion in 2019.
- By that time, the United States will have virtually doubled its national debt, to over $17 trillion.
- Then, after 2019, we get another turn of the screw as the peak waves of baby boomers move into their retirement years and costs soar for the major entitlements, Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s all truly amazing. A few more facts:
- At 41% of GDP in 2008, the accumulated federal debt will rise to 82% by 2019.
- One out of every six dollars spent then by the feds will go to interest, compared with 1 in 12 dollars last year.
- These out-year budgets will require an increase in everyone’s income taxes, raising federal income taxes an average of $11,000 for families, a hike of 55% per household – a political impossibility.
- The Government Accountability Office estimates that by 2040, interest payments will absorb 30% of all revenues and entitlements will consume the rest, leaving nothing for defense, education or veterans’ pensions.
Zuckerman also says the obvious: forget being able to grow our way (economically) out of this problem. He writes:
“We are undersaved and underpensioned, and we will have to adjust to a more frugal life.”
Not high science that. And the most important part of that “we” he mentions there is the “we the people” – meaning government.
Up next: Fun with math at the state government level.