Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crimson tide of debt

Mark Steyn: "SS Spendaholic sailing into debt abyss"
In return for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling (and, by the way, that's the wrong way of looking at it: more accurately, we're lowering the debt abyss), John Boehner bragged that he'd got a deal for "a real, enforceable cut" of supposedly $7 billion from fiscal year 2012. After running the numbers themselves, the Congressional Budget Office said it only cut $1 billion from FY 2012.
Which of these numbers is accurate?
The correct answer is: Who cares? The government of the United States currently spends $188 million it doesn't have every hour of every day. So, if it's $1 billion in "real, enforceable cuts," in the time it takes to roast a 20-pound stuffed turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner, the government's already borrowed back all those painstakingly negotiated savings. If it's $7 billion in "real, enforceable cuts," in the time it takes you to defrost the bird, the cuts have all been borrowed back.
The United States is uncomfortably close to spending $2 for every $1 we raise in revenue; all of this is going on to the national credit card.  At some point we have to envision a government that has to make due with half a defense budget, half a Medicare budget, half of everything - except we can't even cut enough of what we're overspending in a single day.

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