The first step is admitting you have a problem. That is the foundation of all recovery programs.
We have a problem.
We spend money like Michelle Obama on taxpayer-funded vacation. Even worse, forty cents out of every dollar we spend is going on our national credit card. We’re up to our eyeboobs in debt.
Here’s an example of how we spend money:
As Congress takes up the second slice of relief money for Superstorm Sandy, the influential Club for Growth said Monday it will seek to punish the lawmakers who support the $51 billion package because it includes wasteful spending and pork that have nothing to do with reconstruction efforts in the Northeast.
The dueling messages underscore the divisions within Republicans ranks over the relief package — a $17 billion bill and $34 billion amendment —- that the House is expected to vote on this week.
Earlier this month, Congress approved a $9 billion relief package to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood insurance program.
But Mr. Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and other elected leaders from the Northeast — and both sides of the political aisle — have been waiting on Congress to approve more emergency funding and harshly criticized the delay.
The funding was expected to be voted on two weeks ago, but House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, changed gears and pulled a proposal after Republican lawmakers raised questions about some of the spending that was unrelated to the relief efforts.
Still, the Club for Growth and other budget watchdogs, such as Taxpayers for Common Sense, say the $51 billion package that Congress is expected to consider this week also includes millions of dollars for Amtrak upgrades, FBI salaries and road projects in states not affected by the storm.
In a letter to lawmakers on Monday, Andy Roth, the Club for Growth’s vice president of government affairs, said lawmakers should oppose the Sandy relief package — a $17 billion bill and $34 billion amendment — that Congress is expected to take up this week and said disaster relief legislation should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere and not larded up with what the groups calls pork projects.
“Congress shouldn’t keep passing massive ‘emergency’ relief bills that aren’t paid for, have little oversight, and are stuffed with pork,” Mr. Roth said. “Also, Congress shouldn’t use disasters like Hurricane Sandy as an excuse to spend billions on long-term projects that should be considered during the regular appropriations process.”
$17 billion in aid and $34 billion in pork. That’s how you end up OVER $16 TRILLION in debt.
Denial is not a township in Ohio. Whenever someone on the right tries to discuss our spending problem, someone on the left inevitably responds with something like this:
Republicans didn’t give a damn about the debt during Dubya’s presidency. Or Poppy’s. Or Reagan’s. And it was always pretty clear that Romney didn’t care about the deficit except insofar as he could use it as an excuse to destroy entitlements.
Personally, I blame The Gipper for starting this mess. He promised to cut taxes and spending but only cut taxes. So the debt started piling up. It kept piling up under Reagan, Bush, Bush II and now Bush III. The Clinton years (but not all of them) were the only time we were “in the black” on spending.
Classic Keynesian economics calls for deficit spending (going in debt) by government in times of fiscal slowdown to stimulate the economy. I’m not going to debate the efficacy of that policy on the economy except to say that correlation is not causation.
But Keynesian theory does not call for deficit spending during good economic times. Quite the opposite in fact – the good times is when you’re supposed to pay back the money you borrowed.
But it really doesn’t matter who ran up the debt or what we spent it on. What matters is the fact that we are now OVER $16 TRILLION IN DEBT. Whether we spent it wisely or foolishly irrelevant. We spent it and now we have to figure out how to pay it back. We need to fix the problem, not the blame.
We are in a deep hole, and the First Rule Of Holes is “When you’re in one, stop digging”. The Keynesians out there would tell us that this is the wrong time to stop digging, but they’re kinda vague as to when the right time will be.
As it’s a sure bet that when the economy finally turns around (and it will eventually) we’ll hear cries for tax cuts and increased spending under the theory that “now we can afford it.”