I was hoping for an interesting season of political debate about the budget process. At the local level, it could get ugly. At the state level, it has been ugly all along. At the federal level, it's just plain chaos.
The federal government is showing absolutely no sign of political will in order to rein in the annual deficits. We have been told for generations the dangers of budget deficits. Yet we continue to run them up like there's no tomorrow. So let's ask the bigger question; do these deficits really matter?
The perpetual melody of government programs have shown us time and again that there is nothing so permanent as a temporary program. There is also no such thing as a temporary tax. A generation ago, we panicked because we have reached $1 trillion in national debt. Now we are adding 1,000,000,000,000 1/2 dollars annually to the national debt. Is there any consequence? There does not appear to be.
The national debt has grown so much so fast in the past few years that there is absolutely no way that we can pay it off in our lifetime. Yet almost on a daily basis, politicians stepped in front of a camera or a reporter and claim that we cannot continue to pass deficits on to subsequent generations. Then they continue to.
Trying to cut federal spending is proving to be almost impossible. For every dollar cut, for every program cut, there is someone who is screaming that they will become a victim of unknown for if and when the spending stops. But will they? I don't know if we've ever done so, which leaves us with no evidence either way.
If the federal government is telling us that there is no consequence from the deficit spending or the increase of dollars into our economy from federal spending, why are we paying taxes? Why not just print $3.7 trillion and spend it? That way, everybody is happy. The people who want low taxes won't have to pay them, and the people who want all the spending can once again stand in line with their hand out.
What is the economic policy in this country? The Keynesians are proving to be wrong. And the supply-siders have been proved wrong. So can our economy be fixed? Will it be fixed? We elected Barack Obama two years ago to get us out of the economic mess that we blamed Republicans for over a two-year period. Then we blame them for messing things up for 10 years. Well, some of those years in the past 10 were a lot better than what is being experienced now. We had real growth in GDP. And we had unemployment that have reached below 5%. Now we are celebrating an unemployment rate that has just dipped below 9%. Sounds like a Pyrrhic victory to me.
When the price of gas went from $2 to $2 $.50 a gallon, the citizens of this country blamed the Bush administration and the greed of the oil companies for the spike in prices. Yet now, when the price of gas is going up 10% just this month, and it's only the sixth, we accept it as it consequence of mid-east unrest. Yet, what are we doing about it? We continue our dependence on Mideast oil because the administration refuses to allow drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. There is also been a long ban on drilling in the ANWR region of Alaska. It seems like the only thing that the administration is doing is giving a tax credit to someone who wants to buy an electric car. The good news is, is that the tax credit will be enough for you to rewire your house so that you will have enough electricity to charge your car. Although the cost of electricity will be putting into your car will also necessarily skyrocket. And then we're supposed to feel good about the direction of this country?
One thing we can be sure of is that the country will continue to rack up debt and over $1 trillion a year for the foreseeable future. This is because we don't want to take any social program away from the children. We also don't want to take entitlements away from the senior citizens. For the past couple of years, we have cranked up the acceleration rate on what we will do to make more people dependent upon the government. Now that we've done that, we don't know how to pay for it. Well, I'm not going to stand with the Liberals and say that we all need to pay higher taxes to reduce these obscene levels of deficit spending. I'll be happy to sit back and point fingers at someone else to find a solution. I'd like something for nothing too. I'm almost being convinced that these deficits have no consequences. Let the children pay.