American Elephants

America’s Spending Problem is Dire. And Unsustainable. by The Elephant's Child

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) — is the official auditor for the Obama administration and the federal government. They released their assessment  of the federal government on January 17. 2013. The report’s findings demonstrate officially just how dire America’s spending problem is, and how little current cuts do to fix it.

Breitbart includes some excerpts from the findings:

  • Current policy is not sustainable. Preventing the debt to GDP ratio from rising over the next 75 years will require some combination of spending reductions and revenue increases that amount to 2.7 percent of GDP over the period.
  • Projected GDP growth is on average smaller than the projected government borrowing rate over the next 75 years.
  • If the primary surplus was precisely zero in every year, then debt would grow at the rate of interest in every year, which would be faster than GDP growth.

President Obama and his media allies claim blithely that the government doesn’t have a spending problem but we have a health care problem. In his Wall Street Journal interview with John Boehner, writer Steve Moore was straightforward:

What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.”

The president’s insistence that Washington doesn’t have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called “a health-care problem.” Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—”They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system”—he replied: “Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.” He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: “I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.”

An annoying fact that usually gets lost in the conversation is that the cost of health care was declining before the Democrat Congress, because of greater efficiency, increasingly better diagnostic techniques, and new drugs that control or alleviate serious disease. This reaffirms that health care reform was not about getting health care spending under control but about creating a new entitlement.

You have seen this week the cries of agony from the administration about the horrible things that will happen if the sequestration is not repealed. Remember that the sequestration was President Obama’s idea, as a potential trap for Republicans.  The Washington Post demonstrated their usual suck-uppery in bemoaning the potential tragedy of the sequester.

735142850The year 2012 ended with a deficit larger than the entire gross domestic product (GDP) of the American economy. That’s not sustainable, and it is indeed, the spending.

There have been commissions and committees over the years to investigate and propose an end to waste in government, for there is plenty of it. Duplication abounds. We fund all sorts of absolutely useless things. The federal government is doing all sorts of things it shouldn’t be doing at all. Education is the business of localities or states, not the federal government.

The Agriculture Department has more employees than farms. My personal candidate to be completely abolished is the EPA. The White House needs a distinct slashing of the number of czars. Ask almost any American, and with little thought they could come up with significant cut backs. We do need a new committee or agency to abolish unnecessary rules and regulations. We go to great lengths to establish them, but there is really no mechanism to determine what is useless or damaging and can beneficially be eliminated.

But please, no more commissions who will make recommendations that will be completely ignored by the powers that be. Set up a program that will actually have real results.


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