Donald Lambro

"Almost all economists agree that we need stimulus, but overlooked is the fact that almost all economists also agree that the country's long-term finances are completely unsustainable. We have to tell the world how we plan to pay for this," she said.

Indeed, the threat of monster deficits stemming from Obama's FDR-style experimentation with large amounts of borrowed money is beginning to sow growing doubts about the size and cost of his proposal and the risks it poses to America's fiscal stability.

"We have to be careful that we don't do things which aggravate significantly in the out years this country's fiscal strength," said New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, the Budget Committee's ranking Republican, in a major Senate speech last week that warned lawmakers to proceed with caution.

"And what is very critical is that, as we address trying to get the economy going by using a stimulus package, we've got to be very careful that we put in place programmatic activity that doesn't add to the long-term debt of the nation," Gregg said.

But the Democratic-run Congress, at Obama's urging, is getting set to spend another $350 billion to bail out businesses and mortgage holders who bought big, expensive homes they couldn't afford. Then it will follow that up with an $800 billion spending bill to pay for Obama's Spend Our Way Out of This Recession plan.

That will add $1.15 trillion to this year's projected $1.2 trillion deficit in the space of a month, and they're only getting started. Democrats have a long line of other social-welfare spending bills stacked up in the Capitol that they are itching to pass in the coming months that President Obama, presumably, will sign.

Do the math. The January-February spending spree alone will push the deficit to about $2.35 trillion. The federal government this year will rake in about $2.3 trillion in tax revenues. Obama's government will be spending way beyond its means.

Then throw in the fiscal tsunami that is fast approaching when 77 million baby boomers will soon begin showing up at the Social Security offices around the country demanding their Medicare and retirement checks.

"We're talking about $60 trillion coming at us. That's debt coming at us, and that doesn't count the debt we're putting on the books today to deal with this economic slowdown," Gregg told his colleagues.

George Bush's numbers and GM's bleak financial conditions will look like the epitome of probity and frugality by comparison.

That raises this frightening fiscal question posed by Maya MacGuineas: When will too much medicine kill the patient?


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.