Paul Jacob
Recommend this article

January 27, 2013

“No,” said the Obama Administration.

The cold, curt, cruel answer no doubt stung the tens of thousands of Americans who had petitioned the White House to support their idea for a new and important job-creating federal program. But as far as President Barack Obama is concerned, the federal government shan’t build a Death Star.

So, why not? Paul Shawcross, a budget official, noted the prohibitive cost, estimated at $850,000,000,000,000,000. (I wonder how much the estimate cost.)

“We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it,” Shawcross reminded.

Really?

Consider a widely reprinted lesson in accounting offered a little more than a year ago by Laurie Newsom of the Gainesville Tea Party. Newsom suggested that to better understand the government’s spending antics, drop eight zeros from the budget numbers. Newsom cited annual tax revenue of $2,170,000,000,000, a federal budget of $3,820,000,000,000, new debt of $1,650,000,000,000, national debt of $14,271,000,000,000. And “budget cuts” of $38,500,000,000.

Delete eight zeros and pretend that the national government is just one household. Instead of federal revenue of $2.17 trillion, we have one household bringing in $21,700. But in the same year, its residents are spending $38,200 and adding $16,500 to a credit card with an outstanding balance of $142,710. On the other hand, the family has “cut” $385 from its spending.

Sound like a very disciplined effort to get the fiscal house in order?

Things that can’t continue forever, don’t.

Exactly what President Obama warned, back in 2009. “Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.” Adding, “I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay, and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.”

Right now! Er, back then. But somehow it didn’t happen.

And isn’t happening today.

The federal government stands $16.4 trillion in debt, three times the debt level inherited by George W. Bush just twelve years ago.

The response? Other than speeches full of bald-faced lies? A Republican House majority, a Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama spending us deeper into these dangerous red-ink depths by more than a trillion dollars every year.

Recommend this article

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.