A Guide to Federal Spending Out of Control

Posted: Nov 21, 2007 12:01 AM
A Guide to Federal Spending Out of Control

One of the reasons the Democrats won that resounding victory in the 2006 elections is that Republicans lost their way. In the 109th Congress there was profligate spending which would have made President Lyndon B. Johnson blush. Following the 2006 elections the Party leadership resolved that the GOP was going to get back on track. The leadership determined that spending was again going to be a major issue for the Republicans.

Toward that end, Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) has produced a booklet to help GOP Members of Congress "in making the case for a smaller, less intrusive, more efficient and more effective federal government."

The idea, said Blunt, is to provide Members, staff and those interested in the issue with an easy-to-use instrument to craft speeches, prepare for interviews and write op-eds for newspapers.

The booklet can be downloaded at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/UploadedFiles/FINAL_Little_Gov't.pdf. Among those assisting Blunt in the project were Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Conference Chairman Adam H. Putnam (R-FL), and Chief Deputy Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA).

The Majority in the House of Representatives, for example, has passed measures thus far which would triple the rate of inflation and almost triple economic growth. The extra money required to pay for these new spending bills would be raised by spending the surplus and raising taxes.

The Majority's spending plan, the booklet says, can be put into context as follows. At $2.9 trillion the level of spending is incomprehensible. But the more common figure of $1 billion is understood as follows:

* If you went on a spending spree of $1,000 today and every day you would have to shop for the next 2,740 years.

* A billion minutes ago the Roman Empire was flourishing.

* Yet the Federal Government spent $1 billion in the last three and one half hours.

The booklet explains the national debt as follows: As of July 31, 2007, the national debt, the sum total of all of our annual deficits, was $8.9 trillion. With a population of 302.6 million people, that works out to $29,500 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

That calculates as follows: Debt owed to the Public: $5.0 trillion and debt owed to Government trust funds $3.9 trillion. We owe $320 billion to Medicare, $1.9 trillion to Social Security and $857 billion for the retirement of Federal employees.

The Majority plans to borrow $454 billion next year to finance the Government. Of this, $202 billion will be financed by borrowing 100% of the Social Security Trust Fund surplus. In fact, over the next five years, the Federal Government will borrow $1.2 billion from the surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund. Of course, the booklet points out, when that money is needed to pay benefits, the Government either will be required to borrow more money or to raise taxes.

These figures might prove useful. The Tax Foundation reports that Americans will spend every dime of their first 70 days working for the Federal Government and an additional 41 days working for state and local governments. That means it would be May 1st before an employer could work for himself to spend 62 days for housing, 30 days for food and 13 days for clothing. Those figures merely are an average. In some states the figure is much higher.

In 2001 the Internal Revenue Code contained 1,685,000 words, 380 times that of the United States Constitution. Internal Revenue Service regulations contained 6,752,000 words, about 8 1/2 times the words in the King James Bible.

The Blunt booklet contains interesting information about eternal Federal programs, Federal regulations which stifle free enterprise, the looming entitlement crisis and much, much more. It is useful for every head of household, indeed every voter, to have around. In this era of remarkable technology, it will be possible to download in your browser the booklet by typing the web address mentioned above.

But I warn you, once you read and digest all of the data in the "Little Book of Big Government," you won't be able to put it down and moreover you will become part of the tax revolt in this country. You will demand that Congressmen and Senators cut back on government spending and your friends won't want to see you coming as you demand that they understand the looming entitlement crisis. What are friends for if not to bother them on issues!