In fact, what’s passing for balancing the budget in Washington these days is nothing but lip service.
Leading the charge is Barack Obama.
He stood up yesterday and chewed out Congress for not going along with his plan to trim the deficit. Over 10 years, he said, he wants to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion.
Four trillion dollars.
As if that meant anything.
While he’s doing word games with $4 trillion versus $2 trillion, nobody is asking the one question that matters.
Namely: Mr. President, you plan to cut $4 trillion from a deficit of what size?
Put another way: How much deficit spending is the government planning to do over the next 10 years?
Right now, the Obama Administration borrows 44 cents of every dollar it spends. American families went bankrupt – collectively – spending 6 percent more than they made and yet the government is supposed to cook right along routinely spending almost 50 percent more than it takes in.
So we’re screwed.
Which gets back to the projected deficit for the next decade.
Interestingly, nobody has a current project.
Over the last two years, as the annual deficit has exploded, nobody has officially calculated a decade estimate.
So we’ll have to use an old one, from before we went hog wild with our spending.
That would take us back to the end of 2009, when – according to “The New York Times” – the projected deficit for the next decade was $9 trillion.
And that’s before red ink of the last two years.
But at least it’s a start in the effort to put things in perspective.
And even though that number has already proven to be low, if we compare it to the president’s “big deal” of $4 trillion, our government ends the decade having accumulated more than $5 trillion in new debt.
We are teetering on the verge of national bankruptcy and insolvency now, and the very best Washington can come up with is an anemic plan to reduce the rate of new deficit spending by less than half.
We will still bleed to death, just at a slightly reduced rate. We will still drive off a cliff, just at 30 miles an hour instead of 60.
And that’s not good enough.
We must balance our budget, we must live within our means, we must stop enslaving our nation to debt. This is a matter of national survival and it is being treated like a political football.
Some in Congress propose a balanced-budget amendment and sign pledges and hold press conferences. Those are all stunts. The only pledge a member of Congress should take is the oath of office, and the Congress is empowered to pass a balanced budget at any time. A balanced-budget amendment won’t pass either the Democratic Senate or the Democratic statehouses, so it is just a diversion, an insincere ploy by insincere politicians.
Balancing the budget for the nation, like balancing the budget for a family, requires discipline and pain. It requires a shake up, a complete rethinking of how things should be done.
So it’s time to cut off the welfare cheese and right-size the government and turn away from the endless cavalcade of government spending and debt.
We must balance the books.
Even if we have to raise taxes.
Yes, we are overtaxed in America. Yes, we are already confiscatory and cancerous, especially as it relates to business and profit.
But some people aren’t paying their share.
Like the almost 50 percent of people who pay no federal income tax.
To bring more money into government, we should ask those who live off the government to help support it. We have an unhealthy arrangement in which half pay and half ride, and the president is beating the drums to demand more from the half who pay.
I think we should focus on the half who don’t. I think a nominal tax – say 5% -- should be expected from everyone who is currently exempt from federal income tax.
That would be both fair and useful.
But using the spending failures of the federal government as an excuse for an even larger raid on the earnings of productive Americans and
American businesses is morally wrong.
As has been said a million times, we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. We don’t live within our means.
And the solution is simple.
It will hurt, it will be disruptive, it will reverse 40 years of the welfare state.
But it is essential.
Obama’s “big deal” isn’t.
It doesn’t come close.
And this playacting in Washington, at a time of such import, is almost treasonous.