It was all so predictable. In fact, I did predict it several months back.
For the past year, Congress has been on a spending binge of unprecedented proportions: Massive bailouts for Wall Street, Detroit, banks, people who can’t or won’t pay their mortgage; billions thrown at people who want to buy a new car; a trillion thrown at social welfare programs under the guise of a “stimulus”; TARP, ------ and the list goes on.
Then we get the President’s new Federal budget for next year, which has a $1.5 trillion deficit. And Congress has now raised the national debt ceiling to $14 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the national debt will grow to $17.1 trillion by 2019.
Here a trillion, there a trillion, everywhere a trillion, trillion. My head is spinning.
Does anyone know how much a trillion is? Mathematically, the number is 1,000,000,000,000. In scientific notation, it is 1.0x10exp12. That much money will buy 10,000,000 ordinarily priced houses. Fourteen trillion - ?
To say that Congress is spending money like a bunch of drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors. At least drunken sailors are spending their own money, not ours like Congress does, and when the money is gone, drunken sailors have to stop spending. Congress doesn’t even have that much discipline.
This is all money that Congress has willingly, even gleefully, spent by their own decisions. The President cannot spend Federal money on his own; only Congress can authorize the spending of money.
And now, we hear Congress talking about the budget deficit.
A deficit occurs when one spends more money than they have. It is done with borrowed money, a loan, which must eventually, of course, be paid back. It is done consciously; it requires action on the part of the borrower. It doesn’t just happen.
The situation is that Congress has been blithely spending trillion after trillion for the past year, and now they are shocked, truly shocked, to discover that there is a huge Federal deficit. To hear them talk about it, you would think that the deficit appeared spontaneously of it’s own accord, that it was somehow sprung on them, that it popped through a space-time warp from a parallel universe, or that it somehow just wandered in off the street. “Oh my, we have a huge deficit inflicted upon us, poor us, what will we do?”
The solution that Congress wants to put in place to address the deficit is, of course, tax increases. This was their plan all along, as I predicted several months ago:
Step 1 (already accomplished): Scare the public with hysterical braying about the financial apocalypse now; that if we don’t take drastic action today (remember that), the economy as we know it will cease to exist; etc., etc., etc.
Step 2 (already accomplished): Now that you have succeeded in putting the public into a state of panic, push through massive Federal spending programs on every liberal wish list item of the last fifty years. In the process, achieve the added benefit of having the Federal government take over big chunks of the auto and banking industry, for future use.
Step 3 (in process): Decry the huge budget deficit that you have thus created, only be sure to blame someone else.
Step 4 (next): Massively raise taxes to solve the deficit problem.
We are now at step three of this strategy. Step four, raise taxes, is next, but Congress does have one problem with that. They can’t just propose raising taxes, because people won’t like it, and they may actually see through the whole scheme. Congress needs to find a way to get the tax increases in place but also provide cover to themselves in the process.
Here’s how they will do this. Congress will appoint a “bi-partisan” commission to address the deficit problem. They will pack this commission with liberals who want to raise taxes, they will throw in a couple of so-called “moderates” for cover, and they will rig the rules so that the commission’s recommendations can’t be modified. The commission will dutifully recommend big tax hikes plus a couple of minor spending cuts to make it appear objective. Congress will then implement the commission’s recommendations, saying that they are just doing what the experts have said must be done.
Voila! Congress will then have accomplished the liberal socialist’s dream of dramatically increasing social welfare spending by the Federal government, nationalizing major industries, and massively increasing taxes to pay for it all.
It has long been philosophized that the greatest threat to the American experiment would not come from foreign soil, but from within. This Congress and President are proving that to be true.
Feb. 9, 2010