April 8, 2009

Spare Me the Change

In 2008, the U.S. government took in $2.5 trillion in taxes from our total economic output (gross domestic product) of $14.2 trillion, which happened to be 23 percent of the world's GDP.

Our government spent $2.96 trillion--that's $436 billion more than they took from all taxpayers and 21 percent of all the money earned in America.

Almost two-thirds of this money went to three departments; $770 billion to the Income Redistribution Department (aka Health and Human Services), $650 billion to the Department of Defense, and $550 billion to Treasury, of which an astonishing $412 billion (14 percent) went to paying interest on our national debt.

Social Security is a separate account sourced through payroll and employer contributions. More is being paid into the $2.4 trillion Social Security Trust Fund than is being paid out to the beneficiaries. The surplus is routinely borrowed by Congress and used as a general budget receipt they promise to pay back when future retirees need it.

That is the mess the Bush administration left us.

Now consider what quadrupling the half-trillion dollar deficit will do to us in 2010 and beyond.

Average total taxes of 21 percent of GDP will have to increase significantly to pay off this expanding debt, and don’t let the politicians talk you into believing that our GDP will grow enough to overcome this recklessness.

Spending money we don’t have is a recipe for disaster. Our cost of living is going to increase dramatically, and our standard of living is going to decrease proportionally, as will opportunities for our progeny to achieve the American Dream.

Each of us will be paying for the Obama administration and Congress’s free spending for a long time to come, if not directly through taxes, then indirectly through the increased price of purchases and the suppression of wages.

This isn’t “change we need.” This is Bush on steroids.

Rex A. Hoover