$1,000,000,000,000, and Three Generations Later
After candidate Barack Obama became President-elect Obama back in November, I had written an article for November, but did not actually publish it. It’s topic was actually rather generous– I had written how that this is American politics, and sometimes, your candidate doesn’t win. I confessed that I would not be a political hack, and I’d be fair minded and objective and judge this man by his actions. I can honestly say that I have been fair minded and objective.
And then the unthinkable happened– lame-duck President Bush’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bail-out plan was rolled out. I was shocked. The President, a president whom I thought was mostly economically conservative, supported this monstrosity. His treasury secretary must have scare him witless, quite literally, to have supported TARP. At the time, my thought was that the business cycle will correct itself, and though it would be painful, that we would recover– we didn’t need to add this massive amount of debt, especially with all the spending that was going on elsewhere, especially in Iraq.
Now, with President Obama’s plan running down the track– over one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000). Think of that as one thousand billion, or better yet, one million million (1,000,000 x $1,000,000). Well–I’m just plain flabber-ghasted and astonished.
I don’t think that any of us can think in terms of just how large a debt that is being pursued by this administration. Let’s look at the numbers. That’s over $3,330 per person (including infants) in the United States today. That includes those that pay zero income taxes, which, as of 2004, is at least 33% of wager earners today, according to the Tax Foundation. After searching the IRS, Dept. of Treasury, and other governmental statistics sites, I can’t find the exact numbers of income tax filers in the United States (if someone can point me to a real source, it would be appreciated). If we took the fact that there are over 300 millions Americas in the United States, and just guess that roughly 50% of those are of wage earner age, that would mean that of 300 million Americas, 150 million are wage earners (a guess), and only two-thirds of those pay taxes (100%-33%=66%, i.e., 2/3), or 100 millions income tax filers, this correlates to the burden for additional income taxes is not $3,334 per American income tax payer, but actually $10,000. That’s a lot for those of us who worry about our budget.
The fact that President Obama is pursuing this level of spending to ‘prime the pump’ has not only proven in the short term forecast by his team (“without this bill, we would be at 8% unemployment”– news-flash! We’re at 9.4% today), but it falls in the same bucket as the previous versions of the same failed economic policies that were employed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (not to mention other planned economies like the now bankrupt & defunct Soviet Union, and that glittering jewel in the Caribbean, the People’s Republic of Cuba). This is just mind numbing.
Regardless of what you call it, whether it’s a ‘Stimulus Package’ or a ‘Economic Revival Package’, or government grab for power, the one thing it most certainly can be called accurately is a strategy of ‘Planned Economics’. How it can be argued, and accepted by educated people that you can spend your way to wealth is beyond my comprehension. Having a rudimentary knowledge of economics, the law of supply and demand, and cash flow comes to mind. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to ‘pay the piper’. Printing money will increase the money pool and shorten your current debt, but your money is now cheaper (it has less buying power)– the only result is some form of inflation. We should take the responsible approach and not borrow against our children’s future (hence the picture of the child behind bars)– we need to not borrow, but bear the brunt of the pain now. If we extend our payments out– we become the governmental equivalent of the overextended consumer living on minimum payment credit cards who will take their entire lifetime to repay– or perhaps bankruptcy.
What we are doing is putting our children, and their children behind the financial bars of overburdening taxes. For a Presidential candidate that publicly espoused financial responsibility, this looks like the furthest thing from it. I feel like the American people were placed in the same position as Rehoboam– should we listen to the elders or listen to the young advisors? I think the outcome is the same.