Death by a Thousand Non-Cuts
As I write this, the United States of America is $16,275,179,205,442 in debt. By the time you read this, we’ll have piled up millions more.
Much debt is of recent vintage. When George W. Bush became president in 2000, the national red ink totaled $5.7 trillion. In eight years, Dubya nearly doubled it to $10.6 trillion. Since his 2008 election, President Obama has far outpaced Bush, sinking us another $5.3 trillion in debt in just half Bush’s time.
And, by continuing to run yearly deficits of over $1 trillion, we’re digging the hole deeper at top speed.
For all the hysteria over draconian cuts, forced at the so-called fiscal cliff, those somewhat slippery savings would at best amount to about 10 percent of our yearly deficit, leaving us spending 9/10ths of a trillion dollars we don’t have.
In the “other cuts” department, the Obama Administration had been supporting paltry reductions to federal Medicaid spending of $17.6 billion over ten years (that’s less than $2 billion a year), but just flipped its position. Why? State governors are deciding if they can afford to take part in Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion to cover those earning up to 133 percent of the poverty line.
Not content to spend recklessly alone, the Feds picks up the entire tab of new Medicare recipients’ first three years. After that, Washington pays 90 percent and the states pay 10.
States are wondering how they’ll come up with that additional 10 percent — seven governors have already declined to join in the spending program. No one in Washington has given a second thought to paying the 90 percent.
They figure they can always raise taxes.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.