The White House once promised to answer any petition posted at its .gov site that garnered at least 25,000 signatures. (It has since increased the minimum.) Facetious persons urged it to build a Death Star like the planet-destroyer in Star Wars.
Well, the petition got the necessary signatures, and the Obama administration responded: No, we shan’t build a Death Star. One reason given? Paul Shawcross, a budget official, noted the prohibitive cost.
“We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it,” he says.
Now consider a widely reprinted lesson in accounting offered a little more than a year ago by Laurie Newsom of the Gainesville Tea Party. Newsom suggested that to better understand the government’s spending antics, drop eight zeros from the budget numbers. Newsom cited annual tax revenue of $2,170,000,000,000, a federal budget of $3,820,000,000,000, new debt of $1,650,000,000,000, national debt of $14,271,000,000,000. And “budget cuts” of $38,500,000,000.
Delete eight zeros and pretend that the national government is just one household. So instead of federal revenue of $2.17 trillion, we have one household bringing in $21,700. But in the same year, its residents are spending $38,200 and adding $16,500 to a credit card with an outstanding balance of $142,710. One the other hand, the family has “cut” $385 from its spending.
Sound like a very disciplined effort to get the fiscal house in order?
Things that can’t continue forever, don’t.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.