America is a drowning man with an enormous anchor strapped to its ankle.
That anchor is a pile of debt that pundits are starting to warn we may never be able to repay.
The numbers are in, and they aren’t pretty.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this year’s budget shortfall – or the 2010 deficit – will be the second largest in our nation’s history. Last year’s deficit was the largest with a monster deficit that amounted to 9.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
For 2010, the CBO estimates our deficit will amount to 9.1 percent of GDP. It will exceed $1.3 trillion.
While American workers tread water, we have the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration to thank for the giant anchors.
During the first 19 months of Obama’s presidency, debt held by the public increased by more than $2.5 trillion – more than the national debt amassed by all presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan.
However, instead of slashing budgets and decreasing spending, the Obama administration’s spending has been fast tracked. According to the CBO, the administration has racked up deficits of more than $464 billion in the last four months alone – more than the $458 billion deficit the Bush administration ran through all of fiscal year 2008.
It’s time to cut spending – and not with a scalpel as was suggest during the 2008 presidential election – but with a hatchet, hedge shears, lopping shears, and scythes.
Sadly, that’s not on the docket.
Instead, Obama announced plans over Labor Day for a $50 billion plan to jumpstart transportation infrastructure projects.
We thought transportation infrastructure was a key element of the original $787 billion stimulus package. We have evidence of it right here in Gardner – the new stoplight at the junction of old U.S. 56 Highway and 175th Street on the east side of town.
To make matters worse, as the first stimulus funds dwindle out of Washington and into the hands of greedy bureaucrats, it’s becoming more and more evident that what was billed as temporary spending to jolt the economy is turning out to be permanent expenditures.
The 2010 budget includes new baselines created by stimulus funding for items like expansions of the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit and Pell Grants for college students.
Congress should not allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Beyond that, they should attempt to hold the taxing line. In the meantime, they need to make severe and real cuts to federal spending.
Treading water is exhausting and without removing the anchor from her ankle, America’s economy just might drown.