As Election Day nears, Americans certainly have some sobering choices to make. Whoever wins the White House has a monumental fiscal crisis to deal with – one that makes losses incurred during the Great Recession of 2008 look like pocket change.
Either way you cut it, the country has been, and will remain, on a path of unsustainable debt. Federal spending under George W. Bush added some $4 trillion dollars to the country’s already burgeoning national debt, but under President Obama that debt has skyrocketed to a staggering $16-plus trillion, and, if the current administration’s budget projections remain unchanged, Obama will have added an unprecedented, mind-numbing, calculator-busting $10 trillion in federal government debt that your children – and their children and their children – will likely have to pay off.
It’s stunning, really, to sit back and watch the country being spent into oblivion, but that’s what’s happening.
Modest growth + increased debt = insolvency; the question is when
“By the end of this year, the federal debt is expected to be $16.2 trillion, which is $6.2 trillion more than when President Obama first came into office four years ago,” says The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication, in a recent blog which included a graphic projecting record budget growth between now and Fiscal Year 2017, the end of a second Obama term if reelected.
Starting at an estimated $15.2 trillion of debt currently (which is about $5 trillion more than when Bush left office), federal debt is expected to rise to $17.5 trillion by next year, then rise by roughly a trillion dollars a year until 2016, when the federal debt is expected to exceed $20.3 trillion.
This isn’t hyperbole; under the current regime, the country has suffered through four straight years of trillion-dollar deficits, and there is no reason to expect, given its history, that the current administration would change much.
“The Congressional Budget Office also says it expects the economy to continue recovering at only a modest rate the rest of this year, growing at a modest annual rate of 2.25 percent. The slow-moving economy and massive federal deficits are top-flight issues in this year’s presidential and congressional campaigns,” The Associated Press said in parsing a CBO estimate on current budget projections.
“Federal debt will increase to $25.4 trillion by the end of 2022, an increase of $10.6 trillion (72 percent) under the president’s budget policies,” adds the Senate Budget Committee.
Budget? What budget?
Part of the problem is unrestrained spending. As in, Congress has not voted on, and Obama has not signed, an actual budget in more than three years. According to the Standard, it’s been more than 1,212 days since Senate Democrats allowed a budget vote on the floor of their chamber.
“Article I of the U.S. Constitution requires Congress to pass a federal budget. Despite the clear priority the Constitution gives to maintaining discipline in federal spending, the last time Congress enacted a budget was April 29, 2009,” more than three years ago, noted Mathew Staver, chairman of the Liberty Council.
Here are some more staggering numbers:
— Under current figures, the U.S. debt-per-person exceeds $50,900; U.S. debt per taxpayer; however, climbs to a staggering $140,000 each
— The current national debt is slated to surpass $16 trillion before Election Day
— The country’s Social Security liability is in excess of $15 trillion; the prescription drug liability is more than $20 trillion, and Medicare’s unfunded liability is $83 trillion, for a total unfunded liability of a massive, country-shattering $120.4 trillion – or every dollar in gross domestic product the U.S. will generate for the next eight years. And in case you’re interested, that’s a total debt of more than $1 million per taxpayer.
As Americans, we have some very important fiscal decisions to make when we go to the polls in November.