# How long will we continue to enable an irresponsible, corrupt government?

Tasine 2012/12/03 10:43:42
FTA
Let's get real. Federal revenue this year will be approximately \$2.5 trillion.

That's \$2,500,000,000,000.

How much, again? Well, updating some examples Rob Bluey provided at The Foundry lends the following perspective:

It is 2,500 billion.
At \$45.8 million per year, LeBron James would need to work 54,607.5 years to earn it.
Average life in the U.S. lasts 2.4 billion seconds.
2.5 billion seconds ago = 1933.
2.5 trillion seconds ago = 74,250 BC.

Furthermore, a stack of 2.5 trillion dollar bills would reach a height of 169,665 miles -- more than two thirds the way to the moon. This brings us to the second part of the problem.

We're set to spend this year \$3,500,000,000,000.

Stacked up, that many bills reach to the moon. And that's where we're headed fiscally.

To the moon, Alice.

Now, let's get back to calls for more revenue. Imagine you had a teenager to whom you gave \$1,000 a month, and he not only squandered it every time, but also continually maxed out his credit cards. Would your solution be to give him even more money and/or secure him a credit-line increase? Or might you, outraged, cut up the credit cards and tell him he must live within his means? (In reality, you should cut him off completely.)

This may seem a ridiculous example, giving a teenager one grand a month. But is it any more ridiculous than giving the feds \$208,000,000,000 a month and then entertaining the notion that they should perhaps get even more? Bueller? Bueller?

Stein?

Listen, if the government cannot get by on \$2.5 trillion a year, guess what!

Pull it up root and branch and start anew.

Root and branch.

Also note that the government did get by on \$2.5 trillion as recently as 2005; thus, a balanced budget could be achieved simply by resurrecting the spending levels of seven years ago. And if we returned to the 2004 budget, we'd run a surplus exceeding \$200 billion with current revenue.

Part of the reason why brings us back to Stein's belief that we can't cut our way to a balanced budget. He's actually correct -- given the feds' definition of a "cut." I'm referring to Washington's accounting trick known as "baseline budgeting," a process by which the government labels any proposal to reduce the rate of spending growth of an already inflated budget projection a cut. Citizens Against Government Waste explains the warped thinking:

[I]f an agency's budget is projected to grow by \$100 million, but only grows by \$75 million, according to baseline budgeting, that agency sustained a \$25 million cut. That is analogous to a person who expects to gain 100 pounds only gaining 75 pounds, and taking credit for losing 25 pounds.

If liberal politicians were truly serious about fiscal restraint, they'd eliminate this sleight-of-hand. But they won't, because they're not. Ronald Reagan learned this the hard way in the 1980s when he agreed to a budget deal that included three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases. The taxes came first.

The cuts never came at all.

As Reagan later wrote, "[t]he Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts."

This is one reason I'm adamantly opposed to tax increases. Like the reckless teenager or Sal, the federal beast will simply consume whatever ventures near its insatiable maw and then some. So my message would be: get by on what you have -- or to Hades with you. Go over that cliff. Because like any addict, you can't help yourself. And better it happens sooner, while Americans still have a bit more change in their pockets (for whatever it's worth), than after they're further impoverished in the name of balancing the budget.

So what's the endgame? First, our more than \$16 trillion national debt increases by an average of \$3.87 billion per day and amounts to \$52,000 for every man, woman, and child. This will never be paid off.

Never.
You!

### Top Opinion

• STU~PWCM~JLA~POTL~AFCL 2012/12/03 10:51:53
Great post Tasine!! Add in off balance sheet liabilities (largely entitlement system debt), and the total federal debt is about \$105 trillion, or \$350,000 per citizen (including children).

And you're right - any tax increases will just go to more spending, not debt reduction.

If the feds limited themselves to enumerated powers (international matters), and devolved all stolen powers back to the states, the only big expense the feds would have is operating the military. Federal spending could easily be cut by 75%. We'd run a \$1 trillion annual surplus without a tax increase, and could pay off the debt in a couple of decades. After that, the tax rate could be cut in half, and we'd still run a balanced budget.

## More polls by Tasine

### Sort By Most Raves Least Raves Oldest Newest text size Opinions

• Stan Kapusta 2012/12/04 07:38:16
Fron the looks of it till it implodes upon itself. That is right around the corner. It's going to hit Americans in the lifestyle.
• Captain-Morgan 2012/12/04 06:12:24
Till we put this fake of a Potus on trial... And fire Harry Reid...
• zebsmom 2012/12/04 05:26:45
*Sarcastic snort*
As long as the majority of the country falls for empty promises. As long as the majority of the country refused to even consider logical reforms. As long as the majority of the country doesn't realize that we rise, or fall-together. We'll be stuck with what we've got.
• Lawnmowerman~PWCM~JLA 2012/12/04 03:13:18
As long as there's an illegal alien sneaking in or a baby-momma wanting money for having kids. The Age of Dependency has threatened to smother America for three or four generations now, and it has just about succeeded.
• dill fazie 2012/12/03 22:57:51
personally I think we ought to send in 25 percent of our taxes and tell him wait for the rest
• LMA 2012/12/03 21:19:43
The problem is simple cutting spending will recipients off that's voters they don't want to piss of voters even though it would be the right thing to do. The same thing happened in Rome just before the fall, Slaves out number citizens 2 to 1 Romans could not get jobs their Parliament knew it, but did not want to upset the wealthy land\slave owners. So all the entitlement programs and research grants and bailout money would have to be cut and they will not do it. Both sides have private interests and both sides want the other one to cut out their pals. Which leaves us screwed. The question here is though is who will fill the role of Vista Goth Germans in our fall.
• ivegotloveinmypants 2012/12/03 19:15:23
As long as the people are silent. Stand up! Enough is enough!
• Katfish 2012/12/03 18:30:37
The spending cuts required to come anywhere near balancing the budget, then paying off the debt will cause severe rioting. The citizens are not willing to sacrifice nor to be self reliant.
• ivegotl... Katfish 2012/12/03 19:19:14
That is the problem. America has already turned it's back on fiscal responibility these past twelve years, what with war spending, and now the planned healthcare reforms. To turn back on these commitments
• Katfish ivegotl... 2012/12/03 21:16:24
Has been going on for more than 12 years, the debt skyrocketed with Reagan and has never west down since. Clinton had a couple of years of a balanced budget but those are also when Social Security funds were robbed to make that happen, psudo-balanced so to speak.
• TuringsChild 2012/12/03 17:21:04
We have no control over any of this any longer. Our country has been stolen from us by moneyed interests and there is no longer ANYTHING we can do about it other than prayer. We're already past the point of no return.
• ajracestables1 2012/12/03 16:55:53
Good post. The spending needs to stop. Picking on rich people needs to stop. The Bush tax cuts were for everyone and they need to stay as they are. You give the government more and they just spend more. They need to be responsible and quit borrowing money and pass a budget with what they have now. Everyone that gets any income pays alot of money to city, county, state and federal taxes. We all pay enough taxes. It's time for them to budget within there means. We have to. They can tighten up on the hand out programs. They can pick and choose there battles with other countries. They should just be worried about protecting this country not giving money to countries that want to destroy us, all they care about is winning there political party beleifs rather than representing the people with a common sense approach. The liberal movement is poisonous to this country.
• raine 2012/12/03 16:40:52
That commercial is annoying..
• raine 2012/12/03 16:39:44
Nothing is going to change as long as the brown welfare people are the voting majority. But what they don't understand is. Someone needs to work to pay the bills. We should have payroll taxes on welfare and all government money sent out. That way even those bums will end up paying tax. Let them know they can't just collect without doing something. Then they will have to file with IRS too, trying to get a refund. Then if they are illegal ship them away with the refund and don't let them back. ONLY hard workers should be allowed in USA.If you are born here but will not work. Get out, true Americans work work work!
• Quazimoto raine 2012/12/14 18:05:59
This is exactly what the people in Washington want. They want as many people as possible dependent on Government handouts. Anything over 50%.
• bonnie.... raine 2013/01/03 02:58:42
Yeah, I'll get out in my wheel chair and work, work, work. Fk!! What a racist. I'm sure this vast sum of \$8,640 a year I get lets me live in the lap of luxury..
• BabyBear 2012/12/03 16:24:10
As long as we remain divided as a nation. Liberal vs conservative, Republican vs Democrat is fine in Congress, but the government in cahoots with media have been so busy telling people how evil "they" are that, We The People, they have been getting away with squandering billions and trillions while the general population of the US is busy fighting ourselves. Instead of actually finding ways to work together to help this country. Other that a few extremists on both sides agree that federal spending is way out of control and needs to be reigned in, public education is failing our children, unemployment is hurting everyone all while companies are still moving jobs overseas. Corporate welfare is a joke- bailing out millionaires and billionaires???? while the people that work for these companies are in line at food banks to feed their families. It's like 400 million people have forgotten "Divide & Conquer", yet that's exactly what is happening. The government/media (like they feed off each other) are dividing this country, so until we actually quit blaming each other based on what some millionaire politician or media mouthpiece says, it's only going to get worse.
• Aksana 2012/12/03 16:14:38
Thanks for the post
• cancled 2012/12/03 15:05:05
We The People will endure for as long as it takes.
We will endure losing our homes because of government screw ups.
We will endure our taxes going up to pay for wars we did not have a say in deciding if we go or not.
We will endure our political leaders using our tax dollars for vacations, gifts for their family and friends and luxury items we taxpayers can't afford.
We will endure because most Americans don't give a damn and do little to change things.

• bonnie.... cancled 2013/01/03 03:02:43
it will endure as long people believe they can sit on their butts and let someone else do it for them. Jill Stein in 2016!!!!
• Semper Fi 2012/12/03 15:00:51
Per this past election, it's apparently the new norm.
• wtw 2012/12/03 14:51:31
With a media that is complicit with obvious bias we are going to decline as a nation becuase the american people don't get the truth to be able to make honest choices! Obama won on propaganda!
• Tasine wtw 2012/12/03 20:27:43
AND on ballot box stuffing like mad. Did anybody actually EXPECT him to LOSE? With his crew of criminals and misfits? I certainly never, for an instant, thought he might lose.
• bonnie.mutchler 2012/12/03 14:38:18
There is no hope. Everyone complains about liberal social programs, but truth is either they are there or there's going to be so much hurt in this country. How many are willing to see kids starve or hobos shambling around the countryside again while their families try to scrounge a living? Want grandma and grandpa living with you? Or watch them die cos there is no money to pay their medical costs? The cuts, if they come, will be to the social programs and the Republicans as well as the Democrats are to blame because neither will cut the bloated war machine their "friends" profit from.
• Tasine bonnie.... 2012/12/04 02:34:17
I think we are going to find out pretty quickly just how much Americans deserve military people dying and being maimed to protect their freedoms. If we are too gutless to "be uncomfortable", then I will protest every military action our country makes, bar NONE. I say RETURN EVERY STATE'S RIGHTS PROGRAMS TO THE STATES, and use minimum on what the feds need to do their jobs - NOT to flit about the world like world class ballerinas (no insult intended to ballerinas), and like someone "special", because trust me when I say there is no one single solitary thing "special" about anyone within our government except the crimes they commit and the debauchery they exhibit.
• Chris - The Rowdy One! #187 2012/12/03 14:38:12
• Tasine Chris -... 2012/12/03 20:29:15
You bet it is! And, in my view, it is the ONLY thing that will enable us to once again define our own country, rather than some political bozos who define it for their own benefit.
• mrdog 2012/12/03 14:21:46
Interesing post...make me think of a question to post now...part of the problem is obama..
but the big problem is Congress.... clearly all the lawyers in congress have no clue on hos to work on econ issues.... all are just big talks...hot wind.... Freeloaders...bark
• doofiegirl BTO-t- BCRA-F ~... 2012/12/03 14:17:34
We may be a Long time in this condition! The RINOs in congress almost assure it! Maybe one day, Boehner and company will develop some cajones, and stand up to Odimwit and comrades
• BUCCANE... doofieg... 2012/12/03 14:21:29
• doofieg... BUCCANE... 2012/12/03 14:25:11
PERFECT, my love! I adore these Hitler rants ! So politically incorrect!
• Tasine doofieg... 2012/12/03 20:30:10
Interesting speculation, but don't let's hold our breath, huh?
• Hotcho 2012/12/03 14:11:43
as long as idiots like this continue to breed

• bonnie.... Hotcho 2012/12/03 15:03:01
What a bunch of BS and all the dumb Republicans fall for it. The Lifeline program began in 1984 under Ronald Reagan, It was expanded in 1996 under Bill Clinton and wireless service was launched by TracPhone in 2008 under Bush. It does not pay cell companies to provide a phone. The phones are for finding a job, calling doctors, in case of fire, etc. It gives a discount to people at or below 135% of the poverty level, and is not paid for by taxpayer money, but is paid for out of the federal Universal Service Fund which may or may not be passed on to customers (one of the mysterious charges on your phone bill)
http://www.snopes.com/politic...
• Tasine bonnie.... 2012/12/03 20:32:29
I'm unfamiliar with the federal Universal Service Fund - who dreamed it up, how does it relate to government guidelines, and who provided the initial financial support and in what way?
• Hotcho bonnie.... 2012/12/04 16:56:48 (edited)
Like I said, as long as idiots like her (and as a bonus) you continue to breed
• bonnie.... Hotcho 2013/01/03 03:15:28
No as long as lackwits like you breed and continue your divisive rhetoric, while shouting for homeless people to "get a job" without the means to get one, we will forever be trapped in a bog of ignorance in this country. I can only quote "I'd rather be a bleeding heart, then have no heart at all."
• OPOA912 2012/12/03 14:06:17
I really don't like the idea, but it may take a revolution to change this disaster "We the People" have let happen. I don't blame Politicians for who they are, I blame lazy Americans who failed to control their government. Who failed to forced the Media into telling the truth and for giving up when it came to a fight. You get the government you deserve. Either fight for what's right or live with what they give you.
• bonnie.... OPOA912 2012/12/03 15:04:47
Amen. People need to get off their butts and into the streets, cos voting is a waste of time. The politicians are just recycled and put in a new shiny package.
• OPOA912 bonnie.... 2012/12/03 17:32:04