According to a recent poll, 74 percent of likely voters are extremely or very concerned about the current level of government spending. And 58 percent think the level of spending is unsustainable.

Is the public right? Is Washington bankrupting America? Some facts from the video:

Spending per household has risen over 40 percent in the last 10 years and is set to do so again in the next 10 pushing debt (and interest on the debt) to unprecedented levels. But that’s just a result of PAST spending…

Our government owes $106 trillion in FUTURE spending commitments – that cannot be paid for.

We can solve it, but politicians will have to make tough choices. Increasing taxes can’t do the trick ($106 trillion is equivalent to taking all of the taxable income from every American nine times over), nor is it fair to saddle taxpayers with a problem created by government irresponsibility.

We need real spending reform. Merely returning to the spending per household levels of the 1990s would balance the budget in three years.

Category: Credit, Politics, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “Is Washington Bankrupting America?”

  1. cewing says:

    Until the legislators in Washington DC are willing to talk about halting runaway spending on the military, this discussion will go nowhere.

  2. Apinak says:

    I am all for lowering the deficit, but this is ridiculous. Tehre are two sides to the equation, spending and revenue. The quotes above have a clear and blatant bias against taxes and for spending cuts (although totally unspecified). They state that raises taxes won’t help because the $106 trillion in ‘unfunded liabilities’ is 9 times the total income but spending cuts can easily balance the budget in 3 years I hope everyone sees the sleight of hand here.

    $106 trillion is the liabilities of all government programs over some unspecified period of time (75 years?, infinity?) obviously if we had to pay for all future liabilities right now it would be very hard, luckily we have 75 years (or infinity) to pay them off, it makes a big difference.

    Also, the current budget mess is not caused by runaway governemt spending (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/05/Us_gov_spending_histry_by_function_1902_2010.png) it is caused by the Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic collapse. The recent increases in spending were due to rapid increase in the military budget (even beyond the wars), the Medicare prescription drug plan, and general increases in health care costs.

    Currently the discussion of balancing the budget is totally confined to making the poor suffer-cut Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security benefits, and aid to the poor. This would cause a huge amount of hardship and only be moderately effective.

    If we really wanted to balance the budget we would talk about tax increases (along with closing loopholes for the wealthy and corporations), cutting the defense budget (and stop unnecessary wars and global military buildup), and real reform of health care (we would save $900 billion a year if we spent the same per capita as France). The fact that they aren’t talking about this makes me conclude that they aren’t a serious organiation.

  3. mpavan says:

    insanely misleading.

    this gives the impression that all this gov’t money is being spent on the _people_, when in fact that is FAR FAR from being the case. the most recent increase has very very little to do with increases to public services.

    what rubbish.

  4. quiddity says:

    The giveaway that they’re not being square with you is the claim that “Our government owes $106 trillion in FUTURE spending commitments ”

    As noted by a commenter above, no time frame is specified.

  5. You said, “Our government owes $106 trillion in FUTURE spending commitments – that cannot be paid for.”

    What evidence exists to show that the U.S., a monetarily sovereign nation, cannot pay for any amount of spending? In the past 30 years, the federal debt has risen more than 1500%, yet no federal check has bounced, nor has the government experienced any difficulty servicing this debt. The same rate of increase would put the debt at about $195 trillion by year 2040.

    Typical debt-hawk, sky-is-falling scare tactics, with much opinion and zero facts. I live for the day when one of the debt-hawk web sites actually will present a fact to support their opinions about impending disaster — opinions they have been voicing for those same 30 years.

    By the way, Apinak, there is no equation. Federal taxes have nothing to do with federal spending. Were federal taxes reduced to zero, this would not affect by even one penny, the government’s ability to spend and service its debts. As a matter of accounting, federal spending actually creates money to support economic growth.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  6. bsneath says:

    There will come the time when the bond markets lose faith in US Treasury debt. When? Who knows, but the world economy does not stay in a static state. Eventually a tipping point will be reached where servicing the debt is not achievable and when alternatives to the US Dollar as the global currency of choice are available.

    It is going to be a rude awakening for many when this day occurs. The dollar will be worth considerably less, taxes will rise, living standards will fall and other, more fiscally disciplined nations will soar above ours in wealth and incomes. And yes, China will likely be at the front of the heap.

    Many are aware that it is going to happen, but we are somehow unable to respond in any systematic manner because no one is willing to give up what they have got, whether justly earned or not.

  7. davecjohnson says:

    Gotta point out — we didn’t have a problem before Reagan cut taxes at the top and increased military spending.

    I think obviously the first thing we have to do is reverse what caused the problem. Then we can see if we are on a sustainable path and make other adjustments. But obviously this is the first thing that must be addressed.

  8. davecjohnson says:

    Hey I looked into it a bit. This comes from Public Notice, one more front group run by former Bush admin people. See http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/gretchen_hamel/

    The Bush admin left behind a $1.4 trillion deficit, bailed out Wall Street, and NOW they’re talking about spending too much?

  9. Solitude says:

    Wow, how misleading! Besides all the points mentioned above, isn’t there something like “rate of return”? If everyone only looks at investments as spending, America is indeed doomed! Wars and military, beyond an extent are spending not investment. While Social Security is an investment.

  10. davecjohnson says,” . . . we didn’t have a problem before Reagan cut taxes at the top and increased military spending.” No problem except for the worst inflation since WWII, and Carter’s famous “malaise,” sliding us into recession, which happens every time money creation slows.

    bsneath says, “Eventually a tipping point will be reached where servicing the debt is not achievable . . .” Classic debt hawk language. Lots of “sky-is-falling” predictions, but no facts. The debt hawks have been telling us about imminent financial disaster since 1940 ! Really. See: DEBT BOMB, yet in all that time, have presented no facts to support their predictions. Amazing that anyone would keep listening to repeatedly wrong predictions.

    In just the past 30 years alone, the federal debt has grown 1500%, and there is no evidence “servicing the debt is not achievable” — just redictions that “eventually, eventually, eventually,” with no substantiating facts.

    Meanwhile, very few debt hawks understand that “federal debt” merely is money created, and a growing economy requires a growing supply of money. I hope the debt hawks will begin to understand the realities of money creation, eventually, eventually, eventually.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  11. baldski says:

    This is all part of Jude Wisniewski’s 2 Santa Claus strategy of the Republican party. When they are in power, they spend like drunken sailors. When they are out of power, they scream about the deficit and the right wing noise machine goes into high gear, misinforming the public.

    Another load of crap from the right wing!