Monday, March 4, 2013

President Obama just wants to watch the world burn

“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
— The Joker in “The Dark Knight”

The Joker

No one can continue to assert that President Obama is simply incompetent. Yes, he is indeed that. Into his fifth year as president, America is worse under his command: Millions are still out of work — unemployment stands exactly where it was the day he took office; millions more are on food stamps; and despite his claim otherwise, the U.S. is less respected in the world than ever before.

But that was all before the “sequester.” The order trims every dollar spent by the federal government — read: your money — by a paltry 2 cents. To understand the enormity of the cut, consider this: The 2013 budget calls for $3,603 billion in spending; now, with the across-the-board automatic cuts, the government can spend only $3,518 billion. Or $3.518 trillion.

For perspective, the federal budget began its rocketlike ascent in 1976. The year before, spending was a scant $331 billion (with a B) in current dollars. The first year Jimmy Carter was in office, it soared to $409 billion. President Reagan, in the midst of the Cold War, continued the deficit spending. By 1987, expenditures topped $1 trillion for the first time. Under President George W. Bush, the budget soared above $2 trillion. And in 2009, the budget went from $2.9 trillion to $3.5 trillion. Estimates show that cash outlays will top $4 trillion just two years from now.

But the annual deficit was not always commensurate with the growing budget. In 1987, the shortfall was just $149.7 billion. In Mr. Bush’s next-to-last year, just $160.7 billion. But in 2009, the year a community organizer from Chicago took office, the deficit ballooned to $1,400 billion. With three $3 trillion-plus budgets under this president, the deficit has remained above $1 trillion each year — even as tax revenue has averaged about $2.2 trillion
There is little merit in arguments against spending cuts, and not a speck of support for the theory that America can tax itself out of its growing sinkhole. The federal government has simply grown too large, spends too much. We’re now borrowing 35 cents of every dollar we spend. Like any family faced with with a shortfall of cash, the first — and, really, only — solution is to reduce spending. It’s not rocket science. And Americans are doing just that every day.

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