Real Numbers and Irrational Numbers

Nope, it’s not a math class. I’m taking a swing this morning at trying to figure out the true picture of Obama vs Republicans, financially. I am sticking to what has transpired so far, without taking into account already committed spending that has not yet actually occurred.

Here’s a web page which summarizes the economic damage the Democrats have, and are in the process of, causing. I think the numbers are probably pretty realistic, since it’s on the GOP website and has surely been fact-checked by the Democrats.

Among other numbers, it shows that $3 trillion has been added to the national debt since Obama took office (as of 10/19/10).

Wikipedia data is not 100% reliable due to the open editing, but here’s what they say. According to this Wikipedia article, since 1978, federal spending decreased in only two years; under Reagan in 1987, and Bush the Senior in 1993. EVERY OTHER YEAR HAS SHOWN AN INCREASE IN FEDERAL SPENDING. Think about this; since 1978 (the beginning of the data I was examining), federal spending has increased in 30 out of the last 32 years.

A key question is, WHY? What are we doing today that costs more than it did 32 years ago? If we did without it before then, why do we need it now?

I don’t have numbers for this, but I’d bet that our tax base hasn’t kept up with this increase.

Likewise, according to the Wikipedia article, the average per-year federal spending under Clinton (all 8 years) was $1,717 billion, or $1.7 trillion. Under Bush (2002 – 2007 available data), the number is $2,117 billion, or $2.1 trillion. Clearly, Bush did spend more. Of course, he had to contend with 9/11 and a couple of wars that Clinton did not.

From the first link, Obama’s federal budget DEFICIT for 2009 was $1.42 trillion, and for 2010 it was $1.29 trillion. These are Congressional Budget Office numbers.

Notice that the numbers for Clinton and Bush are total federal spending; whereas the Obama numbers are DEFICIT numbers – the Obama numbers only show how much was borrowed!

The same Wikipedia chart shows that from 1978 to 2005, Gross Domestic Product increased 12.6% overall under Democrats, and 10.7% overall under Republicans. Federal Spending increased 9.9% under Democrats and 12.1% under Republicans; and Federal Debt increased 4.2% under Democrats and 36.4% under Republicans. I find these numbers interesting – and surprising, if true.

It’s a mess. You could make a case from this that, generally speaking, Democrats are better from the standpoint of the economy; except that this chart does not include the damage being perpetrated by the Obama administration, which amounts to a huge increase in the rate of spending and size of government.

CONCLUSION: The fact that real government spending has increased in 30 of the last 32 years is the source of many of our problems. Neither party has addressed this as an issue. We need to bring the size of government down to the level it was in the 1970’s, or even smaller. Government spending is like a cancer that is eating its host – and both will die together if we don’t get it down to a manageable level.

The headlines this morning indicate the Republicans are talking about cutting $100 billion from the budget. Friends, if we want to fix this problem right, that is not nearly enough. The numbers I’m looking at this morning show that the federal government spent $2.2 trillion in 2007. Knocking off $100 billion amounts to a decrease of less than 4% from today’s cost-of-government, and it’s a one-time thing, as far as I know. For the last 32 years the average annual increase has been more than twice that percentage, no matter who was running things. BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE CLEARLY FAILED US.

I think I may have to join the Tea Party. They, at least, seem to understand the concept.

We MUST HAVE a MUCH smaller, cheaper, more cost-effective government. And we need an amendment to the Constitution that requires a balanced budget without borrowing money. We MUST live within our means, or eventually catastrophe will inevitably occur.

This means that a large number of unnecessary government employees and bureaucrats are going to have to find an honest, productive job and get off the government teat. We must remember that they are the source of the problem; and each one of them consumes the total tax revenue of 8 – 12 productive tax payers. If they go to work in the private sector, their contribution becomes a net positive instead of a net negative.

I just hope it is not too late to correct this. In my lifetime, we haven’t seen really bad times; but we will, if this keeps up.


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