01.31.2010 0

The Senate Plunges U.S. Into the Abyss

  • On: 02/01/2010 09:34:39
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility
  • By Robert Romano

    When the history of this era is written, January 28th, 2010 may well go down as the day that Senate Democrats bankrupted America, plunging the Ship of State into the bottomless Abyss of insolvency.

    Not only was it the day that the Senate voted 70-30 to confirm Fed Chair Ben Bernanke — whose loose dollar policies accommodated the housing bubble that wrecked the U.S. economy — to a second term. It was also on this day that the Senate voted 60-39 to increase the national debt ceiling by another $1.9 trillion to $14.294 trillion.

    It is the largest debt ceiling increase in U.S. history — in human history, in fact — totaling even more than the projected federal budget deficit for 2010, which CBO states will be an eye-popping $1.35 trillion.

    In other words, Senate Democrats have decided in a single vote that the debt will continue to soar throughout 2010 and well into 2011, when it will surpass 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product, which currently totals $14.463 trillion. Republicans, for their part, had no part in what could be one of the worst votes in Senate history; none voted for it.

    Currently, the debt stands at a staggering $12.4 trillion.

    Ironically, the vote came less than 24 hours after Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, when he proposed that “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will.”

    Let’s leave aside the fact that federal spending has never been higher, and that the “freeze” institutionalizes deficit-spending forevermore. As bad as that is, there’s the even bigger problem with not taking on entitlement spending.

    As Obama surely must know, entitlement spending alone will nearly double in the next nine years. Currently, it makes up some 38.17 percent of budget outlays in 2009: $1.36 trillion. By 2019, OMB projects that entitlements spending will stand at $2.482 trillion (45.93 percent of outlays totaling $5.403 trillion). (Sources: www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/pdf/hist.pdf, and http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/asset.aspx?AssetId=1702.)

    And, he has no intention of doing a thing about it. He said so himself. Instead, said Obama, “Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will.” Empty words, really, since he clearly has no intention of rolling back the budget-busting entitlement Leviathan.

    Despite the imaginary “freeze,” the debt under Obama’s plan will still grow every single year, as it has every year since 1958. The “freeze,” really, is nothing more than window-dressing designed to help mitigate the political damage for Congressional Democrats in 2010.

    It is intended to distract from gargantuan increases in the debt such as was approved by Obama’s own party on January 28th, 2010, leaving the American people hopelessly tethered to the Ship of State as it is swallowed up by the infernal Abyss.

    Robert Romano is the ALG Senior News Editor.

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