A Tea Party Icebreaker: What Are You Getting for Your $6,000 in New Debt?

According to numbers put out by the Congressional Budget Office…

  1. President Obama’s economic stimulus package will increase the debt burden on American taxpayers by over $6,100 per household ($719 billion in debt, divided by about 117 million households) by 2011.
  2. The total package of spending and revenue changes enacted by Congress between January and March of this year will increase the debt burden on American taxpayers by over $6,700 per household by 2011.
This might make for a good ice-breaker with the other tax-units, er I mean people, at next Wednesday’s Rhode Island tea-party: What returns are you seeing on the $6,000 – $7,000 surge in debt that the government will be running up in your name over this year and the next two?

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14 years ago

I still say this begs the question: where have you folks been? Bush added $4 trillion to the debt. Now you guys fall all over yourselves about $719 billion?
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fair to question government spending, but some seem to only object to spending when done by Democrats.

14 years ago

“What returns are you seeing on the $6,000 – $7,000 surge in debt that the government will be running up in your name over this year and the next two?”
… um …
Lessee …
There’s ….. nope.
Okay, April 15. This is good. We have eight days to think of an answer.

14 years ago

How about accounting for the Bush administration’s “gimmicks” such as excluding war costs or playing games with the alternative minimum tax projections?

The White House budget office calculates that over the next decade, the tax would add $1.2 trillion in revenues. But Mr. Obama is not counting those revenues, and he is adding $218 billion to the 10-year deficit projections to reflect the added interest the government would pay for its extra debt.
As for war costs, Mr. Bush included little or none in his annual military budgets, instead routinely asking Congress for supplemental appropriations during the year. Mr. Obama will include cost projections for every year through the 2019 fiscal year to cover “overseas military contingencies” — nearly $500 billion over 10 years.

That’s $718 billion simply due to accounting changes, no?

14 years ago

Yeah, spoke too soon on that one

Well, not only is overall military spending on the rise, but Obama is about to ask for billions more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a “supplemental” spending bill, the type which were staples in Bush’s campaign to mask of the full military budget and total cost of the wars. Obama could seek the funding as early as Thursday.

And, yes, I think the debt will go up. I’m more in the Krugman camp that thinks the debt is of secondary concern to the the economy at the moment, which is why I’m critical of plans to bailout zombie banks but not of funding infrastructure projects, which I’d be happy to see much more of.
I’m also with folks like Rep. Frank who have criticized the administration’s increase in military spending when what we need are cuts “to accomplish his goals of expanding health care and other important quality of life services without ballooning the deficit.”
What’s curious for me is that much of anger on the right seems to be generalized against deficits what-so-ever, which seems odd given that only a few raised concerns during the massive deficit run ups of the Bush administration.

14 years ago

Recommended reading… The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution. People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they’re not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d’état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations. The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve – “our partners in the government,” as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout. The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron – a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers. What gets me is that as near as I can tell, many on the right… Read more »

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