If you read Part 1, then you might understand that the annual federal budget is a complicated process and no President or Congress can be held responsible for all of the Mandatory and Discretionary spending. By that, I mean, can we blame President Obama for Social Security; Medicare; the VA, the Department of Defense [formed in August 1949], etc.?
Have you ever asked what would happen if the President and Congress had to cut discretionary spending and stop borrowing money to fund government, what would have to go? Mandatory spending cannot be cut because it is funded with specific taxes. For example, Social Security cannot use other taxes to fund that program. Social Security has to be funded by the Social Security tax but Congress has used this tax to fund other departments and programs. To understand this better, I suggest you read Social Security and Medicare’s impact on the national budget = ZERO!
To—hopefully—give you a better idea, I found this information at The Heritage Foundation: In 2012, there was $2.501 trillion in total revenues; Mandatory Spending was $2.073 trillion, and Discretionary Spending was $1.313 trillion.
If the government was not allowed to borrow, that would leave $428 billion to fund Discretionary Spending, and then $885 Billion would have to be cut—for example— from the Department of Defense’s [DOD]; the VA’s Discretionary budget; the Department of Transportation’s budget; the Administration of Justice’s [the courts] budget, etc.
I’m sure criminals would love to see Justice cut.
Now, who decides how to divide up those cuts and how many millions of people might see their retirement incomes shrink so drastically that they wouldn’t have enough money to feed themselves in addition to paying the electric bill and the rent. Soon the homeless population would explode like a nuclear bomb.
How would our military defend America and fight its endless wars? How would the VA take care of veterans who were wounded in combat and the health care of retired military? How would the Food and Drug Administration make sure the food was safer to eat?
National Debt and Deficit Explained
Oh, and if you think all it would take is cut welfare from the budget and make those so-called deadbeats work [most people on welfare work long-hours at low-paying jobs and the rest are too old to work; are children, or are disabled], the budget for Food Stamps and other Nutrition programs for the elderly and disabled cost $114.9 billion in 2012 and that is not even close to the $885 billion that would have to be cut to balance the budget and stop deficit spending. Housing assistance, another form of welfare costs only $40 billion. Even with that gone, we’re still a long way from cutting $885 billion from the budget.
Maybe the United States could cut Farm Subsidies that are usually paid to wealthy corporate farmers, but that’s only $12.5 billion [this program cost $24.4 billion in 2002 so it has already been cut in half].
We could also cut unemployment benefits even though America’s workers and employers paid unemployment taxes to fund that government insurance program. That would cut $107 billion, but then there would be no unemployment benefits when a citizen lost his or her job. Without money, they would soon be homeless and starving along with the elderly, children and disabled who lost their food stamps and welfare support.
I think this must be repeated as often as possible: Entitlement programs like Unemployment, Social Security and Medicare all have their own special tax revenue source to fund them and that was and still is being paid for by working Americans.
So, who do you want to cut out of the budget? Remember, the cuts you propose must add up to almost $900 billion, and if we did away with Social Security and Medicare then the taxes that fund those entitlement programs would vanish too leading to even deeper cuts.
If you still don’t get it, maybe this will help: if we call Social Security Paul, and the discretionary slice of the budget Mary, then Congress has been legally stealing from Paul to pay Mary for a very long time but Paul can’t steal from Mary because the law that manages Social Security doesn’t allow that to happen.
For some fool to think that President Obama is personally responsible for the trillions of dollars that have been added to the National Debt while he has lived in the White House, Obama would have had to launch new spending programs and add more departments and agencies to the government that increased spending but he would still need the approval of the Congress. The only program we’ve heard the GOP complain about is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better known as ObamaCare—a program that has not increased the national debt one penny so far and may never increase it.
It has been estimated that ObamaCare will cost the federal government $1.36 trillion dollars by 2023. That means, ObamaCare—as it is popularly known—will cost an average of $136 billion annually to fund according to the Congressional Budget Office. But due to the methods/sources used to fund the program, it has been estimated that ObamaCare will reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion over the 2012 – 2021 period. To discover how, click on the following link and scroll down to read How Do We Pay for ObamaCare Costs?
The only way President Obama may be held responsible for the increase in the National Debt is if he increased spending but according to Tax Policy Center.org, Obama has cut spending by 1.4% while he has been in office.
In comparison, G. W. Bush increased spending 4.5%.
What They Won’t Tell You about the National Debt
In fact, Bush’s 1st annual budget  increased the deficit by $157.8 billion; the 2nd  annual budget by $377.6 billion; 3rd  by $412.7 billion; 4th  by $318.3 billion; 5th  $248.2 billion; 6th  $160.7 billion; 7th  $260.7 billion, and the 8th [2009—Yes, Obama was president but it was the last budget President Bush proposed to Congress] led to a deficit of $1.4127 Trillion. To explain, the first year a president is in office, he or she runs the country with a budget left over from the previous president and it’s too late to do over because the Congress already approved it.
By comparison, Obama’s 1st annual budget in 2010—the first budget Obama proposed to Congress—had a deficit of $1.2935 Trillion—$119.2 billion less than Bush’s last budget; 2nd  $1.2996 trillion, and 3rd  of $1.087 Trillion—all lower than Bush’s last budget. Source: Tax Policy Center.org
Continued on November 16, 2013 in I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 3 or return to Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.
His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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