Yes, but we have a revenue problem, right?
The federal government borrowed 46 cents of every dollar it has spent so far in fiscal 2013, which began Oct. 1, according to the latest data the Congressional Budget Office released Friday.
The government notched a $172 billion deficit in November, and is already nearly $300 billion in the hole through the first two months of fiscal year 2013, underscoring just how deep the government’s budget problems are as lawmakers try to negotiate a year-end deal to avoid a budgetary “fiscal cliff.”
Higher spending on mandatory items such as Social Security, Medicare and interest on the debt led the way in boosting spending compared with the previous year, which also highlights the trouble spots Congress and President Obama are struggling to grapple with.
All sides agreed to discretionary spending cuts and automatic spending cuts last year, but have been unable to agree on ways to control entitlement costs, which are the long-term drivers of deficits and debt.
Fiscal year 2013 began on Oct. 1 and so far the government has spent $638 billion and taken in just $346 billion in revenue.
That tax revenue is up by $30 billion compared with last year, or about 10 percent.
But spending is up even more — a staggering $87 billion, or 14 percent. The CBO said much of that higher spending total is due to timing of payments month-to-month. Without those shifts, spending would be up $22 billion, or 4 percent.
Overall, CBO analysts said that, accounting for shifts in both revenue and spending, the deficit would be $8 billion lower this year than it was last year at this time.
In a universe where these staggering statistics matter, there would be near panic at the course the government was on. There would be emergency meetings of national leaders to deal with the crisis. There might even be an effort by elected officials to meet non-stop in order to come up with a plan to pull the nation back from the yawning chasm that has opened before it. The people would demand that the politicians do something.
Alas, we live in this universe with this bunch of charlatans, mountebanks, and devious, devious men who have fooled themselves into believing they can spend and spend, and spend some more with little or no consequence. They nearly tear each other apart over placing a band aid on a gaping wound while still spending us into oblivion. And the people just want it all to go away and leave them in peace so they can watch Dancing with the Stars without having to think about what’s coming.
It’s not an addiction. It’s conscious, deliberate, cold blooded politics. It can be reversed anytime as long as there is commitment to doing what everyone knows has to be done.
Reduce spending now.