Monday, September 07, 2009

The True Cost of Deficits

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Conservatives wailed everytime George W. Bush signed yet another bill that raised the deficit. Now we looking achingly back and miss the days when a billion dollars was considered a large sum.

Just what do the Obama-induced deficits really mean to us is explored by a man who should know:

David Walker sounds like a modern-day Paul Revere as he warns about the country's perilous future. "We suffer from a fiscal cancer," he tells a meeting of the National Taxpayers Union, the nation's oldest anti-tax lobby. "Our off balance sheet obligations associated with Social Security and Medicare put us in a $56 trillion financial hole—and that's before the recession was officially declared last year. America now owes more than Americans are worth —and the gap is growing!"

His audience sits in rapt attention. A few years ago these antitax activists would have been polite but a tad restless listening to the former head of the Government Accountability Office, the nation's auditor-in-chief. Higher taxes is what hikes their blood pressure the most, but the profligate spending of the Bush and Obama administrations has put them in a mood to listen to this green-eyeshade Cassandra. "He's so unlike most politicians," says Sharron Angle, a former state legislator from Nevada, "his message is clear, detailed and with no varnish."
Emphasis mine. $56-trillion? We are spending ourselves into a third-world economy where inflation will rise and the dollar become nearly worthless. A salary of $50,000 per year will be the equivalent of $35,000 if some estimations are to be believed.

Double dip here we come and it's even scarier to think about after reading this piece in the WSJ.

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