While we're distracted by Christmas shopping and the meltdown of Tiger Woods' career, the Democrats in Congress have rammed through the largest and most bloated budget our country has ever seen, spending 1.1 trillion dollars the nation does not have, putting us further into debt to a total which is expected to be over 14 trillion dollars by the end of the year.
I remember with fond nostalgia going after the $800 billion budget in 2008 as the "budget of abominations" and now I find myself in the ironic position of seeing that outrageous crime against the financial welfare of future generations exceeded drastically for two years in a row in the midst of the enormous off-budget spending of the TARP and Stimulus bills. The capitol has become an unstoppable leak in the ship of state, fountaining money like a flood which will sink us all.
Last week, while those of us who still have jobs were trying to earn enough to buy a few Christmas presents for our kids, the House passed the budget bill with a vote of 222 to 201, with every Republican and 28 Democrats opposing the bill. In the Senate there was an attempt to block the bill with a filibuster, but Joe Lieberman defied the sabbath to walk down to the Senate on Saturday and provide the 60th vote to end debate and open the way for a final vote on the budget on Sunday.
While we were trying to do our best in the uphill struggle to spend our way out of recession, Democrats loaded this budget up with more than 5200 pork-spending earmarks and massive expansions of some of the most wasteful federal agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. It includes an increase of at least 2% in salary for every government bureaucrat, a 33% increase in foreign aid, massive additional funds for the FBI and NASA and law enforcement grant programs cut during the Bush administration. All of this spending adds up to a total increase over last year's budget of 10%, the largest one-year increase in history and the largest percentage increase since the 1930s.
Of course, about $650 billion was just debt service and obligations to programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which we've known should have been cut to the bone years ago, but just keep ballooning with every successive, cowardly budget. The remaining $447 billion of discretionary spending should have been cut even more, but instead it was expanded. The budget grew so much that the Democrats will need to raise the debt cieling to over $14 billion after having already raised it by more than a billion dollars earlier this year.
The debt is now so huge that it if we paid it back at a rate of a dollar a second it would take 416,000 years just to pay back the principal. It is this massive debt and the interest on it which is causing the economic decline we are currently experiencing, because while families and businesses are cutting their costs and scrimping and saving and not spending, government continues to spend out of control and put us further and further into debt. The inevitable result of this will be massive increases in taxes so long as the administration and congressional Democrats lack the good sense to actually cut spending. For decades to come Americans will suffer under debt which will retard economic growth and tax the people beyond their ability to pay.
As I write this it's probably already too late to do anything to stop this abomination. But from this point forward we have to demand accountability. Every Senator and Representative who voted for this budget and for the Stimulus bills must be voted out of office in the next election. We need to replace them with congressmen with the vision to rethink how our government operates and the will to make cuts which are unpopular with special interests so that they can start to lift this unsupportable burden of debt from the American people.
It's time to press "reset" on our government and go back to the beginning and start over building a government limited to the essentials exactly as George Washington did in 1789. It may seem extreme, but I think that maybe the only way to deal with this situation is to disband the entire federal bureaucracy and shut down every federal government program and start over. It would even be worth it to give federal employees several months of paid leave to find a new job. Then restart the government from scratch. Eliminate as many programs and departments as possible and assign as many of the remaining responsibilities as we can to the state governments. Then reestablish only the essential functions of the federal government as outlined in the Constitution — national defense, some basic regulation and foreign policy. It took us 200 years to get to this point, and if we go back and start over maybe we can keep this country economically viable for a few more.