I had a few minutes, so I thought I’d balance the federal budget. The folks in Washington, D.C. don’t seem to be doing such a swell job, so it’s obvious they could use some help.
OK, here goes:
Step 1. Get a copy of the federal budget and take it to the nearest copier.
Step 2. Put the budget in the copier.
Step 3. Push the “Start” button.
Step 4. Scratch out “Fiscal Year 2011” and write in “Fiscal Year 2012” on the copy.
Step 5. Repeat as many years as needed, until tax revenue catches up to spending.
Once it does that, keep the spending the same until all of the deficit is paid off.
Along the way, Congress may want to subtract programs that don’t really accomplish anything — I hear there a few of those — and make other adjustments as warranted.
For example, once our military gets the heck out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and every other arm pit in the Middle East, I’m sure we can roll back defense spending.
There. You’re done. I’m not kidding.
Each year the federal budget grows with no help at all from Congress. It includes pay raises for millions of federal employees and all sorts of increases that you never hear the folks in Washington, D.C., talk about when they say they are “cutting” the budget.
In point of fact the federal budget has been reduced only a half-dozen times since 1940, and most of that involved cutting spending after World War II.
Every other year, federal spending has gone up. The most recent problem we face is tax revenues decreased at the same time Congress increased the federal budget in an attempt to stimulate the economy after our friends on Wall Street cratered the banking system by backing flim-flam mortgages with smoke and mirrors. Congress did the right thing to try to help, but Wall Street just took the money and ran. They didn’t even say, “Thanks, suckers.”
That left us — the taxpayers — holding the bag.
So now we’re in hock up to Uncle Sam’s eyebrows and Congress, many of whom take copious amounts of money from unions, special interest groups and just about every other pig at the federal trough, just can’t find a way to keep all of them happy and reduce the budget at the same time.
Luckily, that’s not my problem. I really don’t stay up at night worrying how I’m going to raise a pile of money to buy TV ads telling the world how pretty I am. No one cares.
Politicians, on the other hand, think about it all of the time.
Because they’re beholden to all of those other interests, they just don’t have the chutzpah to attend to America’s interests.
And that’s how we got where we are today and why we will probably keep staying here.