Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spending Freezes, Obama Style

I wish I could propose a "budget" like that in my personal finances and get some idiot to fund it.

Seriously, the math is staggering. The US is projecting spending $3.72T this year and $3.83T next year. To put that in perspective, they're spending 172% of revenues this year and 150% of revenues next. It's not like they "just missed", they're not even in the same ballpark.

While we're on these figures, the deficit projection for next year, seems to assume that government revenues will increase from $2.16T to $2.56T. This is a staggering 18.5% increase in revenues. I'm not entirely sure where that is coming from. I guess they're really counting on that immediate recovery that absolutely NOBODY is projecting. Good luck with that.

Seriously, what are the Vegas odds on this "actually" occuring? I mean REALLY. The 18.5% revenue increase is about as likely to happen as pigs flying. The only way they raise revenues that much in a year is if the US military seizes it from the sheep by force. And as for the second bet, it's pointless betting on this, not so much that that the US government will choose to reign in spending, it's a matter of when the bond market will tell the US government to reign in spending.

Mr. Obama's budget offers tax cuts for businesses, including a $5,000 tax credit for hiring new workers this year, help for the unemployed and $25-billion more for cash-strapped state governments.

Really? Businesses are not going to hire people because your bribe them to. You hire people because you need them to do the job you're paying them to...or you don't hire. The only thing this tax cut will do is reduce revenues to the government by cutting taxes being paid by companies who were going to hire anyways.

The deficit for this year would surge to a record-breaking $1.56-trillion, topping last year's then-unprecedented $1.41-trillion gap, a number which had dwarfed the previous record of $454.8-billion set in 2008 under former President George W. Bush.

Congrats, not only have you tripled Dubya's (record-setting at the time) deficit, you've managed to do this 3 straight years...

The deficit in 2011 would total $1.27-trillion, the third straight trillion-dollar-plus imbalance. The deficit would fall to $828-billion in 2012 but would remain at levels surpassing any previous deficits through 2020.

...epic fail. The US is lucky they can rely on the strength of the world economy to provide them all this money to waste in their time of...WHAT? THEY need money TOO? Well, FUCK ME!

The deficit for this year would be 10.6 per cent of the total economy, a figure unmatched since the country was emerging from World War II. The administration does not trim the deficit below 3.6 per cent of GDP for any year in the next decade, failing to meet its goal of lowering the deficit to 3 per cent of GDP by 2015.

Par for the course...of course it won't come to this, because SOMETHING will force a change of course long before 2020.

Mr. Obama's new budget attempts to navigate between the opposing goals of pulling the country out of a deep recession and getting control of runaway deficits. The administration insists that once the recession is history, the government will turn its attention to attacking the deficits.

WTF. "Technically" the recession already ended with 2009 Q3 growth. So deal with the deficit! Unless they're talking about when the NEXT recession ends...

This is my favourite part of the budget though:

In a bow to worries over the soaring deficits, the administration proposed a three-year freeze on spending beginning in 2011 for many domestic government agencies. It would save $250-billion over the next decade by following the spending freeze with caps that would keep increases after 2013 from rising faster than inflation.

Military, veterans, homeland security and big benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare would not feel the pinch. Federal support for elementary and high school education would get what the administration termed the biggest increase in history. The Pell Grant college tuition program which would see an increase of $17-billion to just under $35-billion, helping an additional 1 million students.

A 3 year spending freeze, YIPPEE! Except it doesn't apply to about 90% of their expenditures.

Following such a courageous decision, I will BOLDLY propose my own 3 year spending freeze on the following:

Feminine hygiene products, tofu, beanie babies, Miley Cyrus albums, flights to Antarctica, plutonium, pocket lint, and time machines. (Actually, fuck that, I would totally buy a time machine if I could). It'll be tough, I know. I'll have to tighten my belt, but with some strong fiscal discipline, I think I can get by.

On a minor note, over the same period, I endeavor to fly first class wherever I go, leave my car idling whenever possible (and I'm filling up with the high octane shit now), buy a new car every 1-2 months, hire a personal chef, triple my alcohol consumption, and generally apply and max out every fucking credit card I can get my hands on.

But at least I have my spending freeze in place.

1 comment:

  1. It's just sad. I guess we never will pay off the debt.