The Federal Government is spending money like a teenage girl at the mall in the 1980’s with her daddy’s credit card — the government is continually spending more and more, putting our country in deeper and deeper financial peril. In 2013, the federal government borrowed 19 cents of every dollar it spent. As of October 1st, tomorrow, the federal government is out of money — mid-October the government will hit its debt ceiling and be in default, meaning no more borrowing for the good ole’ US of A. That is, unless we raise the debt ceiling once again, effectively kicking the can even further down the road.
These are some of the biggest cogs as to why the government will be shutting down — the two political powers, Republicans and Democrats, cannot agree on how to pay for the tab. And this wouldn’t be the first shut down in recent memory, especially for Minnesotans. Since 1977, there have been 17 government shutdowns.
Oftentimes it’s hard to quantify just how much money is being spent by our government, as trillions is an amount no real person deals with. Billions and trillions spent, debt ceilings, budget cuts, all these terms and figures can be difficult to grasp on such an astronomically high level.
It’s even harder to swallow this statement from The Heritage Foundation:
In 2013, federal spending approached $3.5 trillion and the deficit dropped to “only” $642 billion. Some are using this small improvement in the nation’s fiscal situation to avoid further budget tightening. But as the figures and graphics in this report show, this is the wrong conclusion to draw. Following four years of trillion-dollar deficits, the national debt will still reach nearly $17 trillion and exceed 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of the year.
There has been a lot of back and forth about which party is at fault for the impending shutdown — but I’d argue it’s both parties at fault, and the massive size of our government altogether. The government taxes and spends so much money, but yet still does not have enough to go around. With the Affordable Care Act set to go into effect in October, it’s hard to imagine the government spending less and cutting back.
The Heritage Foundation’s collection of info-graphics really helps put how much the government spends in perspective. A lot of the spending has increased significantly over the years, but done little to resolve the problems it set out to fix.
Even the sequestration, a huge deal at the time to cut certain programs, barely put a dent into the overall spending of the federal government.
Or what about all the subsidies given to those in need? Despite spending more than ever on helping the needy, poverty is still persistent, some would argue worse than ever — once people begin to depend on subsidies, do they truly work to wane themselves off government assistance?
All of this spending talk and government shut down is even more complicated than you and I can ever imagine — that’s what is so scary about all of this. That and both sides of the aisle being so rooted in political ideology that they cannot even come together to keep the government functioning. Here’s an idea: stop spending and borrowing so much damn money — a little bit of saving never hurt anyone.
Images via: The Heritage Foundation (all graphs have accompanying sourcing on the site)