Our local newspaper ran a story recently with the headline Republicans go on spending-cut spree.
My, what an interesting choice of words. During the massive “stimulus” spending, I never once saw a headline in our newspaper accusing Democrats of going on a “spending spree” — which they clearly were. (Bias? What bias? We don’t see any bias.)
The opening paragraph of the article continues in the same tone:
In a rare, freewheeling marathon of spending cuts, GOP leaders in the House threw open the doors to the federal budget, and lawmakers careened from debates on fighter jet engines to wild horses as they tried to bore through an expanding mound of amendments that had grown to 600 so far.
Freewheeling, throwing open doors, careening, boring through mounds … call me crazy, but I get the distinct feeling the reporter doesn’t approve of cutting the federal budget. The language makes the GOP lawmakers sound like a bunch of drunks at a frat party. (Bias? What bias? We don’t see any bias.) Because as we all know, that’s what out-of-control people do: reduce their debts. Once they come to their senses, they go back to spending money they don’t have.
Deeper into the article, we learn the extent of the wild and crazy spending-cut spree: $61 billion. That’s within a budget projected at more than $3.7 trillion. In other words, we’re talking about cuts totaling about 1.6%.
I tell ya, the next time I get plastered, I’m going to open my Microsoft Money program and reduce our household spending by $82 per month. If I got really hammered, I could even end up canceling HBO — if not for the fact that it’s considered an entitlement.
Speaking of which, one of the points the reporter apparently wanted to make is that all this budget-cutting won’t accomplish much anyway, since most of the budget is dedicated to entitlement programs:
Even if Congress eliminated all of the nation’s non-defense, discretionary spending and de-funded domestic Cabinet departments, it would only save about $500 billion, leaving an operating deficit this year of $1 trillion.
Well, there you have it, then. If a reduction of $500 billion won’t eliminate the deficit, there’s certainly no point in cutting $61 billion. May as well just keep spending.
No, wait … let me think about this for a moment …. We’re already in deep in debt, so we may as well keep buying everything we want … who thinks like that? It’s on the tip of my tongue … oh, right! Drunks think like that. Addicts think like that. People who end up broke and desperate and perhaps finally going to Debtors Anonymous meetings think like that. You know, the kind of people who go on spending sprees.
If you read enough media articles about the federal budget, you’d think the $1 trillion “non-discretionary” part of the deficit just sort of happened. Nobody’s fault, you see. We woke up one morning, and there it was, chewing away at our bank accounts.
That is, of course, utter nonsense. There’s no such thing as “non-discretionary” spending. We’re facing trillions in unfunded liabilities for exactly one reason: during the past 80 years, legislators kept deciding Americans are “entitled” to federal goodies their grandparents somehow managed to live without. Congress could reduce or eliminate those programs. They just won’t.
But trust me, someday those programs will be gone. When the bubble finally bursts, when the economy is finally crushed, when the Chinese finally stop buying our bonds, when the federal government finally defaults on its massive debts, the 80-year spending spree will have to come to an end. We can’t consume wealth we aren’t actually producing forever.
That’s when the goofs in the media will finally (I hope) wake up and realize who the wild, freewheeling, crazy lawmakers really were.