Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"For Perspective" ...

For perspective, the entire federal budget for nondefense discretionary spending—programs outside of entitlement programs and interest on the debt—now runs about $600 billion annually. You would have to eliminate every penny of that spending—on roads, education, law enforcement and scientific research—for 25 years to fill that hole. 
Or, alternately, as the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated, you would have to cut all government spending outside of Social Security by 93%.

To pay down the debt, you would need to not only balance the budget but create a surplus to be able to buy up all the old debt—an idea that many economists say would create its own economic shocks.

This all should be grist for a detailed campaign discussion, because the economic stakes are enormous. But it isn’t, in part because many voters have stopped taking seriously plans put forth by political figures of all stripes. Who can blame them? Washington has become the capital of dysfunction, where even the most well-crafted policy proposals go to die.

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