Thursday, December 23, 2004

Fiscal train wreck on the horizon

From the Wall Street Journal:

“Interest on the nation’s borrowing is a big and growing budget item, one that cannot be cut except by slashing the debt itself. The $168 billion in annual payments, much of it to overseas holders of Treasury bonds, represents just over 7 percent of the federal spending. That’s more than the government will spend on education, housing, transportation, science, space and technology combined.”

The same article goes on to say that about 85 percent of the government’s $2.3 trillion in spending this year is untouchable by public consensus. That includes the 20 percent that goes toward defense (an area which has increased by 55 percent under President Bush). The war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are running about $5 billion a month.

And Bush wants to borrow another $2 trillion to finance his Social Security privatization scheme at the same time that he is pushing Congress to make his huge tax cuts for the wealthy permanent.

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