BUDGET DEFICIT NOW $9,000,000,000,000: How much is Due to Greed and Chicanery?

By Elois Zeanah

“It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.” –George Washington

Our nation must find a way to stop its financial hemorrhaging.  Our economy cannot sustain this level of bleeding (borrowing and spending). The Obama administration raised its 10-year budget deficit projection by $2 trillion to $9 trillion.  (The national debt is already $11.7 trillion.) The White House report showed the public debt doubling by 2019 and reaching three-quarters the size of the entire national economy.  This is hard to comprehend. 

One way to understand its impact on our economy is to put it in the context of a one-dollar bill.  Fold the dollar into thirds.  Then unfold two thirds.  This represents our national debt.  Our nation cannot survive on one-third of our economic output.  The result would be horrific – not only to our generation but on “ages yet unborn”.

A book “National Suicide: How Washington is Destroying the American Dream from A to Z” by an investigative reporter, Martin Gross, to be released in September 2009, is about the outrageous expenditures that American taxpayers are forced to fund. Some payments are for programs that don’t do the job intended, others are to achieve political goals.  A few examples among the book’s revelations are:

·        $700 billion a year is spent on welfare, “amounting to $65,000 for each poor family of four, yet we still have the poor with us.”[1] 

·        “Both political parties secretly encourage illegal immigration (Democrats for votes, Republicans for cheap labor) and then reward the immigrants’ children with automatic U.S. citizenship.”[2] 

·         1,000 duplicate programs waste billions.

·        “Medicare and Medicaid waste $150 billion a year dealing with doctor and hospital fraud.”[3] 

·        “$45 billion a year is wasted on ‘improper payments’ and even more on ‘unnecessary agencies.’”[4] 

Cal Thomas writes, “This book will keep your blood pressure up and your motivation to do something about overspending high into the next election.  Publisher’s Weekly wrote in its review:  ‘A fiery A-Z compendium of government greed, chicanery and plain incompetence.  Gross enjoys a good rant, but his criticism are sound and well-supported.”[5]

A good place for Americans to start to hold Washington politicians accountable for their “greed and chicanery”, is to demand that current bills on health care reform that do nothing to stop the financial hemorrhaging must be scuttled!  Like the dollar bill illustration above, only one-third of House Bill 3200 is about health care.  The rest, according to a legislative consultant who appeared on a Fox News program, is about pet programs, totally pork!

Federal government programs are riddled with fraud as a rule.  They “are inherently vulnerable to bribery, fraud, conflicts of interest, and collusion.  There is an old adage that where there is money to be made, fraud is not far behind, like bees to honey.”[6]  This is a primary reason for Americans to insist that government “keep its hand off our health care”.  Examples of fraud in federal programs within the last year alone include:

·        The $750 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), signed by President Bush in October 2008.  Tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money will be lost to fraud” within TARP.[7] 

·        The $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law in February 2009.  “Estimates are that $50 billion of stimulus money will be lost to fraud.”[8]

It’s past time for Washington to start purging costs from wasteful/inefficient government programs to stop the financial hemorrhaging.  It’s not time to pass a new entitlement of a health care bill that will explode deficits. 

[1] Cal Thomas “Deficit has gone far beyond being our children’s burden”, August 26, 2009

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.


[7] Quarterly Report to Congress, Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP, April 21, 2009 (source: “Stop Paying the Crooks” book, foreword by Newt Gingrich)

[8] Greg Morcroft, “Fraudsters eye huge stimulus pie, consultant says,” MarketWatch, June 12, 2009 (source:  Book, “Stop Paying the Crooks”, foreword by Newt Gingrich

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