Where Goeth Thou Balanced Budget

10/05/2012

Shakespeare would have loved it.  Romney and Obama debating each other – a real American tragedy.  If you saw the debate last night, you would have seen both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama misleading the American people about government spending.

As a result, the founding fathers are now turning over in their graves and I even hear that Wil Shakespeare might try to make a comeback with a new play entitled, “A Midsummer Night’s Fantasy”.  The play, as I understand it, will be about two politicians both of whom have taken to fantasizing about how to solve their country’s economic woes and thereby win an upcoming election.  The play shows what will happen to the country economically if either candidate wins.  The plot line takes a dark, somber turn near the end as the two candidates are shown to be mannequins taking their direction from a powerful puppeteer who is pulling all the strings.  Wil must have read The Wizard of Oz no doubt.  The real tragedy is that it didn’t matter which candidate was elected.  The outcome was the same – economic disaster.

In some respects, Mitt and Barack are two peas from the same pod.  They both dance to the same fiddler (biggest contributors) and they both pretend (fantasize) that they have a solution to the country’s lack of a balanced budget.  But here’s the real problem: the size of the federal deficit is way beyond what the two candidates are talking about.  The number that has been continually thrown around for the annual deficit is $1 trillion, with a total cumulative deficit of $16 trillion.  Believe it or not, that’s the good news.  The bad news is that the real numbers are $11 trillion annually and $222 trillion in total, and that’s without addressing the black budget which nobody ever talks about.

So the two candidates have some vague ideas about trimming the federal deficit by making cuts in some minor programs.  Am I suppose to get a warm-puppy feeling about that?  Total government spending is less than $4 trillion a year, as compared with an annual deficit of $11 trillion, which means that you could totally close down the government and the deficit would still continue to grow.  Now that’s some kind of crazy math!

The source of the discrepancy in these numbers is the creative bookkeeping done by the Government Accounting Office.  But why blame some lowly bookkeepers when it’s the politicians who pull the strings.  It’s the same for the fallacious numbers which the government publishes on unemployment and cost of living increases.  By hiding the ball, the government disguises the very problems it’s creating.  How’s that for transparency!  So the next time that I see Wil, I’ll have to ask him if he knows “where goeth thou balanced budget”?

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