Tuesday, August 5, 2008

U.S. spending obligations surge

Don’t let anybody tell you that the 110th Congress hasn’t done anything lately. Oh, they have and big time. They have managed to create the sort of spending from the creation of Federal programs that would make a spendthrift blush. I hope Americans know what they are getting themselves into when they jaunt into those voting booths in November. Because if we get more massive spending programs from the next administration, there’s going to be a lot of financial pain to spread around and it won’t be just for the “rich.”

From CSM: The Democratic-controlled Congress and the Bush administration have presided over a surge in new federal spending obligations that may be the most enduring legacy of the 110th Congress.

From new entitlements such as a GI bill for military veterans to recent federal commitments to shore up a troubled housing market, Washington is taking on obligations with long-term consequences for taxpayers. At the same time, critics say, lawmakers aren't exercising the oversight needed to keep these commitments manageable.

"In the last three or four months, the momentum has really built up for more spending," says Michael Franc, vice president of government relations for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. "Congress has moved a whole range of bills that take the problem up another notch."

Here are some of the items.

•A new housing law, signed last week, commits the government to backing some $300 billion in troubled mortgages.

•A higher education bill adds $169 billion over the next five years.

•The GI bill that extends education benefits to veterans or their family members will cost $62 billion over 10 years.

•Congress boosted the statutory debt ceiling by $800 billion to $10.6 trillion. That's $4.8 trillion more than it was at the end of 2001. (Read More Here)

1 comment:

Jeff Perren said...

"Congress boosted the statutory debt ceiling by $800 billion to $10.6 trillion. That's $4.8 trillion more than it was at the end of 2001."

This is the most shocking figure of all, especially when you consider the effect it has on so many different areas of the economy.

Even 15 years ago when it stood at 1 trillion, the number was outrageous. Now, it is criminal. Or should be.