Thursday, October 20, 2005

Frist Defends Spending Spree...

According to a research paper done by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative thinktank in DC, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist doesn't believe that spending is out of control. The research shows that since 2001, spending has increased $610 billion or 33%. Somehow, Frist contends that this increase is for "clear and understandable national security reasons."

...

Whoa, easy there Mr. Frist! Why don't you get one of your many staffers to look through the budget for you and you'll see that these reasons you speak of only account for less than one-third of the spending increase. So by leaving that intact, by freezing all that other spending we can expect over a quarter trillion in savings over the next four years.

But don't take it from little old me, I'm just a stupid college sophomore. According to the Heritage's own research, there is historical precedence for a budget overhaul and non-discretionary spending freeze:
During World War II, lawmakers reprioritized their budgets and cut non-war spending in half—even eliminating many of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. During the Korean War, Congress cut one-fourth of all non-war spending in just one year.
At least these administrations saw the massive increases that were hurting the economy and dealt with them; leaders in this Congress simply choose to ignore said spending increases and pretend that they don't exist, or that spending is "under control."

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hate to have to say this, but it is far from "under control." The lack of foresight in many Congressmen is simply outrageous. In only a few years, the first baby boomers will hit retirement age and be followed by 77 million more. During the next decade, the Heritage Foundation points out that, "Medicare will expand by 9 percent annually, Medicaid by 8 percent annually, and Social Security by 6 percent annually."

The fact is it's one thing to ignore current spending increases, but to pretend that there's no ensuing crisis is just naive. We need our congressional leaders to get spending DOWN, not just under control, before it is too late. In less than five years, this time will come, and if we continue our current trends, there will be no choice but to cut many vital programs because tax hikes of any magnitude will not cover the necessary spending as highlighted above.

Also, serious reform is needed in the tax system, Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security. Here's a little metaphor for you: these programs are like growing forest fires, and all we are doing to put them out is throwing more wood in their paths. If we don't start containing them, they will grow beyond the realm of our control and seriously harm this economy.

Argue all you want against these vital reforms, but you can't escape the fact that these programs are draining our economy faster than a vampire would a fresh victim. If nothing is done there's no telling what will happen to our great nation. And that's my take...

1 comment:

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