National Debt & Spending
One of the most disturbing issues in the nation today is the constantly growing national debt. We're quickly approaching $19 Trillion as of January 2016. Sounds like a lot of money. It IS a lot of money. I'll break it down into terms that might make more sense since $19,000,000,000,000 is a number too large to visualize.
Take a dollar bill and lay it on your desk. It's .0043" thick. 100 of them is just under half an inch thick. It takes 232.558 dollar bills to equal one inch. For simplicity, we'll round that down to $232. A stack one foot deep is $2784. A stack one mile deep is $14,699,520 deep. If we add up $19 Trillion, it would equal 1,292,559.21 stacks one mile deep. That's 5.41 stacks of dollar bills side by side that touch the moon.
Equate it out to how much American's owe in debt. Every single man, woman and child owes $59,587.28 as his/her part of the national debt. Does anyone think we've managed to get $60,000 in value out of this government? Just the debt in the past 10 years is over $10 Trillion. That's $31,361 per person. Have you managed to get $31,361 in value out of the Federal Government in the past 10 years? That's just the amount they OVERSPENT.
Who drove us there? Well, it's pretty simple. If you add the figures, in the first 200 years, we accumulated $1 Trillion in debt. There were times when it grew, there were times when it shrank. Starting in the 60's, we started accumulating debt without paying off a dime. The last time the national debt was reduced from the year before was 1957. Prior to 1957, we paid down the debt 80 years out of 169. Almost half of the time we made payments on the debt. Since, we've paid down on the debt ZERO out of 59 years. So 95% of our national debt has been added since 1981.
Breaking it down.
If the data is broken out by President, the chart on the right shows the details. If the data is broken out by control of the House, Senate & Presidency, it tells a different story. Since the President doesn't operate in a vacuum, it's more productive in my view to attribute the debt to the party that controls 2 out of 3. When broken out from that direction, it's apparent that Republicans have been very irresponsible, adding $6.20 Trillion to the debt while Democrats have been down right destrictive in adding nearly DOUBLE that at $11.88 Trillion.
Looking at the chart below, prior to the 1940's, the US accumulated almost no debt. Only starting in the 1980's did we begin to pile on the debt. Why? An examination of the budget in the chart below shows the percentages of the budget per category. It's clear that the longer we go, the more social programs eat from our total budget. Examining data older than 1940, which the historical budget documents from whitehouse.gov stops at, the human resource percentage was nearly zero dating back to the beginning of this great nation.
Why is our spending so important? The more we spend, the worse the income gap gets. It's a noble goal to assist lower income individuals but all the facts show that the more we "help", the worse the condition gets. Just look at the people on food stamps. Nearly 1 in 6 people in the US are on food stamps now. When we spend more, we get less private economic growth and that harms income levels, worsening the conditions for the lower 50% of income earners in the US.
The rich, however, love us spending this money. Does it make any sense to pass a program that forces you to buy a product or pay a fine in order to help you? Of course it doesn't. It's just a way to funnel cash to the largest corporations that end up donating to the political campaigns of the corrupt individuals that created those programs.
The way to increase the quality of life in America is to give the people the freedom to choose where their cash goes, rather than give the government the tools to force your income into the hands of their friends. It's time to wake up. We are moving the direction of tyranny when we demand more and more government control. We're far better off as a nation when we side with the free market. While the free market has its problems, it's far more friendly to the citizen than government mandates and government "assistance".
From 1789 to 1920, the Federal Government spent about 3% of our national income per year. Since then, the average has been climbing and today, it's over 20%.