Treasury Report is Exhibit A in the argument over spending
As Congress continues to dither on whether or not to solve America’s coming fiscal crisis, the Treasury Department has come out with its annual report on the federal government’s fiscal situation. The news is almost all bad.
In particular, there are three major points which all Patriots and Americans should be aware of:
First, the report examines projected spending and debt over the next 10 to 70 years. In addition to noting both are expected to skyrocket starting in 2022, this section of the report notes two important things:
- The skyrocketing is going to primarily result from massive increases in Social Security, Medicare, and interest payment spending.
- The longer we wait to make changes, the worse things will be. From the report:
The timing of changes to noninterest spending and receipts that close this “75-year fiscal gap” has important implications for the well-being of future generations. For example, relative to a policy that begins immediately, it is estimated that the magnitude of reforms necessary to close the 75-year fiscal gap increases by nearly 20 percent if action is delayed by 10-years and for more than 50 percent if action is delayed 20 years.
Second, the report notes the federal government wasted $108 billion of your tax dollars on improper payments. While this is a much lower percentage of dollars wasted as compared to 2009, and slightly lower than 2011’s rate of improper payments, it is still far too high. Additionally, this figure doesn’t include most fraud, or any duplicative programs in the federal government.
Third, that $108 billion doesn’t even include a full audit of the federal government. Approximately $1.38 trillion of federal spending was unexamined by the Government Accountability Office, meaning just over one-third of federal spending wasn’t included. This is shameful, and another sign of bloated federal bureaucracy.
In the end, the 260-page report is a devastating overview of the federal budget. As the budget debates continue over the next two months, there are two things to take from this report to your meetings with your Members of Congress, friends, neighbors, and fellow activists:
First and foremost, this report comes from the Treasury Department, subordinates of the Secretary of the Treasury, who is a proxy of President Obama. Not only is the report credible from that perspective – the Treasury Department is not exactly a right-wing think tank – it also means that President Obama and his chief financial advisors are aware of the fiscal facts.
Second, this knowledge is widespread in Congress. This means every single Member of Congress who says we can wait on balancing the budget either needs a new staff or is lying.