Skip to comments.How Did We Get to $20 Trillion? Here's What the Numbers Show.
Posted on 05/03/2017 6:47:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
In survey after survey, most Americans tell pollsters they want politicians to address the national debt. Support for specific policies may ebb and flow over time, but what rarely changes are the promises politicians make and break in response.
Almost all politicians pledge to spend responsibly while on the stump, but once theyre in office, voters are at the mercy of a system so complex and crisis-driven it becomes all but impossible to know whos keeping their word.
So who is?
As only someone who founded and runs an organization dedicated to reforming federal spending can tell you, understanding even the basics can be challenging for laymen and policy professionals alike.
Fortunately, the rise of open data has made figuring out politicians track records just a little bit easier. SpendingTracker.org compiles spending estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and cross-references them with every vote cast in order to track public spending and assign responsibility.
Here are a few things we learned from the most recent Congress:
Republicans and Democrats are Shockingly Similar
The difference between the average Republican and the average Democrat is remarkably small at least when it comes to bills that have been signed into law. During his time in office, President Obama approved just over $2 trillion in new spending over the next decade, of which the median House Republican voted for $1.95 trillion and median Democrat $1.86 trillion. In the Senate, those numbers are $1.8 trillion and $2.0 trillion, respectively.
Of course, members of Congress cannot ensure everything they support becomes law. Looking at all votes that members cast reveals more predictable divisions among the parties, with most Republicans voting to spend less than most of their Democratic counterparts. The Senate, thanks to its encouragement of unanimous consent, has less variation among both parties.
These records can be viewed with varying levels of cynicism they represent either what Republicans would have passed if they could have, or what they are happy to vote for with no chance of its becoming law. Recent experience with many Republicans hesitating to pass a full Obamacare repeal after it passed dozens of times under Obama might suggest the latter is closer to the truth.
Democrats Control Dissent Much More Effectively
In the 114th, the lowest and highest-spending members of Congress hail from the GOP. While these differences can be attributed to several factors including simply that the 114th was under Republican leadership, they also highlight the internal war within the party between hardcore fiscal hawks like the Freedom Caucus and rank-and-file Republicans. Despite their recent contentious chairmans race, Democrats see far less intra-party division.
The highest spenders in both parties have voted for just over $2 trillion in new spending, but the range is far smaller for Democratic members. For instance, the most frugal Republican, Michigans Justin Amash, voted to spend about $8 billion, while the most frugal Democrat, Illinois Jan Schakowsky, voted for nearly $450 billion. Looking at all votes cast shows even clearer differences with Amash voting to save over $1 trillion and Schakowsky still voting for almost $500 billion in new spending.
The same phenomenon exists in the Senate, but again even less variation exists in both parties. Despite inevitable handwringing over unruly caucuses, the status quo is such that voting to cut spending will necessarily involve bucking party leadership from time to time.
The Longer Youre in Office, the More You Vote to Spend
Most members of Congress vote to spend very large amounts of money, but its nearly impossible to find thrifty career politicians. Of the 93 Representatives who have been in office 19 years or more, only 15 voted to spend less than $1 trillion during the 114th. Of the 23 Senators in office for the same amount of time, Oregons Ron Wyden is the only one who voted for less than $1 trillion.
The Budget Process is Fundamentally Broken
While every vote adds up, the vast majority of spending comes from a very small number of bills. This fact highlights deep problems in the budget process, in which most spending passes at the last minute, in large packages, or under threat of shutdown situations that make it difficult for the vast majority of politicians to do anything but vote Yea. It has been 22 years, in fact, since Congress completed the budget process from resolution to appropriations bills, and without fundamental changes that will allow more careful consideration of costs and tradeoffs, cutting spending will remain a distant goal.
We Have to Take Big Entitlement Programs off Autopilot
Not only does most discretionary spending occur in large packages, members of Congress rarely have opportunities to vote on mandatory spending, which is now by far the largest portion of the federal budget. Its no exaggeration to say that major programs like Social Security and Medicare have the potential to make every other discussion moot as these outlays strain resources and priorities and endanger those who depend on these programs. A bipartisan refusal to seek reform serves the best interests of no one, least of all the most vulnerable among us.
This database tool represents the first time anyone has linked voting records to total new spending, and the results are uncomfortably illuminating for people who want fiscal sanity. But with open data, new technology, and a clear sense of the root of the problems, we have a fighting chance to solve them once and for all.
Follow the Rule of Six.
As long as we have a Fiat based Monetary system where ALL Federal Reserve Notes and Credits are LOANED into Society with interest attached, it is Virtually Impossible to even have a Balanced Budget, let alone one that actually pays down debt.
Even paying down $1 Dollar on National Debt will put this country into a depression, the likes that have never been seen before.
Currently our Deficit is running 8% on a simple math basis, after going through the Magical machinations of the Federal Reserve System it comes down to about 5% Dilution Rate for ALL Existing specie in existence.
As you see, a Balanced Budget will be an IMMEDIATE 5% HIT on the Economy and GDP with deflation setting in quickly.
Don’t get me wrong DEFLATION is what we need, Ever since the Coinage Act of 1964 and the Bankruptcy Executive Order signed by Nixon on 8-15-71, we have INFLATED and DILUTED All Federal Reserve Notes and Credits Annually on average about 5%. That is a Whole Lot of Inflation that needs to come back out. Unfortunately I don’t see The American People ready to go back to $10,000 Brand New Homes, $2000 New Cars, and 10 Cent loaves of bread, which is where prices were before the WELFARE STATE BEGAN and the Pure Fiat System went into High Gear
IT IS MATHEMATICALLY IMPOSSIBLE
And will punish politicians that raise their taxes or cut spending that they want.
Poll after poll shows Americans want preexisting conditions in Federal law, but don't want a personal mandate on themselves.
They want minimum wage laws but not an increase in sales taxes.
Welcome to polls.
Guccifer 2.0 was able to penetrate the Clinton Foundation databases, uncovering some of the most severe evidence to date regarding the foundations corruption. "I hacked the Clinton Foundation server and downloaded hundreds of thousands of docs and donors databases, said Guccifer 2.0. The latest revelations show the Clinton Foundation was committing fraudulent activity, which netted them millions of dollars.
<><> When then-Pres Obama demanded that congress approve more stimulus bailouts between 2009 and 2011, it appeared that kickbacks were offered to Democratic politicians from the big banks, but the scam as facilitated through the Clinton Foundation. This included Hillary, who was to ensure that the bailout got approved.
<><> Clinton aided the big banks in bribing the Democrat politicians. Democrats funneled TARP funds back to their PACs! Taxpayer bailout money that went right to the pockets of Democrat PACs, wrote Guccifer 2.0. (RELATED: Find more Hillary Clinton controversies at Clinton.news)
<><> through a slew of shady deals with the big banks, TARP taxpayer money went straight into the pockets of crooked Democrats.
Hillary Clinton and her staff dont try very hard to protect their damning data. It was only a matter of time until hackers would force their way into the Clinton Foundations servers. Will the big banks and corporations be penalized for agreeing to donate a percentage of their TARP funds to the Democrats?
This is the exact type of corruption and fraud that Donald Trump expressed concerns over, needing urgent corrections in Washington.
When ex-Pres Obama was trying to sell his $787 billion economic stimulus plan to the American people, Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com confidently produced scientific tables purporting to prove that for every $1 the Obama administration gave to states, GDP would grow by exactly $1.36. Zandi later produced an analysis claiming that Obama's stimulus would create 2.2 million jobs.
Zandi needs to be arrested or put in a padded cell (or both). This individual aided and abetted the fraud and lies the Obama admin concocted about the stimulus.
EXCERPT---FOURTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS Behind The Real Size of the Bailout; A guide to the abbreviations, acronyms, and obscure programs that make up the $14 trillion federal bailout of Wall Street
SOURCE motherjones.com --- Mon Dec. 21, 2009 12:23 PM PST
The price tag for the Wall Street bailout is popularly put at $787 billion---the actual size of TARP--the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But TARP is just the best known program in an array of more than 30 overseen by Treasury Department and Federal Reserve that have paid out or put aside untraceable money to bail out financial firms and inject money into the markets.
To get a sense of the size of the real $14 trillion bailout, see MJ chart at web site. A guide to the pieces of the puzzle includes massive untraceable Treasury Department bailout programs.
Money Market Mutual Fund: In September 2008, the Treasury controlled by Obama/Emanuel announced that it would insure the holdings of publicly offered money market mutual funds. According to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), these guarantees could have potentially cost the federal government more than $3 trillion [PDF].
Public-Private Investment Fund: This joint Treasury-Federal Reserve program bought toxic assets from banks and brokeragesas much as $5 billion of assets per firm. According to SIGTARP, the government's potential exposure from the PPIF is between $500 million and $1 trillion [PDF].
TARP: As part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury controlled by Obama/Emanuel made loans to or investments more than 750 banks and financial institutions. $650 billion has been paid out (not including HAMP; see below). As of December 21, 2009, $117.5 billion of that has been repaid.
Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) stock purchase: The Treasury controlled by Obama/Emanuel bought $200 million in preferred stock from Fannie Mae and another $200 million from Freddie Mac [PDF] to show that they "will remain viable entities critical to the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets."
GSE mortgage-backed securities purchase: Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Treasury controlled by Obama/Emanuel may buy mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to SIGTARP, these purchases could cost as much as $314 billion ---SNIP---.
LONG READ---go to web site to read more and checkout the shocking financial charts.
Pres Trump needs to get AG Sessions to ask Treasury officials what exactly Rahm Emanuel and Obama were doing there.
PAUSE TO REFLECT--- As taxpayers ere being gulled by the TARP fraud, Obama had tight control of Treasury and spent trillions of tax dollars. Obama calculatedly placed his then-COS Rahm Emanuel in a dual role.......in the WH and at Treasury. Obama had a stranglehold on Treasury via COS Rahm Emanuel's dual role
STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE Soon as they occupied the WH, Obama and the Chi/cons (a) took control of the US Census; Obama placed his COS Rahm Emanuel in control of the US Dept of the Treasury (including the conservative-suppressing IRS). Read on.
THE SMOKING GUN---WSJ REPORT--On Jan 20, 2009 Timothy Geithner was appointed Obama's Secy of the Treasury. But within three weeks, the Obama White House tightened its grip on Treasury. Obama put his COS, Rahm Emanuel, in charge of Treasury---Rahm Emanuel's dual role was an unusual move.
When he got to Treasury, WH COS Rahm Emanuel was so involved in the inner workings that the phrase "Rahm wants it" had become an unofficial mantra among subservient govt staffers, prostrate in obeisance, scurrying to accede to Rahm's wishes, according to Treasury government officials. Reported by WSJ / 05/31/09
More here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124113406528875137.html
PING to POST NO 5
Even paying down $1 Dollar on National Debt will put this country into a depression, the likes that have never been seen before.
An exaggeration. We have paid down modest amounts of the debt before, without a depression.
Deflation does not equate to depression. We had significant economic growth with deflation for considerable periods of time.
Not a SINGLE PENNY of National Debt has EVER been Paid Off since Andrew Jackson abolished the 2nd Central Bank.
Democrats don't have to 'try very hard' because the 'intelligence community' gives them a pass. Democrats would get their wrist slapped for treason while a Republican would be sent to prison for jaywalking. We know the system - we know who the thugs help and who the thugs hurt.
Ok - I did a search and found multiple versions of “the rule of six” ranging from filmography editing to virus DNA replication to teaching methods.
To which rule of six are you referring? I’m trying to learning my one new trick for the day :)
It’s my own personal “Rule of Six”: If the incumbent has been in office for six or more years, vote for someone else.
Nothing tricky about it :)
oh....ok that makes perfect sense to me, just wasn’t sure.
No wonder Obama did a “test run flee” out of the country for a while. He wanted to know where he stood, indictment-wise : )