The Tea Party is planning legislation to force the President to pay Social Security and defense if the debt ceiling isn’t raised:
Members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus have met with House freshmen to discuss a plan to pressure House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring the Full Faith and Credit Act to the floor.
The legislation would direct Obama to prioritize federal payments to the nation’s creditors, Social Security recipients and soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
That sounds really thoughtful and all, but how does it stack up to reality?
Currently the government requires $3.8 trillion per year to operate. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the money the government has to operate will be cut from 40-50%. Even at the 40% mark that would reduce our operating budget to $2.2 trillion. Now lets see how much Social Security, defense and paying the creditor’s takes out of the budget.
|Defense (includes wars)
So fulfilling those obligations comes to just shy of $2 trillion. Of course that doesn’t include other things, like Medicare. Sure it’s nice to give seniors the money they need for things like housing and food, but what about their medicine? Well Medicare/Medicaid eats up another $882 billion, which puts us well above what we have to operate on.
But these numbers also highlight something even more interesting. Things like Social Security and Medicare costs are really out of the hands of the President. Defense spending is also more or less out of the President’s hands, given earmarks and run away spending Congress always puts into defense bills (including John Boehner!). Also the interest and payments to our creditors is out of the hands of the President. Basically all these expenses have been known about for years and exemplify the need for increased revenue. That’s something the right refuses to talk about.
Want to start saving money in this country? Fine, defense has to be the number one cut, but that is a cut the right and most of the left refuses to talk about. Instead we continue to spend more on defense every year than the rest of the world combined. Perhaps it is time to tell the world that the United States can no longer act as the world’s police force. Maybe it’s time to tell everyone else to pitch in. And while that is a harsh reality, it’s a reality no one in Washington will even talk about.
So now let’s talk about entitlement reductions. The changes pushed through by the right and President Bush increased the per person cost of Medicare by an estimated 13% per person. This was a huge giveaway to the pharmaceutical companies and whenever the left tries to address it, the right instantly shoots it down. As matter of fact, the Paul Ryan plan pushes everyone into this program. This is the very plan that Republicans and Tea Party people championed and it will greatly increase the government’s cost for Medicare. Again – horrible math and a severe disconnect from reality.
It’s time to stop playing politics and start worrying about the future of our country. Sadly that doesn’t appear ready to happen. This week is going to be very stressful on the world markets. Keep an eye on the Dow to see exactly what happens and remember that we have eight days left until the country starts to default.