As I write this, the U.S. Treasury lists the total public debt at $9.8 trillion. The amount held by the public (which means money the government owes to any entity outside the United States Government, such as individuals, corporations, state or local governments, or foreign governments) is $5.7 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office projects that number to increase to $7.9 trillion by the year 2018. These projections cannot predict every future war, natural disaster or economic “bailout” that could add further to the debt.
In short, the federal government is chin-deep in debt and sinking. What is needed now is bold action, forward-thinking leadership and tough decisions. Thankfully, both of the “big box” party candidates, Obama and McCain, are promising “change.”
How do these two crafty politicos plan on getting the government out of this quicksand bed of debt? By increasing spending of course! A recent analysis of the spending proposals of the presidential candidates by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) showed that McCain’s proposals would boost federal spending by $92 billion per year. That IS a lot, but it’s a paltry sum compared to Obama’s planned $293 billion increase in annual spending.
Of the candidates researched by the NTU, only Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr would actually CUT federal spending. A Barr presidency would cut annual spending by about $201 billion. The biggest savings would come from restructuring the mission of the military from imperial maintenance duties to actual national defense, closing many foreign bases while maintaining a strong military. The next largest savings would be from eliminating the federal Dept. of Education, putting education back in the hands of the states, localities and the people (as the Constitution stipulates).
“Both the McCain and Obama campaigns have tried to keep pace with the political issues of the day — largely by responding with proposals for new programs and regulations that could reach deeper and deeper into taxpayers’ pockets,” NTU Foundation policy analyst Demian Brady said. “On the other side of the spectrum, Bob Barr’s Libertarian philosophy is strongly reflected in a platform that is built upon cutting programs and slashing spending.”
If you believe that during this fiscal crisis the federal government should be tightening its belt, rather than bellying up to the table for seconds, you need to vote for Bob Barr for president. When the spending increases of the two big box candidates necessitate tax increases down the road, hold on to your wallet! To avoid getting your pocket picked later, get your wallet out now and donate to Barr’s campaign to close the book on the era of big government.