I have recently heard so much about Obama’s government spending plans that I started looking up some figures to try to put it into perspective for myself. To me the discussion is not always about how much tax we pay but how the money is spent. After all, the reason we pay taxes is for certain services (not a plethora but some) to be spent on us, as tax payers, so where does the money go and do we get it back.
People seem to always start with Bush so let’s do that. According to a Time article (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868367,00.html) from late last year attributes the total spent on Bush’s War at over one trillion… and growing. That is only spending on the war – nothing else! That does not include the loss of life and the follow-up for solder’s care and getting out of the war later. It also does not include anything else, at all! A war where there never were any terrorists and the military told us so at the time. To me, that money is not coming back to the tax payer but is leaving the country. It also means that any President elected after him needs to spend more to deal with the long term problems.
Obama’s plans are also costly according to a U.S.News report (http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/capital-commerce/2008/02/14/obamas-trillion-dollar-spending-plan) but when looking at the list there are significant differences. First, the most of the money seems to be going back into American’s needs within the country. That is, education, health, tax credits, ect.. That means the tax payer gets the money back in some way even though there may be more than anyone wants.
I’m no economist but I think governments should be forced to make balanced budgets just like everyone else. That would have prevented this mess in the first place, but that did not happen and it has all hit the fan (long before Obama). To me, no matter who got elected, they were going to be forced to make decisions no one liked and the press has always blamed whoever the current president was for problems that former administrations or situations created. I also find it strange that the press does not blame the banks anymore.
Hind sight is a great thing but even years ago we knew spending was out of control. Imagine what would have happened if Bush was held accountable for his spending and tax money was put back into the country. Imagine if that money was not spent or if it was only spent for domestic problems. A lot of spending now would be un-necessary. Imagine if banks were held accountable for their investments for the past 20 years. neither conservatives or liberals questioned that. Now they are bitching at each other instead of both taking responsibility for past actions. They should just say, ‘ok, we both made stupid mistakes and now lets put it behind us and work together.’ Realistically speaking, that’s not going to happen. History has shown us that people want an easy way out and no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions and inactions. But then I’m a martian, what do I know?!