The United States debt clock that hangs in Times Square is running out of space to be able to display all the digits in our national debt. Our debt stands at $8,300,000,000,000,000 or 8.3 trillion for those of you not wanting to count the commas. It was designed to handle a trillion, but not 10 trillion. Each second that passes adds another $20,000 to our national debt so the clock is estimated to need replacing sometime in the next 2 years.
I will defend our President on a lot of issues, but one of them is not the national budget. I will concede to the current administration that there have been unforeseen factors in the last five years, which have contributed to the increased US debt load. However, what concerns me, as a conservative, is the speed at which we have plunged the country back into the red.
Before I start bashing the Bush administration to hard, let me start by outlining a few events that need to be established as fact. The country was already headed into a recession before Bush took office, period. The dot.com bubble had busted and the job market was waning. The effects of 9/11 have rippled and will continue to ripple through our economy for years to come. There are some sectors of the economy that will never resurface, because of the attacks in 2001. Tack on natural disasters and two foreign wars and you have perfect concoction to elevate our debt exponentially.
However, all that said, our elected officials have a responsibility to the citizens of this great nation to get their spending under control. There are government programs that need to be cut and pork projects that need to be deleted. In fact, there were almost 14,000 pork projects in 2005. There is good debt [debt that leads the country forward and needs to be spent] and there is bad debt [money we keep throwing away year after year with nothing to show for it]. It is time for both parties to sit down a figure out what the country needs and doesn’t need.
I will not stand for increased taxes. Our government already pulls in enough money and their job is to learn how to spend it. I don’t work 50-60 hours a week so every time a Senator wants to build a $320 million bridge to nowhere, all he has to do is call in a few favors with his colleagues. Unfortunately, these types of projects happen every day in congress.
Want I am calling for is the line-item veto. The framers of the Constitution believed the President had two choices when presented a bill from congress, sign it or veto it. However, the founding fathers did not foresee the massive amounts of pork our beloved elected officials would start attaching to bills. Give the President the power to strike worthless spending from an otherwise acceptable bill. In return, allow the members of congress to overturn each of the Presidents line-item vetoes.
The rub to our Senators and House Representatives would be that they would need a two-thirds majority to pass spending on such things as:
- $1.1 million to research an alternative to Salmon
- $6.2 million for wood use research
- $18.7 million for Alaska seal and sea lions
- $33.9 million for the Maui Space Surveillance System
- $1.5 million to search for E.T.s
- $1 million for Brown Tree Snakes, which do not exist in North America