Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fed Spending Watch

Dismal news from yesterday's USA Today:

"A USA Today analysis of 25 major government programs found that enrollment increased an average of 17% in the programs from 2000 to 2005. The nation's population grew 5% during that time. It was the largest five year expansion of the federal safety net since the Great Society created programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960's. Spending on these social programs was $1.3 trillion in 2005, up an inflation-adjusted 22% since 2000 and accounting for more than half of federal spending."

Thanks to Peggy Noonan and her commentary in today's Wall Street Journal for the heads up.


At 11:42 AM, Blogger Derchoadus said...

Some more 'Good News'

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Indeed. My favorite line in the story:

"another increase in the debt limit will almost certainly be required next year."

At 2:39 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

It's about 4 times worse than in 1775.


At 3:30 PM, Blogger Captain Future said...

Peggy Noonan is full of it, as usual.What does this prove? That people out there are lazy and out to scam the government? Which people exactly? Any particular race or ethnicity you're thinking of?

The people scamming the government are Bush's rich friends, and they're doing it for billions. Meanwhile, ordinary people are working longer for less. An economy skewed to making the wealthiest wealthier drives people into poverty and homelessness. Plus (in terms of Medicare) we have an aging population, and people who worked all their lives for pensions that are being stripped. Besides which we have the Bushites using Medicaid to make money for their corporate pals.

I'm happy to see tax money go to help my fellow citizens, not to pay for yet another immoral war profitting Big Oil and Halliburton. But I doubt that bothers Peggy Noonan much.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"The people scamming the government are Bush's rich friends, and they're doing it for billions."

Say what you want, Captain, but the tax breaks you're upset about only account for 30% of the deficit, as the commentary states, and I believe that's only if the tax cuts are kept in place for ten years. I read that somewhere a couple years ago when the tax breaks only accounted for 25% of the deficit, or so I read then.

I would think you'd be happy so much more money is being spent on social programs.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Captain Future said...

The Bushites who are scamming for billions include those making money from the so-called war on terror (when reporters who follow Homeland Security know it is all a corporate scam), the privatized war in Iraq (enriching Halliburton, documented to have fed troops tainted food and water), wasting millions if not billions on no-bid crony contracts supposedly to aid Katrina victims and rebuilding, which is apparently going as well as rebuilding Iraq. And that's not even counting the tax cuts for the superrich.

I remind everyone that social programs were funded during the Clinton years, and he left a huge budget surplus. So tell me again how the poor and the sick and the old are responsible for this deficit.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Captain Future said:"the privatized war in Iraq (enriching Halliburton..."

Oh come on now, Bill, Halliburton's been involved in war and other enterprises since long before Dubya. I'm sure they did contract work in Yugoslavia and all the other places Clinton attacked as well.

Bill also says"I remind everyone that social programs were funded during the Clinton years, and he left a huge budget surplus".

I think if you look at the numbers, Bill, nothing's being "shortchanged". That's the beef some conservatives have with the Pres: Spending at all levels has increased far more than required to make up for inflation and population growth. That includes spending on social services.

You're falling for the old political trick of people saying things are being cut when they're simply not increasing spending as much as some would like.

The best example I know the numbers for was back during the "Republican Revolution", when Republicans were accused of "cutting" the school lunch program:

It was considered a cut because the Republicans proposed a 10% increase in spending on the school lunch program as opposed to the 14% increase the Democrats wanted.

The media went right along with the Democrats calling the 10% increase a "cut".

Happens like that in California all the time as well.

As an aside, I contacted the folks at the county courthouse regarding the county budget shortfalls a while back. I wanted to see what the county coffers currently held, as opposed to past years, to see how short of funds we actually were. I suspected the county likely had more money in the till than they did the previous year, as is usually the case.

I figured we'd have so many millions in the bank now and wanted to see in what prior year we had a budget of roughly the same size.

They (what's her name Nicholas?) counldn't give me the figures because the Health and Human Services funding was separate from the General Fund, or some such thing and they couldn't be combined. Clever way to obscure the issue, seems to me, whether that was by accident or design.

They did say I could come down and look at the figures for myself, though. I chose not to since accounting is NOT my forte.


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