The government now spends nearly twice as much as it receives in taxes. With government constantly promising to "invest" to "fix" more problems, and the baby-boomers about to balloon the cost of promised entitlements, this will only get worse. We are on an unsustainable course to Greek levels of debt -- the blue bars in the chart below are our projected debt:
So on my FBN show this week I hosted a "Battle of the Budgets" to compare 5 think tanks plans to fix the budget (for those of you who don't get the Fox Business Network, the show will re-airs tonight at 10pm on Fox News.)
Looking at today's deficit makes me ask: how did we get into this mess? After all, 10 years ago, the government ran surpluses. The CBO predicted that the debt would be eliminated within a decade - as the green line shows in the chart below. That didn't happen, partly because economic growth was slower than expected (the yellow line in the chart below shows the impact of that) and partly because of tax cuts that the CBO says reduced government revenue (the blue line):
Despite that, debt would be much more manageable today, were it not for the increases in spending passed under both Obama and Bush:
The increases occurred in almost every sector of government, but the biggest drivers were Obama's "stimulus" (6% of the deficit), Bush's Medicare expansion (2%), and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (10%).
Tune in tonight at 10pm for proposals to turn this around.