• Politicians Fiddle While Fiscal Crisis Looms

      In my syndicated column this week, I write about the family budget I featured in my last show:

      Hypothetical family budget based on government budget for 2011

      Add eight zeros to that, and you get the federal government's budget. That's unsustainable.


      We don't stop spending. Almost all budget categories grow, even when adjusted for inflation. This is a break with most of America's history. When the economy grew most dramatically, government was less than 5 percent of gross domestic product. Today, it's well over 20 percent.

      Since Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty began in the late 1960s, government spending has gone up relentlessly. This is just not sustainable. So what do we do? We must cut. But I fear Americans aren't up for that. People on the street told me that the budget is out of control. But when I then asked them, "What would you cut?" most just stared ahead.

      But there's plenty to cut. We can easily cut things like foreign aid, NPR, Amtrak and post office subsidies, and the war on drugs.

      But we should not pretend that such cuts would be enough to stop the coming crisis. They're not.

      For other cuts needed to really get government under control, see the rest of the column here.

      Syndicated Column
      Government Spending