If You Are a Conservative, This Is Probably News to You

(Posted 7/29/2011) - Normally this post would be an entry into my Soapbox, but I feel this is pertinent Wallace family news. I keep hearing from folks who are conservative minded (not a bad thing, as I'm fiscally conservative, and socially centrist in my views) that the Obama administration needs to be reined in because it has increased federal government spending to a point that we risk the equivalent of national bankruptcy. I'm here to say to all that harbor this sentiment -- you're dead wrong on the facts!

Stop listening to those who are trying to manipulate you with half-facts and illogical conclusions. Here in a nutshell are the numbers you need to keep in mind:

We currently have a national debt of $14.3 trillion dollars. If revenues (federal taxes collected) exceed federal spending in a budget period it is called a surplus. That surplus may be used to payoff existing debt or it may be applied to new or expanded government programs. If revenues fall short of expenditures in a budget period the federal government issues (via auction) either T-bills, T-bonds, or T-notes to cover the shortfall, which increase our debt.

Because of the 2007-2009 recession the federal and state revenue streams shrank significantly even as unemployment soared and property values fell. The federal government borrowed to maintain existing programs, and it borrowed to provide the TARP bailout monies, and it borrowed to provide for the follow-up economic stimulus program. Those two latter programs are credited with keeping the US/Global financial industry and the US economy from a meltdown that would have surpassed the 1929-1939 world depression cycle.

What the chart above shows is that increases in federal debt (and particularly increases in debt as a percentage of GDP) -- are mostly the result of decreased federal revenues (from 2007-2009 recession followed by stagnation in 2010-2011) and the inclusion of the wars / occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan which were never reflected in the national debt calculations during 2001-2008.

The news then folks -- is this administration is NOT creating new programs that are putting us in debt; this is a story made out of whole clothe and sold to gullible conservatives in an attempt to set up one party (can you say GOP?) for a big win in 2012. Please stop listening to the Rush Limbaugh's of the world. Be a thinking conservative and vote for candidates that will be fiscally conservative but socially moderate (that is in fact the administration you currently have, if only you'd pay attention).