Thursday, March 24, 2011

Federal Government Spending Comparisons

Federal government spending has doubled in the past 10 years, the federal deficit will reach $1,6 trillion this year and combined state budget shortfalls amount to $139 billion and are rising.

One of the Democrats favorite talking points is that the economy boomed when Clinton was president, so now they want to raise taxes back to Clinton-era levels on the rich. Left out in their reasoning is that when President Clinton left office, federal spending was half of what it is today and its share of the economy was much less (18.5% of the GDP versus more than 25% of GDP this year).

So let's get back to to federal spending levels of the 1990's before we take tax rates back to the 1990's.

If federal government spending had grown at 2% per year during this period, the deficit this year would be zero instead of $1.6 trillion. If federal government had grown at a somewhat faster pace, but remained at 18.5% of GDP, the deficit this year would be $1 trillion dollars lower.

More businesses need to step forward to defend free markets and restore a reasonable balance between the private sector and the public sector. Instead, too many business leaders are instead seeking to do business with the government, gain favored status, get federal subsidies, acquire a financial backstop or secure trade protection.

Need a poster child? How about GE as today's version of corporatism or crony capitalism. Not just GE.

Courtesy of Ryan Dean of Salisbury, Md.

"The assault on the national government does not transfer power to the people. It transfers power to the historical rival of the national government and the the prime cause of its enlargement-the great corporation interests." (Arthur Schlesinger, June 7, 1995)

Courtesy of George Kovac, Miami

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