Politicians have fallen in love with leaving the bill for the next occupant of the office. From President Bush's tax cuts to Rep. Peterson's new Ten-Year Farm Plan scheme, this "Budgetary Time Bomb" approach is becoming the answer of choice for dysfunctional legislatures.
-- A 10-year farm bill, rather than a 5-year timeline;I think this pattern of excusing yourself to go to the restroom when the waiter brings the bill is a direct outgrowth of the government discovery that it seems to work with seemingly limitless deficit spending.
-- Direct payments would cease in year 9, thereby saving $5.2 billion, but direct payments would come back in year 10 so they would be included in a new farm bill budget baseline and enable the necessary budget savings to fall within the 10-year timeline [More by subscription to ProFarmer]
The new $3.1 trillion federal budget that President Bush has submitted makes you wonder why Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton or Mike Huckabee would want Bush's job.In fairness, there is scant political will across the spectrum, and certainly among the general populace for fiscal restraint. Lord knows, farmers don't care as long as their programs are funded. Deficit spending simply has worked like a charm for decades defying the lamentations of economists and moralizing pundits: we get what we want now, and somebody else pays for it.
His proposed budget is a sham, built on deceitful assumptions. For example, no costs are considered for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan after 2009. And economic growth, despite a looming recession, is projected at a healthy 2.7 percent.
The spending plan does, however, contain a few mathematical truths that should haunt the next president.
The projected deficit for fiscal 2009, for example, is $410 billion. By the time Bush leaves office, he will have bequeathed his successor a national debt of $9.7 trillion. About $4 trillion of that was added during his fiscally reckless presidency. [More]
Like parents who never leave home, we keep using our descendent's credit card. And while there seem to have been few serious consequences, the recent splurge could be the bale that breaks the camel's back. And since much of that debt is held be people we don't have to live with daily, why not shaft them by letting the dollar spiral downward?
I'm betting on several years of serious inflation.