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This American Life - "Secret Government" (1/10/03) and the "Why We Fight" (12/20/02)
What's the Real Cost?
Last year Bush lied about the budget deficit. Here is what Senotor Fritz Hollings of South Carolina said, "The Bush Administration's claim that last year's budget deficit was $159 billion is off by a staggering $269 billion. Americans beware: the real deficit for fiscal year 2002 was a record breaking $428 billion." Note: It actually may be bigger than this. (more details)
Now he is doing it again; however, to a much greater degree and his way of reporting is actually against the law. Bush is reporting that the deficit will be $307,000,000,000 (300 billion), but Sen. Hollings just got Bush's Office of Management and Budget Director, Mitch Daniels, to admit publicly that the real deficit is $569,000,000,000 or 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. That's a difference of $262 billion or or 85%. The debt comes out to $64.8% of the GDP a level not heard of for nearly 50 years. If the U.S. were in Europe it would not be let into the Europen Union because the debt level is too high. It turns out that European Union countries are more fiscally resposible than the United States.
It is highly recommended that you listen to the admission and read the figure on page 332 of Bush's budget proposal. Bush conveniently left off the money again that is being borrowed from Social Security that will have to be repaid. And, Bush says that he cares about Social Security? Yeah, right. Figuring a deficit is easy. It's the difference between what you spend and what you take in. Borrowed money does not factor.
He is also leaving off the money for the war with Iraq, if that occurs. The base estimate is $200 billion. When you take into acount the cost of occupation, and in particular veterans disability claims and medical care, the cost could more than double during the next decade. The veteran's disability cost is based on the numbers from the last Gulf War where, "As of January 2002, more than 198,000 out of 567,000 veterans have filed claims for disability as a result of illnesses that they believe are connected to exposures that occurred during the first Gulf War; that's roughly 35 percent." (Veterans For Common Sense Transcript).
Breaking the numbers down to the cost per person clarifies things further.
First, the cost of the war based on a medium estimate:
War Costs/US Population
$300,000,000,000/289,040,589 = $1,037.91/person or about $4,151.64/family of 4.
Next the cost of the projected deficit:
Projected 2004 Deficit/US Population
$569,000,000,000/289,040,589 = $1,968.58/person or about $7,874.33/family of 4.
Now, adding in the $200 billion a war could cost this year.
Projected 2004 Deficit including Iraq War/US Population
$769,000,000,000/289,040,589 = $2,660.53/person or about $10,674.12/family of 4.
And, finally looking at the total U.S. debt. Given the newest admissions this may be over $1000 more per person.
US Debt/US Population= Debt/Citizen
$6,400,000,000,000/289,040,589 = $22,142.22/person or about $90,000/family of 4.
Payments for our debt and the interest are the second largest government expenditure. Military expenditures are the biggest chunk, being over 50% and increasing each year. Consider this in respect to personal debt with credit card debt averaging about $8,000 and mortgage debt averaging about $30,000. Aren't Republicans supposed to be the fiscally responsibly party? I'm not saying that the Democrats are good, although they are better. Both sides are tend to be dishonest and waste tax dollars. We desparately need an alternative to both parties.