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After Thanksgiving feasting comes the loafing

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By Special to The Sun

Rev. James L. Snyder

Guest Columnist

Over the last several months we have witnessed one of the biggest travesties of the American dream. We have listened and heard our elected officials blame each other for all the ills of our monetary problems. They blame each other and continually ignore the major problem. The problem is not the cause of big business, Wall Street, or millionaires and billionaires, it’s the government itself.
During the week of Nov. 18, we, as a society, have reached a milestone with our national debt reaching the $15,000,000,000,000 figure. We are constantly hearing that we need to raise taxes on the super-rich, like that will solve our problem. We are 15 trillion dollars in debt. If we take the 10 richest people in America, who have a total net worth of $250.7 billion dollars, we could reduce the national debt by a grand total of 1.5 percent.
In looking over the federal budget during the last three years, one can see some interesting and frightening information.
1. The Federal Budget for 2009 shows that the government has revenues of $2.7 trillion dollars, and estimated expenditures of $3.107 trillion. This contributed to a $1.4 trillion dollar deficit.
2. The Federal budget for 2010 (did not pass) shows that the government had revenues of $2,381 trillion dollars, and estimated expenditures of $3.552 trillion dollars, which contributed to a $1.4078 trillion dollar deficit.
3. The Federal budget for 2011 (did not pass) shows that the government had revenues $2.17 trillion dollars, and estimated expenditures of $3.82 trillion dollars. This contributed to a $1.65 trillion dollar deficit.
While our national debt continues to increase, our government continues to spend money as if there is no tomorrow. If this continues, and we continue to kick the can down the road, within the next 10 years we will reach an estimated total deficit of over $20-28 trillion dollars. Projection costs by many experts in the field estimate that our total costs of interest on the national debt over the next decade could reach anywhere from $5.5 to $6.8 trillion dollars a year.
Another point to make is that our politicians are talking about a $1.4 trillion to $2 trillion dollar reduction spread out over the next 10 years. This computes to a cut of approximately $114 billion to $200 billion dollars each year. When comparing expenditures over the last three years to total savings, this creates a distorted and inaccurate picture. In reality, what we are talking about is the proposed deficit reduction plan is only reducing the annual increases which are proposed by congress for the budgetary process. The bottom line is there is no actual budget reduction being proposed.
Politicians are supposed to serve the people with honesty and integrity. They should put themselves last and the people first. If Congress is going to continue on the present path of spending, they need to be at least honest with the American people and inform them of the consequences. Party alliance means nothing if the entire system collapses and the people become the victims. We are facing some very interesting times, in which hard choices have to be made if we are to avoid becoming a third world power. History is important because it tells us the future, if we will only believe it.
Fred Armstrong is the former police chief for Springfield City Police.