US Government’s Spending Spree Timeline

US Federal spending over the last ten years went through a dramatic shift from borrowing around $140B/year to consistently borrowing over $1T/yr (or a nearly a ten fold increase). How did this happen? The following three charts cast light on that spending spree timeline.

Each chart shows total Federal Outlays (or spending) in red, and total Federal Receipts (money coming in through taxes) in green. The gap between the lower green line and the upper red line is the money borrowed by our government to pay its bills. Long-range OMB projections, going out beyond 2050 never forecast those two lines to cross. Said another way, we will drown in debt unless we change course and balance our budgets.

Chart 1 highlights a few key points during the Bush administration.

  1. President Bush cut taxes early on. Despite an initial decline in federal revenue, as is the case every time that it’s tried, revenue grew rapidly and was closing on federal spending, despite the added cost of the Global War on Terrorism.
  2. Democrats took over the House of Representatives and Senate in January 2009, electing Nancy Pelosi Speaker and Harry Reid Majority Leader. Spending began to accelerate as soon as they took control.
  3. At the end of the Bush Administration, the housing bubble (created by Progressive/Liberal Social Wealth Redistribution Mortgage Policies started in the Carter Administration) burst and brought on nearly $450B in TARP spending (then Senator Obama voted for it).
Chart 1

Chart 1

Chart 2 highlights a few key points in President Obama’s first term.

  1. Democrats expanded their majority in the Senate, and kept Senator Reid as the majority leader.
  2. President Obama was sworn in Jan 09, and passed his stimulus in February 09.
  3. The last budget until fall of 2013 was passed in April 09.
  4. After the April 09 budget, continuing resolutions were used to fund the government. These CRs basically acted like copies of the April 09 spending. The stimulus, which had massively raised spending and was supposed to be a one time deal, got perpetuated every year through the CR process. Could that be the reason why Senator Reid refused to pass budgets each year?
Chart 2

Chart 2

Chart 3 highlights a few additional key points.

  1. The GOP regained the House majority, in a massive 2010 mid-term election.
  2. Republicans, with control of the House and with Speaker Boehner taking the gavel from Congresswoman Pelosi, were able to stop the rapid growth in federal spending. The growth in spending from 2007 to 2010 was now “baked” into the federal baseline, and repeated through CRs.
  3. Federal spending exceeds receipts forever. A good place to start in reducing the spending requires going back to 2007 spending levels in every department. Find the “one-time” funds and cut them out of the federal base budget.
Chart 3

Chart 3

The Needs of the Progressive

Inside the Flame Nebula - NASA Image, May 7, 2014

Inside the Flame Nebula – NASA Image, May 7, 2014

An iconic line from Star Trek is the philosophy of the Vulcan People:

“The Needs of the Many, Outweigh the Needs of the Few, or the One”.

Most famously spoken by Spock as the reason that he gave up his life to save the Enterprise and her crew in “The Wrath of Khan”.

The Progressive philosophy in America turns this philosophy on its head:

“The needs of the Progressive Agenda outweigh the needs of the many, few or one”.

Recent American history is full of examples where a few progressives enact their agenda over the objections of the American People.

  • We were all told that 30 Million Americans didn’t have health insurance, so we “needed” Obamacare so that they could get it. But the law is causing between 80 and 120 Million Americans to either lose their health insurance or have it greatly changed. Considering the VA as an example of “Single Payer” a.k.a. socialized medicine, our health care system is being compromised to provide a piece of paper, insurance policy. When that happens, we all lose.
  • Immigration reform, as stated by all of its proponents, is intended to bring approximately 15 million illegal aliens out of the shadows, despite the fact that the majority of Americans don’t want them given amnesty.
  • The holy union of “Marriage”, the foundation of the family, has been redefined to suit the less than 3% of Americans who are gay, despite the 97% of Americans who aren’t. Equal treatment under the law is one discussion, redefinition of marriage is another.
  • Obamacare forces religious organizations to pay for employee contraception and abortions despite them both going against organizational religious beliefs.
  • One person complained about the United States Air Force Academy’s honor code, which included the words “So Help Me God”. Those words were made optional as a result.
  • Secularization of America, despite the deep Christian heritage of America.

The above list is far from complete. From the Progressive’s perspective, only their agenda matters, all else appears expendable.


NY Senator Chuck Schumer proved the progressive philosophy: “The third-ranking Senate Democrat noted that just about 5 percent of registered voters in the United States lacked health insurance before the implementation of the law, arguing that to focus on a problem affecting such “a small percentage of the electoral made no political sense.”

The Fallacy of the Safety Net

President Obama and the Democrats found themselves in a position of falling popularity and support. As a result, they began a campaign discussing the importance of the safety net and bemoaning “income inequality”. For decades they’ve attacked Republicans as mean spirited, and heartless because they don’t support the safety net with the same single-minded zeal that Democrats do. Republicans and conservatives need a counter to the visual of the safety net in order to paint a picture in American’s minds of the reality of the safety net in this country.

Trapeze Artists

Trapeze Artists

The term safety net has its origins in one, two, and three ring circuses. Every American can picture a net strung out below a high wire or trapeze act, and imagine a circus performer making a mistake, plunging downward only to be caught by the safety net supported and saved. It’s this visual that the left has relied upon for years to sell their social programs. Today however, the reality of that safety net is a much different picture! Republicans and conservatives need to speak to the intent to the safety net. When circus performers fall and are saved they don’t just lay there in the net waiting for the next circus performer to fall, potentially landing on top of them. After getting saved, performers make their way to the edge, and get off. By vacating the net, it’s left fully prepared and able to catch the next performer who slips and falls. What we have in America today is a safety net that’s full of people and one supporting an enormous and growing weight. The reality of the cost of all of those people in the safety net is that it threatens to bring down the entire tent upon not only the people in that net, but also down upon the rest of the American people who support it.

The visual that needs to be discussed is of an crowded and sagging safety net stretching toward the ground, bending the very supports that are holding up the net, the high wire, and the tent. Given our massive national debt, the strain upon those supports is becoming unsustainable. If we don’t relieve some of the pressure in the safety net it will go plunging to the ground leaving no safety net for the future at all. Republicans are labeled as heartless when they attempt to reform social welfare programs. The truth is, that it’s heartless to lie to the American people and tell them that there’s no limit to how much money can be spent on the social safety net. For the vast majority of people, the net is intended to be a temporary situation, not a way of life. There are, of course, those who are mentally or physically handicapped who will never be able to work and support themselves. They are the exception! Most of the people in the safety net are intended to get off, making room for the next person. Our country has spent over $20 trillion on wealth redistribution for the safety net. It’s possible to conclude that if not for the war on poverty, the United States wouldn’t have a national debt at all. The humane thing to do is to save the safety net for current and future generations. The only way to do that is to reduce the weight that’s in the net.

Sadly, Pres. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats continue to pass laws, regulations, and presidential orders that are the equivalent of tossing cinder-blocks onto the safety net. Obama care alone will cost US taxpayers over $2 trillion, and is the equivalent of dropping an entire pallet load of cinder-blocks on the safety net! It’s only a matter of time before Democrats, progressives and liberals collapse the net. trip_tent_ropeWhen it goes it will bring the high wire, the trapeze and the big top itself down upon the American people.

It’s this visual that needs to be conveyed, used over and over and over again and hammered home every time the safety net analogy is brought up. Republicans are trying to save the safety net. That is the humane thing to do. Democrat policies will collapse it, and nothing could be more inhumane than that!