The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

92 Percent

A recent study reports that 92 percent of all media stories concerning Donald Trump and his administration are negative. That's not surprising, given the blatant left-wing bias that pervades the media, but it is astonishing that the trained hamsters refuse to report the administration's domestic achievements:

-- the best economy in decades
-- the lowest unemployment in 40 years
-- sustained wage growth in blue collar and other middle class jobs
-- lower taxes in all wage categories
-- the best employment numbers for African Americans in history
-- the best employment numbers for Latinos in history
-- significantly lower levels of dependency (e.g., food stamps) on the federal government
-- the best assessment of the country's direction in the past 30 years, according to multiple polls

These achievements differentiate this administration from it predecessor, and the Dems and their trained hamsters are trying mightily to talk about other stuff or gaslight this economy and its impact of the party's past constituencies. After all, "blue wave" and all that.

There is, however, one area where this administration is little different from others—spending. James Freeman reports:
The Congressional Budget Office reports that the federal government spent $4.11 trillion in the fiscal year that ended last week, an increase of $129 billion or roughly 3% compared to 2017.

As usual, the biggest increases were generated by the major entitlement programs and the servicing of America’s more than $21 trillion in federal debt.

Spending on Social Security benefits rose by $43 billion, a 5% increase. Medicare spending jumped by $16 billion for a 3% hike and Medicaid outlays rose by $14 billion or 4%.

ObamaCare is younger and smaller than the other big entitlement programs but in the last fiscal year it grew much faster. Affordable Care Act subsidies hit up taxpayers for an additional $7 billion, a 17% increase.

CBO adds that net interest on the public debt increased by $62 billion—a 20% hike—due in part to higher inflation. And defense spending rose by $36 billion, a 6% surge.
It appears that no one—not even Donald Trump—can reduce federal spending. And that's a real problem. The GOP talks a good show, but is only subtly different from the Dems in their profligate ways. Instead of draining the swamp, both parties fertilize it with billions upon billions of dollars in new (and often unnecessary) spending.

That approach is unsustainable as interest rates rise and our debt of $21 trillion must be serviced. Should the Dems regain power, our current spending problem will only get worse. Taxes will rise (after all, it's what the Dems do), but that will do little except depress this economy. That in turn will lead to higher unemployment, more government dependency, and therefore, even more spending, more deficits, and more debt. It's a vicious cycle.

One can only hope that in his second term, Trump may become more serious about reducing the size of the federal government.