$1.6 Trillion

That’s how much our federal deficit for 2011 was before “the biggest annual spending cut in history,” as President Obama puts it, and just as big after.  That’s just how huge our spending problem is.  Even after a prolonged battle over cuts to the federal budget, the rounding error worth of cuts doesn’t even budge the number. 

This is not only disgraceful but deeply, ridiculously dangerous. 

Our combined adjusted gross income for 2011 will probably be less than $6 trillion.  Our federal budget is slated to spend 3.7 trillion dollars.  That means our federal government will be spending 61.7% of our annual aggregate adjusted gross income.  Since we have a longstanding policy of taxing income, and not wealth, this number should cause intakes of breath and groans across the nation.  Yet, it doesn’t.

The Democratic Party and their camp followers in the media caused a furor over the negotiated 40 billion dollars in cuts.  Wailing and gnashing of teeth, accusations of totalitarianism, fictional scenarios of starving infants and dead women colored these arguments and made our so-called leaders look like a bunch of hysterical teenagers.  There is no end to their demagoguery and yet at the end of the day, after all the machinations and caterwauling, the round number of the deficit for this fiscal year didn’t change. 

We are still deeply, and fundamentally, in a financial hole that no one can dig out of. 

Minnesota’s leaders at the federal level of the House and Senate did nothing to alleviate this out-of-control budget.  In fact, they simply followed lockstep with the leftist narrative.  It was embarrassing watching and listening to these people talk about these shallow cuts in a massive budget as though the sky was falling.  It’s like they have simply decided to live in a parallel universe where money is imaginary and grows on trees.  What the productive class in this country works so hard to create, these people believe should be easy to take.  We are facing the kind of fiscal bubble that when it pops, will drive us all into poverty and want. 

$1.6 trillion, the deficit for one fiscal year.

What kinds of hysteria mask our fiscal dilemma?  Let’s consider our senior Senator Amy Klobuchar-D.  From MPR, Minnesota Public Radio, April 8, 2011.  This was the collectivist argument against budget cuts. 

“Klobuchar and all of the other female Democratic Senators told reporters they’re unwilling to accept Republican demands to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning organizations. Klobuchar said she recently met a female sheriff who asked the senator to protect her access to birth control.

“That’s what we’re standing up here today, all the[women] in Senate on the Democratic side, to say we’re not going to mess with that deputy sheriff’s birth control,” Klobuchar said. “This is about a budget issue, not politics.”

Let’s dissect this little tidbit.  So, according to this story, Klobuchar was chatting with a female deputy sheriff and the woman told her she was worried about access to birth control.  (Just for the record, I don’t believe this story one bit.  Klobuchar made this up entirely out of whole cloth.)  A responsible legislator would have told the woman that cutting the Planned Parenthood federal subsidy wouldn’t eliminate contraceptives from the universe.  The $80 million subsidy cut would have only affected a miniscule portion of their budget.  According to the Planned Parenthood’s own financial report, they had revenues of 1.1 billion dollars.  The federal subsidy cut would have have only affected 7% of their revenues.  Planned Parenthood, even if it was the ONLY provider of contraceptives in the universe, would only have taken an Obama haircut.

But, Planned Parenthood ISN’T the only provider of contraceptives in the universe.  There is a vast network of places where oral contraceptives are offered.  This network includes units we call pharmacies.  These places happen to be scattered all around the nation in convenient places for people to go and have access to the pill.  We also have other places that offer things called condoms, another contraception device.  These places are called convenience stores.  A person can just walk into one of these places, buy condoms, and use them. 

That’s what a responsible legislator would have told this fictional, clueless female deputy sheriff.  But, not Sen. Klobuchar.  She had to drag out her soapbox, climb up on it, and wail to the highest heavens about evil, mean Republicans forcibly MAKING women get pregnant and then of course starving their offspring through other budget cuts.  They actually seem to believe that an $80 million cut in a nonprofit subsidy would cause widespread unintended pregnancies, abject poverty and cancer deaths to millions of women. 

Still, a $1.6 trillion deficit.

Amy Klobuchar isn’t the only liar Minnesota sends to Washington.  We send several gifted prevaricators.  Some are blatantly disingenuous, others are just plain ignorant.  Rep. Betty! McCollum is a perfect mix of both.  She picked up on Sen. Chuck Schumer’s ridiculous rant against the Tea Party with these comments.

“Shutting down the federal government has been the Tea Party Republicans’ goal since last November,” McCollum said Friday.

“Any temporary shutdown of the federal government can only be called a short-sighted, hollow victory for Tea Party extremism over common sense and compromise.” – StarTribune, April 9, 2011, Kevin Diaz and Jeremy Herb, ‘Minnesotans play out budget drama.’

McCollum seems to indicate that the entire purpose of the Tea Party movement is bent on producing anarchy.  By telling us this is the ‘goal’ of the Tea Party, she is suggesting the movement wants no government at all.  Perhaps Ms. McCollum has confused her poop-and-pee throwing comrades from the far left with the responsible people demanding governmental limits.  I have yet to read or hear a single Tea Party advocate say they want the federal government to evaporate.  Nor, have I heard a single conservative say the federal government must dissolve.  Instead, I’ve heard the Tea Party argue limits on spending and exercising of power.  That’s not anarchy.  That’s simply responsible governance and rule of law. 

Then the addled McCollum claims the Tea Party extremism is against common sense and compromise.  Is it common sense to spend $1.6 trillion more than we take in?  Is it common sense to absorb 26% of our gross domestic product in governmental services that make economic growth extremely difficult?  McCollum’s compromise comment is even more laughable.  In the end, McCollum voted AGAINST the House, Senate, and president’s compromise.  She doesn’t want compromise.  She wants a fully funded patronage machine to feed her political ambitions.  She wants to be Santa to the slackers in her district.  She is the antithesis of either common sense or compromise.

$1.6 trillion in deficit spending and probably growing.

Finally, I will come to my own sad, pathetic little congressman, Rep. Keith Ellison.  He is a man so out of touch with reality that he said this in that StarTribune article. “I fundamentally disagree that our problem is we spend too much money,” Ellison said. By early evening, he tweeted that he was “waiting around Capitol, praying R’s come to their senses.” 

Really Keith.  So, you don’t see how spending 1.6 trillion dollars more than we take in is a problem.  Now, I know my congressman is a far left socialist bent on complete governmental control of the economy, but even this doesn’t make sense in Cuba.  If we spend all our resources on bailing out corporations like GE and poverty programs that make people dependant, who’s gonna make the bread?  Where are we going to get these resources if we rob the productive sector of all their portion and give to your patrons?  How are we going to have any kind of economy when the beggars get it all and the makers get squat? 

Keith, let me explain this to you in simpler terms.  If the Castro brothers realize that government cannot produce enough wealth to feed its people, what makes you think you can do better?  If the authocratic Chinese political institutions realize that creating capitalist markets and private ownership makes an economy work, what makes you think Obamanomic centralized command and control ideals will work.  If we are watching European-style socialist regimes flame out and burn to the ground, why do you think that model would work here?

And yet, we are still $1.6 trillion in the hole, for just one year. 

I haven’t even mentioned our gargantuan debt.  That’s another story entirely.