Former Ag Secretary John Block –
Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary—
At long last, the U.S. debt is front and center in the spotlight. We had gone 4 years without the Democratic Senate even passing a budget. In that timeframe, the Republican House did their legal obligation by passing budgets each year. Of course, that made them an easy target because they proposed to reduce spending on a lot of popular projects.
Three cheers for the Senate this year. They passed a budget. President Obama just announced his budget last week. By law, he was supposed to present his two months ago, but better later than never.
I credit the President in his budget for targeting entitlement programs for cuts. He has never publicly done that before and has a lot of his liberal base very unhappy. The President wants a “grand bargain” with very modest reductions in the entitlement program. He is asking for 700 billion dollars in new taxes. His policies are budgeted to replace the across-the-board sequester that is pinching a number of our spending programs.
I have before me a graph of the debt projections of the three different budget proposals. This is presented by the Washington Post – hardly a conservative paper. President Obama’s plan projects a spending deficit of 744 billion dollars for the coming fiscal year. With his plan, our 17 trillion dollar debt today would grow over the next 10 years to 25 trillion dollars. The Senate Democrat plan is almost as bad. The chart I am looking at has our debt escalating up over the years at about a 30-degree angle. Contrast that with the House GOP plan which has our debt line almost flat. It projects a balanced budget after 10 years. I’m not suggesting that the House plan is perfect. It can be argued that some parts of it are unrealistic.
However, the President’s plan that has us looking at a 25 trillion dollar debt ten years out is unacceptable. Keep in mind that defense, Medicare and Social Security make up 60% of the budget. Wouldn’t you think we could raise the retirement age? When Social Security was created, the life expectancy was 65. Social Security began paying after most people were dead. We live a lot longer today.
Raise the retirement age. Our young children are being burdened with debt every day. It’s selfish.
Politicians don’t want to take anything away from their voters. They could be voted out of office.
Let’s hope that the attention that our deficit and debt are getting today will give our elected officials the courage to act in the national interest.
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.
Until next week, I am John Block from Washington