Friday, December 21, 2007

President Bush gets two presents, our kids get the bill

This week Congress wrapped up the year by passing several major budget bills. One bill gave the President an additional $70 billion to continue trying to unbungle the Iraq war over the next six months. Another bill temporarily adjusted the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) so that it won't reach so far down into the upper middle-class. Two disparate pieces of legislation, but at President Bush's and the Republicans' insistence they had one important thing in common--neither was accompanied by any offsetting revenue adjustments.

As mentioned, the war spending bill (calling it a war funding bill would be something of a misnomer) will add $70 billion to the national debt between now and next May. The one-year AMT patch will add a further $50 billion to the debt. With two strokes of the pen, the debt--which was already projected to grow this year--will balloon by $120 billion.

The national debt currently stands at about $9 trillion. If we divide that equally across the population of the U.S., the share owed by a household of four comes to $120,000 (or if you would like, $60,000 for mom and dad and $60,000 for the kids). As a result of the new legislation, the household's bill just went up by another $1,200.

When the holidays are done and the kids are writing their thank you notes, make sure they save one for the President.


Anonymous said...

Its a shame you are not a good,spoting waste in Raleigh, as you are in Washington. This bill had 9000 pork projects. The last I heard the LIBERALS were charge in DC. If want to cut waste fire 75% of the professors and give the others a FULL time job.

Bubba said...

Anon, the earmarks are all Bush's fault too.

EVERYTHING is Bush's fault......haven't you figured that out by now?

Dave Ribar said...


Except in this case Bush can take credit, as he promised to veto the budget neutral AMT repair and offered no budget neutral legislation of his own. On several occassions he has also threatened to veto war funding bills that include financing.


You are leaving out the 2,000 or so earmarks that were in the defense appropriation bill (about 11,000 between the two bills). While the number of earmarks is down from the previous Congress, there are far too many. Just before the holiday, the Post had a good article summarizing this waste.