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Saturday, December 19, 2015

In Which It Is Another Day Ending in 'y'

Congress passed a $1.8 trillion dollar spending bill yesterday.  $1.8 trillion!  You know how big that is?  It's so big that I have to write out the word "trillion" so as to avoid wearing out the 'zero' key on my laptop.

The spending bill was passed with surprising bi-partisan support, despite the fact that the legislation adds about $2 trillion dollars to the national debt over the next twenty years.  I have no particular opinion about the additional debt, but consider this: In the last few years, we've experienced shutdowns of the federal government due to congressional refusal to raise the debt ceiling.  Those most resistant to raising the debt limit have claimed they were acting out of principled opposition to increased debt--despite the fact that, as every economist and analyst pointed out, raising the debt limit adds not one cent to the nation's debt but simply ensures that the US is able to pay the debts it has already incurred.  Yet now, many of these same politicians have apparently acquiesced to a bill that quite unambiguously does the thing that they swore never to do: increase the national debt!  And I presume much--if not all--of the increased debt will be generated by pork-barrel projects that benefit supporters of various congressmen and senators!

Is it possible--and I know I'm talking crazy talk here--that politicians are somewhat hypocritical?

1 comment:

  1. What goes on behind the scenes is intricate and complex. In the big picture, I heard Paul Ryan acquiesced. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/19/us/congress-spending-bill.html?_r=0 That's odd because he was such a tight ass with the budget a couple of years ago. Now he's Speaker. Well, he was probably offered a deal he couldn't refuse, for his personal good or bad. That's conjecture. The backstory is rarely simple, and we aren't privy to it.