According to Stuff Obama’s budget for 2011 involves US$3.8 trillion of spending, of which US$1.27 trillion is expected to be deficit spending. In plain English, Obama plans to spend $3,800,000,000,000 next year, of which $1,270,000,000,000 will be money that the country doesn’t have.
That’s equivalent to you spending $100 for every $67 you earn (after tax). If you want to spend more than you earn what do you do? You borrow, just as the US government does. That $33 of overspending isn’t money that falls out of the sky: it’s going to come out of your future earnings, just as Americans will pay for Obama’s spending one day.
Remember that the $1,270,000,000,000 of planned overspending is in just one year: on top of this Obama has overspent by $1,560,000,000,000 ($1.56tn) this year. Of that $787,000,000,000 ($787bn, or 50%) was a ‘stimulus package’ to try and help the economy. In other words, Obama borrowed $787,000,000,000, gave it to a bunch of failing businesses and other people, then told the people who are going to have to repay the loan that he was helping them. With a friend like that who needs enemies?
In two years Obama will have spent $2,830,000,000,000 ($2.83tn or $9170 per American) that the country doesn’t have, and any family budgeter who has a speck of common sense will tell you that spending money that you don’t have is equivalent to shooting yourself in both feet. To Obama’s credit, he has halted the plan to put men on the moon by 2020 (given NASA’s track record, he has probably saved some lives as well).
A graph from the BBC shows how overspending has increased since Obama took power in 2009:
This issue of overspending highlights a major problem with the system of democracy, i.e. that it creates rulers who are only in power for a short time. If you’re riding a horse for ten minutes you can push it too hard without seeing any reduction in speed, but if you’re riding all day and make the horse work too hard you’ll see it collapse under you. Obama has created a huge debt because it serves his short term purposes and he knows that he won’t be in the White House when the economy is suffering the consequences of that borrowing. It’s easy to leave a nasty mess on the Oval Office carpet when someone else has to clean up after you and every American has to pay a share of the cleaning bill.
This has been a simple treatment of a complex subject. The way that the US government borrows money causes harm to Americans that isn’t immediately obvious: for more on that (in plain English) see this article.
Obama creates budget deficit taskforce