With Senate Majority Leader Reid’s (D-NV) decision on Tuesday to not pass a budget for the third straight fiscal year, the Washington game of fiscal chicken–this time over $19 billion–is in full swing once again. To provide perspective, this is less than one-half of one-percent of the 2012 budget and less than 1.5% of this year’s expected deficit. It’s also about one-eighth of one percent of our national debt.
While politicians bicker, Rome burns and the budget grows. While some pundits blame Obama, and others blame Bush, and still others blame everyone in the Beltway, the fact is neither president or party has instituted the wisest fiscal policy. Still, the increase in spending under both has not been driven principally by new spending initiatives. It has instead been driven by the increasing number of retirees and resulting growth of social spending and especially Social Security and Medicare. Continue reading