Reclaiming Common Sense

The Monthly Treasury report for January was released Tuesday. The debt clock stands at $20.6 trillion dollars, even after turning a surplus of $49 Billion. The underlying situation can be identified in three tables:

  • Table 1: Receipts were up from $344 billion (Jan 2017) to $361 billion (Jan. 2018.) Unfortunately Spending is up from $293 billion to $312 billion. Both months ran surpluses. $51 billion versus $49 Billion.
  • Table 2:  On-Budget Spending is slated to run a deficit of over $614 billion this year. Off-budget spending is scheduled to run a surplus of nearly $25 billion.
  • Table 3: Interest on the debt will contribute $503 billion to the deficit this year.

This column has written numerous articles on the debt and deficit issue. "Uncle Sam is a Trust Fund Baby" details how the Federal Government has raided Trust funds to reduce deficits. A prior article  article "Federal Debt: Still Mortgaging Our Future" compares the Debt to the mortgage on a house. We would have to spend $1 trillion a year for thirty years to pay off our debt. That means running a surplus of over $80 a month, every month of the year.

The clock is ticking. Improving revenue will hep lower the deficit and the debt only if we rein in spending. Our problem is not Mandatory Spending, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, it is discretionary spending. We need to so discretion on our spending.

It's the economy.