by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
Mike Flynn made some interesting comments yesterday on Breitbart about an article that appeared in the Washington Post on Sunday. He argued that Tea Party influence over the past four years has changed the overall trend in federal spending and saved taxpayers almost half a trillion dollars in new debt. Maybe. I certainly don’t know that for sure. But I thought his most interesting point was this one:
The Post does get one thing right, however. We are nowhere close to tackling our fiscal problems. People can scream about earmarks, subsidies and wasteful spending until they are blue in the face, but those are almost a rounding error in terms of our budget. More than two-thirds of all federal spending is on entitlements or other redistribution schemes. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid consume almost all federal tax dollars.
Outside of those three programs, our government spent $1.2 trillion last year. That includes the military, highways, FBI, the courts, farm programs, food stamps and all the federal agencies. Our deficit last year? $1.1 trillion. Essentially, we spent all federal tax revenue writing checks to people and borrowed money to fund the things we think government ought to do. (emphasis added)
When I think about all that money NOT being taken in the first place and, instead, being left in the hands of individuals and business owners, and then I think of the jobs that would have created – well, there’s a stimulus program that would actually work.