The Federal Spending Juggernaut
How out of control is the federal government's spending? The government's accountants estimate that total federal debt will reach $9.65 trillion when the fiscal year 2008 ends September 30 and $10.5 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2009. Yet neither Barack Obama nor John McCain has spelled out how his administration would end Washington's out-of-control spending spree.
This is very worrisome, as it means the imposition on future generations of both huge direct costs (through the burden of higher taxes to service the mounting debt) and huge indirect costs (via a reduction of private investment, capital formulation, and economic growth). Already "we're spending more than $250 billion a year just on interest on the national debt," writes Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II in a new op-ed.
"Borrowing nevertheless is politically popular because postponing the bill lowers the immediate cost of government to today's taxpayers--and frees candidates to spend more," Shughart concludes.
"Spending Addicts," by William F. Shughart II (The Washington Times, 7/20/08)
Taxing Choice: The Predatory Politics of Fiscal Discrimination, edited by William F. Shughart II