Will clearly out-of-control spending dictate chronic deficits?
*Wall Street Journal, by John D. McKinnon & Greg Hitt, December 11, 2009
”Congress to Raise Debt Ceiling
Congressional Democrats prepared to pass big spending bills and a roughly $1.8 trillion increase in the federal debt limit, all at a time when concern is growing over the government’s chronic deficits.
Republicans immediately attacked the moves as an irresponsible spending spree — even as new analyses showed some GOP lawmakers had inserted into the spending bills controversial favors earmarked for their constituents.
The end-of-year wrangling over spending and borrowing is dramatizing the gap that may be widening between the Democratic congressional agenda — built around extending health-care coverage to tens of millions of Americans — and voters’ growing concern about the size of government and deficit spending.
‘There is no question they are hopelessly out of step,’ said Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.). ‘The wrath of the American people is palpable. They are way, way off base.’
The House Thursday passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill, largely along party lines, covering the budgets of 10 cabinet agencies, from transportation to education, for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010. Just over half that money flows through benefit programs that aren’t affected by annual appropriations votes.
The measure represents annual appropriations increases averaging almost 10% for the agencies covered, a figure well above the rate of inflation. Republicans flagged that as further evidence of out-of-control spending, noting that the Treasury on Thursday reported a $120.3 billion deficit for November.”
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