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Monday, March 20, 2006

Of Deficits and Debt Limits

My weekend was just about ruined when I picked up the paper on Saturday morning and read that the GOP controlled Senate had voted to increase the federal government debt limit to $8,965,000,000,000.00.

That's $8.965 TRILLION.

According to the Reuters story:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a $781 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority aimed at averting a possible government default on debt this month.

The Senate voted 52-48 to raise the federal debt limit to $8.965 trillion. The measure, the fourth time the cap has been raised since 2002, now goes to U.S. President George W. Bush for signing into law.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the actual debt as a percentage of GDP has increased steadily during Bush's tenure as President:
2001 - 57.4% of GDP
2002 - 59.7% of GDP
2003 - 62.6% of GDP
2004 - 63.7% of GDP
2005 - 64.3% of GDP
2006 - 66.1% of GDP (est.)

Like Dignan, and many other fiscal conservatives, unless Congress does something radical before the next election, I plan on staying home as a protest against the GOP's profligate spending. For the life of me, I can not fathom why the GOP politicians do not understand that one of their core constituancies is fed up with their spending. They forget that most voters are loyal, not to a particular party, but to a set of ideas. When the party abandons those ideas, voters will abandon the party.

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