Explaining the increase in government spending and the rising national debt to the nation’s current preoccupation with obesity, Congressman Frank Lucas said the remedy is the same to bring the body “ and the nation “ back into balance: Change the eating/spending habit.
“If we don’t, a day of reckoning more tremendous than we want to see is coming,” he said Thursday in a phone interview with the Herald.
Some of the spending proposals include an additional $282 billion for “temporary recovery measures” over the next three years. This is on top of the $787 billion stimulus package passed last year and the $238 million to acquire and renovate a state-owned prison in Illinois to house terrorist detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“While he dramatically increases spending in many areas, the president has once again proposed to cut agriculture subsidies ��“ and defense and the nation’s infrastructure,” Lucas said.
On the flipside of the same coin is the unprecedented borrowing.
The president’s budget proposal will result in a $1.3 trillion deficit for FY11. This follows the $1.4 trillion deficit in FY09 and the estimated $1.56 trillion deficit in FY10. Under the president’s 10-year forecast, we will continue to run a deficit each year through 2020 growing our national debt held by the public from its current $9.3 trillion to $18.6 trillion, or 77.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Even in the European Union, who are not known for their fiscal restraint, countries are required to keep their debt levels below 60 percent of their GDP,” Lucas said. “Our current debt is at 63 percent of our GDP.”
Raising Taxes on Business
By the administration’s own estimates, the budget proposal increases taxes by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years. This is mainly comprised of an estimated $970 billion aimed at higher-income individuals but an additional $486 billion is aimed mainly at businesses and dubbed “revenue changes and loophole closers.”
Increasing the National Debt
“Last week, the House passed a resolution raising the national debt limit $1.9 trillion dollars, increasing the United States’ total borrowing threshold to $14.3 trillion ��“ roughly equal to the country’s entire annual economy,” Lucas said.
This fiscal year (2009) ended with the country running a $1.4 trillion deficit. It is anticipated that we will finish FY2010 with a $1.56 trillion deficit and FY2011 with a $1.3 trillion deficit.
The 2010 Census
Lucas continues to emphasis the importance that all Oklahomans take part in the 2010 Census because representation in the House of Representatives is one of the results based on population numbers.
The 2000 Census caused Oklahoma to lose one representative.
Also, federal funding to the states for education, roads, and other important needs is based on population figures.
The census should begin arriving in mailboxes on March 1 and must be returned before April 1. There are only 10 questions and Lucas said all personal information will be kept private for 72 years before being released to the National Archives for genealogical purposes.
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