Friday, February 05, 2010

Closer to Bankruptcy

While I disagree with the collectivist approach adopted in this analysis (i.e. to the authors it's just a matter of aggregates, not of individual rights), it's interesting to see how much of future revenues are already committed to mandatory (essentially legacy and past) spending. Indeed the difference between projected revenues and existing commitments is now negative.
Gradually, over decades, Americans have committed almost all government revenues to what policy nerds call "mandatory programs" — those whose funding and funding growth are set by past laws — and to interest on the debt.

For the first time in U.S. history, in 2009 every single dollar of revenue was committed before Congress voted on any spending program. Meanwhile, most of government's basic functions — from justice to education to turning on the lights in the Capitol — are paid for out of swelling, unsustainable deficits.


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