Over at CNSnews.com they have a story about how, despite plans to cut $6 billion in spending over the next three weeks, our national debt went up $72 billion on one day (March 15th, 2011):
At the close of business on Monday, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt, the total national debt stood at $14.166 trillion ($14,166,030,787,779.80). At the close of business Tuesday, the debt stood at $14.237 trillion ($14,237,952,276,898.69), an increase of $71.9 billion ($71,921,489,118.89).
They’ve run the numbers:
If Congress were to cut $6 billion every three weeks for the next 36 weeks, it would manage to save between now and late November as much money as the Treasury added to the nation’s net debt during just the business hours of Tuesday, March 15.
Sounds great, but that would require us to not spend more than we take in for the next 36 weeks, and that would only put our debt level back where it was on March 14, 2011. They ran some more numbers:
Congress would need to cut spending by $6 billion every three weeks for approximately the next six and a half years (338 weeks) just to equal the $676.3 billion the debt has increased thus far this fiscal year.
But again, those $2 billion in savings every week for the next six and a half years would only take our national debt back to where it was on Dec. 31st, 2010. Anyone want to speculate on Washington’s ability to reign in spending to $2 billion a week less than they take in each week, for the next 6 and a half years?
The simple lesson in the above Saturday Night Live clip seems to elude our leaders in Washington.
Watch the entire sketch here: Hulu
YouTube video: Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford – A 1-page book
Hulu: Saturday Night Live sketch Don’t Buy Stuff You CANNOT Afford
Treasury Department, Bureau of the Public Debt: Debt to the Penny