Sunday, October 15, 2006

say it louder

from the Beaver Co Times:
No joke
10/15/2006

Here's another example of lies, damn lies and statistics when it come to the federal budget.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the federal deficit for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 was not the official $260 billion that many Washington types were puffed up about. Another $177 billion in debt needed to be added to the bottom line.

That's because "Washington's funny math excluded the Social Security trust fund, which is running a $177 billion surplus this year," the paper reported. "Washington spends it, but doesn't count it as spending. It's officially listed as 'off-budget' borrowing."

So it really doesn't matter if the official deficit of $260 billion was $58 billion lower than last year's and about $77 billion lower than projections at the beginning of the fiscal year. The real deficit was $437 billion.

When it comes to American children reaching proficiency in math by 2014, as President Bush has called for under his No Child Left Behind Act, it's obvious that members of the legislative and executive branches are falling far short of making adequate yearly progress, and the only way for them to hide that from the public is to cheat. By cooking the books, they hid more than one-third of their deficit spending last year.

Unfortunately, budgetary proficiency by 2014 will be too late for our children and grandchildren. Washington's funny way of doing math is going to bury them in debt - and that's no laughing matter.

This is an issue that's easy to understand, pay now or foist it on our children. Seems like a moral issue to me.

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