Congress almost shut the government down because both sides couldn't come to an agreement over a 40 billion dollar cut in the budget. That's hard to fathom let alone comprehend their thinking.
The pie chart below shows how much government took in taxes in 2010, $2.162 trillion dollars.
Now look at how much they spent, $3.456 trillion dollars. Our government almost got shut down over some petty change issue?? Spend $3.456 trillion and the taxes received were $2.162 trillion; hmm where did the extra $1.3 trillion come from??? It must have been a loan! No thought of cutting here.
Uncle Sam paid $413 billion in interest on the national debt in 2010. Figure the government is paying 3% on funds borrowed. What would happen if interest rates doubled to 6% like they have in Greece? A possible jump from $400 billion to $800 billion in interest charges doesn't even faze those in Congress. $413 billion dollars in interest, is paid out each year. How many taxpayers does it take to pay, just the interest?
Somehow, the phrase "penny-wise and pound-foolish," seems to have lost its meaning. The $1.3 trillion dollars borrowed is real, in the sense that it is gone. What would be the monthly repayments on $1.3 trillion dollars borrowed for 20 years? Of course, if you don't plan to pay it back, who cares? That appears to be the way Congress plans to handle it, and that's insane. It's kind of like trying to retire on the bonus dollars you get back from using your charge card.
Last week's Congressional Brouhaha,(to paraphrase Shakespeare from Macbeth) was, "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."