Bush talked some pretty words, smiled a lot when he was given the polite applause accorded a lame duck President with less than a year left in office, and generally behaved well in front of the Congress, the Supreme Court Justices, and some military guys there for show.
He kept using the terms "trust" and "empower" in his speech. He kept describing how we should trust people to do better things when they are empowered by the government giving them free reign to do those things.
He did push for an economic stimulus package, and to stop frivolous medical lawsuits, and to not draw down troops in IraQuagmire until General Petraeus says so.
He also left the impression that he thinks everything will be okay, that Iraq will stabilize, that the economy is not that bad, and that he is ready to hit the speech circuit and get out of this hellhole of a town.
I cannot get over the impression that he is just a buffoon, another talking head who has minimal interest in real policy and minimal depth of thought on anything.
He was proud of himself for cutting $18 billion Dollars from wasteful and unnecessary programs in the next US Budget.
$18 billion is a lot of money, but in our national budget, it is less than a drop in the bucket, it a hair on the back of a flea floating in that drop in the bucket. It is an amoeba on the hair on the flea...
The budget for 2008 is:
(Two Trillion, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Five Billion dollars)
(Eighteen Billion dollars)
the President is so proud of saving is:
.006 of that budget amount.
In other words, he was able to cut out 6/10 of 1 % of the total budget by getting rid of wasteful or unnecessary programs.
That's all the wasteful and unnecessary programs in the entire budget?
Not even a whole 1 % ?!?
And we still have a budget deficit ( the amount we are spending more than we are taking in) of:
(One Hundred Eighty-Seven Billion dollars)
And that number is actually false, and misleading and way, way lower than it really is!
The government continues to spend the Social Security Surplus it receives every year, which it has done at least since Clinton, and I believe even before that.
Since the government does this, we are rapidly building up a debt that will soon be huge, and could threaten our own prosperity and stability.
There is what the government calls an "Off-Budget Surplus" every year, because Social Security brings in more money than it spends.
The reason it brings in more than it spends, is because there are so many Baby Boomers working and sending money in to Social Security.
As they retire more and more, they will start drawing out that Social Security money they sent in, as they are promised they will be able to.
But it won't be there.
The US Gevernment is spending all of the extra, every year, to make the budget deficit look lower than it really is.
In 2008, the government estimates that extra will amount to:
(Two Hundred and Twelve Billion dollars)
When they put that $212 Billion into paying down the budget deficit the they year 2008, it brings down the deficit that they have to tell us about, to the number I gave above:
(One Hundred Eighty-Seven Billion dollars)
That means that if they had put the Social Security extra money in a Social Security Trust Fund, the amount of our budget deficit for 2008 would show as the real number, the number it really is:
(Three Hundred Ninety-Nine Billion dollars)
Which is high, but we have had higher ones at least a few times over the last twenty years or so. That is not good, either.
And, by the way,
There Is No Social Security Tust Fund!
The Government Spent It All!
They act like there is one, but there is only a pot full of IOU's!
They have been doing this for years!
We are so royally screwed...
The Social Security Trust Fund, if there were one, could have been earning money on itself every year, and growing, and helping to pay off the yearly Budget Deficits, and the Total US Debt (which is the accumulation of the yearly Budget Deficits that have not been paid off).
There have been yearly Budget Deficits for a long time, at least since President Carter, but they stopped for a few years during Clinton, then started up again with George W. Bush.
In the past, we have had yearly Budget Deficits at times, such as during World War II, but they were later paid back down.
For several decades now we have been in a period where there is very little hope of having no Budget Deficit, or of having something even better, a Budget Surplus (where we bring in more than we spend in a year, and use the extra to pay down part of the total US Debt).
But we will have to change, and start to drop the yearly Deficits and start to pay down the Debt, or we will have serious economic trouble.
Right now, the Total US Debt is:
(Thirty Thousand Six Hundred Seventy-Seven dollars)
for every man, woman and child in the United States.
Today the total is:
(Nine Trillion, Two Hundred and Three Billion, One Hundred Eighty-Seven Million, etc.)
It will be more tomorrow.
And this is not yet including the amount we will have to come up with to pay the coming HUGE Social Security amounts we will owe to coming retirees, and the ENORMOUS Medicare and Medicaid amounts we will have to pay as that older, retiring part of the population starts to use so much more of those services!
The coming costs of those programs is in the several TRILLIONS, not even in the Hundreds of Billions, unfortunately for all of us.
1 Trillion = 1,000 Billions (999 Billion + 1 Billion = 1 Trillion)
1 Billion = 1,000 Millions (999 Million + 1 Million = 1 Billion)
Yes, Ladies and Germs, unless we figure out how to get by with less government money and goodies for each of us, and unless we start taking better care of ourselves so we don't need as much medical care, and unless we figure out how to start saving money (personally and in our government budgets) instead of spending it all;
We are royally screwed, blue'd and tatooed now...
Trust in that to empower us.