The government racked up $5.3 trillion in new fiscal obligations last year alone — bringing the current unfunded tab for future expenses on things like Medicare, Social Security and military medical and retirement programs to a whopping $61.6 trillion, or $534,000 per American household.
Then there’s today’s bills: We’re borrowing $125 billion a month that we have no hope of ever paying back on our current course.
The growth in GDP declined to a measly 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011 as consumers hung desperately onto their wallets. Job growth has completely collapsed. Fully 60 percent of the electorate thinks the country is on the wrong track. No wonder the daily economic briefing, once on a par with the intelligence briefing, has vanished from President Obama’s schedule.
And now Obama says he’s not worried about a double-dip recession. Easy for him to say: For Americans not feeding at the government trough, the first recession never ended.
What’s needed now is a radical re-thinking of economic theory and the tax structure. Until the economy is addressed, we can’t make rational, realistic decisions about anything else, including foreign policy.