Well, here we are beating a dead horse again, but we ran across some figures about interest on government debt that are staggering.
According to the Treasury Department (treasurydirect.gov), our country has paid $241 billion in interest through the first seven months of fiscal year 2012 on what it calls "Debt Outstanding" - the total public debt that stands at $15.7 trillion as of May 30. There is a very real possibility that interest for the entire year will exceed $450 billion.
Now, to give that number some perspective, let's look at a couple of numbers from the 2012 federal budget. The Department of Education is projected to spend $77.4 billion in FY2012. That means we are going to spend six times more money on interest this year than education.
We'll spend as much on interest as we'll spend on the Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security - combined!
A Congressional Budget Office estimate in March put interest for the next decade at $5 trillion. It also projected the debt would increase by $11 trillion in that time span.
We're going to spend $5 trillion for - nothing. Simply to pay for past overspending.
It is amazing that in a presidential election year little is being said about our out of control deficits. The platitudes that do emerge are like shaving with the cap on a razor - nice and smooth, but nothing gets cut.
The CBO and the Bowles-Simpson National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility are trying to give our politicians a wake-up call. Sadly, nobody in Washington is listening.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.