Consider. Congress this year will spend $1.6 trillion more than it collects in revenue, with the largest outlays in that FY 2010 budget for defense at $719 billion and Social Security at $721 billion. Thus, if the U.S. Government on Oct. 1, 2008, had shut down the Pentagon and furloughed every soldier and civilian here and around the world, and announced that it would not send out a Social Security check for a full year to any of the 50 million retired and elderly, we would still be $160 billion short of balancing the budget. If you zeroed out federal benefits to veterans for a full year, that, added in, would bring us close. Such is the magnitude of the fiscal crisis facing the country. To balance the budget this year would require a 43 percent across-the-board cut in every category of federal spending -- defense, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Homeland Security, highways, etc. -- or, if one used taxes alone, a 72-percent increase in federal tax revenues...read more
The column is Buchanan on Bunning, but I found the numbers above to be astounding.