by Chris Robling
The newest spending outrage I have heard is this:
Congresspeople with clout are forcing development of an unneeded and unwanted alternate engine for the F-35.
Cost? $5 billion.
F-35 has an engine. It does not need an "alternate. Who agrees? George Bush and Barack Obama, for instance. Robert Gates (under Bush) and Robert Gates (under Obama). All three have tried to stop this to save the $5 billion, so this is not partisan. It is just the same old story: special interests with buddies in high Congressional places.
Secretary Geithner is expected to ask the Congress to increase the statutory debt limit of the United States. The current statutory debt limit was set on February 17, 2009 at $12.1 trillion. Since the new Congress was sworn in the United States has borrowed money or rolled over old debt in the following amounts:
January: $560.3 billion
February: $735.7 billion
March: $750.9 billion
April: $665.3 billion
May: $773.5 billion
June: $743.0 billion
July: $712.9 billion
August $780.3 billion
Through Sept. 8 $154.9 billion
Total: $5.9 trillion
Demand to lend the US Government money used to be strong with bids topping $7 for every dollar offered by the Treasury. But recently bids have dropped to $1.90 for every dollar up for auction, such as on July 29, 2009. At the current rate, the United States is borrowing $163.2 billion per week. Other countries have already experienced difficulty in borrowing money, specifically the United Kingdom on March 25, 2009 and Germany on January 7, 2009.
This record of borrowing was predictable after Congress passed the following legislation:
- $787 billion stimulus bill
- $410 billion omnibus bill
- House passage of a $22.9 billion Agriculture Appropriations bill (12% increase)
- $64.3 billion CJS appropriations bill (11% increase)
- $508 billion Defense appropriations bill (4% increase)
- $24.2 billion Financial Services appropriations bill (7% increase)
- $32.3 billion Interior appropriations bill (14% increase)
- $163.4 billion Labor HHS appropriations bill (7% increase)
- $76.5 billion Military Construction/VA appropriations bill (5% increase)
- $48.8 billion State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill (33% increase)
- $68.8 billion Transportation-HUD appropriations bill (25% increase)
- $33.3 billion Energy and Water appropriations bill (level funding)
- $42.4 billion Homeland Security appropriations bill (level funding)
In sum, since January 3 the House of Representatives has ordered the Treasury to spend $2.29 trillion.