The last federal budget was signed into law in September of 2007 by President George W Bush for fiscal year 2008. Since then the entire mechanism of the federal government has been carried out by continuing resolutions, raises in the debt ceiling, and unfettered spending. The House did pass budgets along the way, but the Senate or the President would not pass or sign them because they did not fund Planned Parenthood and other programs.
Absent of an actual federal budget, all spending falls under a process called base-line budgeting (a shady deal that increased the federal budget annually 5-10 percent from the previous year’s budget) to determine allocation. Federal distribution of the money within the continuing resolution, is essentially a year-over-year expenditure with a statutory increase based on inflation.
Essentially, whatever was spent in 2009 was re-spent in 2010 along with a little bit more. What was spent in 2011 was a little more than ’10, and so forth. Zero base budgeting makes has the government built a budget from zero, not from what was spent the previous year. A Democratic Congress passed this little trick decades ago and no Congress since as forces us back to zero base budgeting.
In February 2009 congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, commonly referred to as Obama’s stimulus plan. The stimulus was just shy of one trillion ($986 billion +/-). At the time of passage this single stimulus expenditure reflected a growth of approximately 20 percent in total federal spending. The spending went directly into the deficit.
Approximately 30 percent of that “one-time” trillion dollar stimulus was spent in 2009, the remaining 70% was spent in 2010. (*note fiscal years run from Oct. 1-Sept. 30 annually). However, absent a federal budget — and because of baseline budgeting- it became a repeated expenditure in each of the following fiscal years.
The $1 Trillion Stimulus was spent eight more times. Remember, our Congress said nothing about this to us, the electorate, to include our Congressman, Pat Tiberi.
What most people don’t remember was what the money was spent on. The shovel-ready jobs program was a ruse, as Obama later admitted there were no “shovel ready” jobs created. Instead the reality was the $1 trillion entered the various cabinet offices at the discretion of the President. So we the people ended up paying almost 8 trillion dollars opposed to the one trillion we thought we were spending.
Without question, “It is time to drain the swamp.”
— Christopher Acker