What’s Not In The Budget: $6.3 Trillion in Debt

by Bryan

If I’m reading this correctly, more than $6 trillion worth of national debt is excluded from the budget because it’s from Frannie and Freddie, which aren’t 100 percent government entities but are enough such that Peter Orszag, before he was actually making the budget, said:

We are saying that the degree of control exercised by the federal government over these entities is so strong that the best treatment is to incorporate them into the federal budget.

So I guess my claim that the budget was boring was a lie. It’s the budget that’s a lie.

For all the talk about obstructionist politicians acting like children, it sure seems like us regular old citizens are often treated like kids. Rover’s on a farm upstate, playing with other dogs.

I’m sorry if that sounds cynical, because I’m not cynical about it. I’m not sure it matters much if the debt is $6 trillion or $12 trillion as long as there’s an underlying process for fixing the whole thing. It just seems that either the process is so big it’s hard to explain, even in a State of the Union address, or that there’s a fear that suddenly $12 trillion is politically radioactive because of this country’s fear of two-digit numbers (or 14, as it were). I’m not as afraid of a little or a lot of debt, or even a little more of it, as I am of being systematically shut out of the process. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be included. In fact, I’m sure it’s not. I appreciate the difficulty of governing, but the inches we give to government seem to turn into miles so quickly that it’s clearly not us who are being irresponsible. Anyone who says that this sort of deception is part of the job of governing clearly isn’t really trying to change things.

At the same time, I still think Obama is doing a great job. I think that this, like health care, represents a negative the GOP is already going to hold against him, so he might as well just come out and give us the damage. I think he’s trying to forestall a tipping point that passed a long time ago. If the Republicans don’t believe in truths, half-truths aren’t going to help you any. If you really want to change the conversation, change it. You might be able to win without doing so, and we’ll be better for it, but not as good as we could be.

h/t to Wolves on the link

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