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December 21, 2012

Stop the Bleeding, Save America

Joe Charlebois

Sam lies bleeding; he is in critical condition and is suffering from a hemorrhage that has not been addressed in years. The doctors that have overseen Sam’s care in the past have told him that a little loss of blood is of no concern.


Over the last five years Sam's condition has seen a significant increase in blood loss. The two doctors who have always overseen his care were residents under two entirely different schools of thought. Because of this, they often disagree over the prescribed treatment plan.


His situation is dire. Sam is losing nearly a liter-and-a-half of blood per day. His only hope is that the life-sustaining IV that currently infuses his body with blood will be enough until surgery can be performed.


Chief of Medicine, Dr. Barry, has insisted that the 1.0 liter a day that Sam receives is not enough to keep Sam alive and orders the staff to increase the amount of blood to be infused. Dr. Barry prescribes 1.05 liters of blood per day in order for Sam to survive.


On the staff there are those who realize that there are limitations as to what the body can endure with a constant loss of blood. They realize that the body cannot consistently produce enough blood in the amounts needed to make up for the daily loss approved by the Chief of Medicine. These are the same doctors who believe that the source of the hemorrhage should be addressed first and foremost, and that Sam should be free of not only the pain but the financial burden that his children will assume when he dies.


Yes, Uncle Sam is sick, but he can be saved. The future can be saved by addressing the real problem – out of control spending.


We can no longer pretend that any additional tax revenues raised by taxing the wealthy will heal our debt crisis. The numbers just aren't there.


According to The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), this year the treasury should expect $2.5 trillion in revenue. This is the fourth highest level of receipts in the history of our country, eclipsed only by the last three years of George W. Bush's presidency.


How much is spending the issue? Fiscal Year 2012 spending is projected to reach an all-time high of nearly $3.8 trillion which will leave a $1.3 trillion deficit.


To put in perspective the Obama Administration’s lack of fiscal discipline and "kick-the-can-down-the-road" mentality, the deficit as a percentage of GDP over Barack Obama's first three years averaged minus 9.3%, while the average deficit spending from 1946 to 2008 was minus 1.9% of GDP.


Only three years since World War II did the United States run a deficit of more than 5% as a percentage of GDP. They were three of the eight years under Ronald Reagan.


In this year's OMB report, federal revenues are projected to grow back to George Bush levels; but they are combined with record levels of spending.


We are still hemorrhaging, and with the president ideologically opposed to any true spending cuts – outside of potential cuts in growth in spending – it is left to Congress to show a backbone.


Regrettably it is unlikely to happen in this congressional term and under this leadership, but fiscally conservative people need to remind their congressmen that they weren't elected to bankrupt America, but save it.


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