On January 4, 2007, Amy Klobuchar was sworn in as US Senator from the state of Minnesota. On that day, our federal public debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04. As of June 19, 2012, our federal public debt is $15,784,676,619,110.62. That is a difference of over 7 trillion dollars America now owes due to spending more than we are taking in. By the time November rolls around, the number will be much, much bigger. This is what makes Amy Klobuchar the Seven Trillion Dollar Woman.
So, it seems laughable that Klobuchar publishes this on her website:
“I'm committed to working for economic policies that benefit all Americans. This means having a laser focus on jobs, affordable health care, homegrown energy, and a federal budget that pays our way rather than piling up debt for future generations.” Emphasis, obviously my own.
It's even more ridiculous for her to make this claim about cutting spending:
"We have got started on that with $2.2 trillion in debt reduction that I voted for as part of the Budget Control Act," Klobuchar said.
The Budget Control Act is the bipartisan deal that resulted from last summer's standoff over increasing the nation's borrowing limit. The legislation also includes automatic cuts to military spending on Jan. 1, unless Congress intervenes.”
These so-called cuts are merely shavings off budget projections years into the future. Instead of taking one year’s budget and making serious changes perhaps considering future outlays, Senate Democrats have opted to forget about a budget. Instead they pass continuing resolutions that merely continue the enormous spending spree. So what is the Seven Trillion Dollar Woman’s plan for the future?
"I've long supported keeping the Bush tax cuts in place for the middle class," Klobuchar said. "But [with higher taxes] for people making over -- you can set it over a million a year or over $250,000 a year if you go to the Clinton levels -- you can save over $700 billion."
“Just think about this: Some of the most profitable companies in the country, oil companies, they are still getting subsidized," she said. "While biofuels went away, they are still getting subsidized. That's $40 billion a year. That is revenue."
She also thinks if you buy an expensive home you should be punished for that as well. There isn’t a single part of the economy she doesn’t want to control and tax. But would her tax increases really make a dent in the deficits she voted for?
From the Wall Street Journal, an explanation of her first tax increase:
“In 2008, there were 236,883 tax filers reporting income of $1 million or more. The Patriotic Millionaires, a group advocating the repeal of the Bush tax cuts on tax filers making $1 million or more a year, estimated that their plan would raise $500 billion to $600 billion over 10 years. That sounds like a lot.
But only $100 billion of that is projected savings from lower government debt costs. So the tax would actually raise $40 billion to $50 billion a year: equal to about 3% of the annual federal deficit.”
What about those mean, rich oil companies and their evil subsidies, which are really business tax deductions?
From the New York Times:
“President Obama and some top Congressional Democrats have said they want to take some of an estimated $21 billion in savings from ending the tax breaks and steer it to clean energy projects. But the Senate’s Democratic leadership is calculating that using it to cut the deficit instead makes it a tougher issue politically for Republicans who are trying to burnish their conservative fiscal credentials.”
And her third revenue enhancement…
Klobuchar also mentioned eliminating the tax deduction on more expensive homes as a way to create “a federal budget that pays our way.” Here’s what she claims this tax increase would do to lower deficits.
"So if you go out and buy a million-dollar home, you still get the mortgage tax deduction, but you get it up to $500,000 in value to the home," she said. "That saves $215 billion over 10 years." Great. So, people buying a bigger, more expensive house would take a hit, but just think what that does to cut our trillion dollar deficits!
Not much. This is how the Seven Trillion Dollar Woman got us into so much hock. She isn’t good with numbers. She doesn’t understand economics. What’s worse? It appears she doesn’t even own a calculator. [Maybe I’ll send her one.]
Let’s add it up. Klobuchar’s Clinton era tax rates on the highest paid earners would garner at most $50 billion a year. Eliminating business deductions on oil companies would net $21 billion a year. Taking away the interest deduction on million dollar homes would collect $21 billion more a year. That’s $92 billion of increased revenue per year if everybody continues to do things exactly the same as they do today. How would that affect the deficits?
“[T]he Congressional Budget office forecasts that the deficit for the entire 2012 budget year, which ends Sept. 30, will total $1.17 trillion. That's only a slight improvement from the $1.3 trillion deficit recorded in fiscal 2011. And it is certain to keep the federal budget near the center of the presidential campaign.”
The Seven Trillion Dollar Woman’s budget fixes which she believes will lead us to prosperity and prevent the “piling up debt for future generations” will subtract $92 billion from the deficits baked into the current budget. Instead of a $1.17 trillion deficit, we will have a $1.08 trillion deficit. Is that really much better? Is her plan really even sane? She doesn’t want to touch Medicare, Medicaid, or any other entitlement. She believes they could cut more out of the military but let’s say they cut half the military budget, a ridiculous proposal. How much is defense spending?
“The 2013 total defense budget is $614 billion, which includes $525 billion for the base budget and $88 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding. Together, that’s a reduction of $32 billion from the 2012 budget: $5 billion from the base and $27 billion from war spending with the end of the Iraq war and drawdown in Afghanistan.”
Let’s pretend the world is all lollipops and leprechauns and nobody wants to harm us. Even if we slash defense spending in half by $307 billion dollars and include Klobuchar’s tax increases, we are still left with a deficit of $773 billion.
This is why Sen. Klobuchar is the Seven Trillion Dollar Woman and we are in a very deep pit, and still digging. When we hear these twisted tales of not spending enough, or they cut $4 trillion from the “budget”, or we are seeing “deep cuts,” it’s all smoke and mirrors. We are spending more today than we did last year. We spent more last year than the year before. It has exploded in real dollars and it doesn’t matter what the percentage increases are. It was too much in 2007. It’s still too much today.
The worst part, it’s done us no good. We have nothing substantive to show for the Seven Trillion Dollar Woman’s spending except more debt, more people dependent on government spending, and deficits for years to come.
If we look at how the Seven Trillion Dollar Woman’s spending has affected the nation’s economy, it isn’t pretty. In real GDP, our economy was $13.056 when she was sworn into office. In the first quarter of this year, our real GDP was $13.491. The seven trillion dollars had very little positive impact. We have the debt, but barely any growth. And it gets worse.
All that debt seems to have weighed down private investment . Real investment in 2007 was $2.145 trillion. In the first quarter of 2012, it had shrunk to $1.904 trillion. We are going backwards.
Seven trillion dollars wasted.
We have to hold our elected representative accountable for their actions. Klobuchar’s actions have been to increase spending and government debt throughout her career in the Senate. Now that people are concerned about the deficits which add to the debt, she doesn’t have a reasonable plan for cutting the deficits. During this accumulation of so much debt with these high deficits, its effect on the private economy has been negative. Instead of making us a more prosperous and responsible nation, her tenure has been one of uncontrollable spending and borrowing.
It doesn’t even appear she gets it. When she prattles on about a tax increase to this person and a subsidy for that person, it sounds like a prescription for disaster. Instead of having a sound fiscal budgetary policy today, she dismisses such things with claims of cutting imaginary budgets in the future. We can’t afford the Seven Trillion Dollar Woman. Sending her back to Washington will only lead to economic destruction and financial insolvency.