Literature, Poetry, and Books
"The national situation continued to decline: plunging stock market, soaring prices, inflation running at 18 percent. This last factor, combined with six consecutive quarters of negative growth, officially signaled stagflation. The U.S. Treasury was furiously printing dollars, while the dollar itself had lost 40 percent of its value over the last six months. The Federal Reserve, meanswhile, had announced yet another hike in the discount rate, to 14 percent. Amid this calamitous economic news, the Congress adamantly--some said magnificently--refused to cut federal spending, with the result that the year's deficit was not projected at $1.1 trillion.Ah, the good old days. When a $1.1 trillian deficit was so unthinkable that it was fodder for a satirical novel. It was disinclined to note this sign of the times on NLT, but then I read Buckley seems to be having second thoughts about his support for Obama.
"Hold on--there's a typo in that paragraph. "$3.6 trillion budget" can't be right.The entire national debt is--what--about $11 trillion? He can't actually be proposing to spend nearly one-third of that in one year, surely. Let me check. Hmm. He did. The Wall Street Journal notes that federal outlays in fiscal 2009 will rise to almost 30 percent of the gross national product. In language that even an innumerate English major such as myself can understand: The US government is now spending annually about one-third of what the entire US economy produces. As George Will would say, "Well."