The name "Cato" retains a special place in Roman and early U.S. history. In antiquity, Marcus Porcius Cato was a Roman senator, named after his conservative grandfather in the last century before the birth of Christ, and he tried to oppose Caesar’s rise to centralized power.
In America, Cato was the name of a runaway slave who, in 1785, fled from captivity in Rhode Island to Massachusetts, where the state Supreme Court had ruled in 1783 that slavery breached the MA constitution. Because the Articles of Confederation did not have a “fugitive slave clause” requiring “repatriation,” he briefly lived free, but made a deal to return to his “master” for a year as forces began to push for a federal “Constitution” that might see the central government turn the tables on escaped “fugitive” slaves.
Most famously, “Cato” was the name that many historians believe antifederalist George Clinton adopted after the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in order to publish stark and prescient warnings about how the push to replace the decentralized Articles of Confederation would see a liberty-crushing trend toward more centralized, arbitrary, and oppressive “federal” controls. The DC think-tank called “The Cato Institute” was named after that dedicated freedom-fighter, and on April 18, Romina Boccia, its Director of Budget and Entitlement Policy, released a stunning breakdown of last year’s $6.3 TRILLION “budget.”
It’s a set of revelations so shocking, one might be drawn to conclude that the word “budget” is an Orwellian insult to people who create real budgets.
To start, Boccia notes:
“The federal government spent $6.3 trillion in 2022. Tax dollars paid for $4.9 trillion or 78 percent. The rest (22 percent) was borrowed. Borrowing is deferred taxation, so ultimately deficit spending too will be paid for by taxes.”
By “deferred taxation,” we can note that for many Americans, it means generational enslavement, as new tax-slaves are born in a nation-state insultingly labeled “the land of the free” but which is run by politicians who foist on them nearly $30 trillion in debt to pay for “retirement” and “medical assistance” for others.
Lo-and-behold, Boccia tells readers of precisely that problem:
“The federal government spends the most on transfer programs. That is when the government redistributes money from one group to another rather than supplying governmental services like national defense.”
And what is at the top of the “transfer” system, aka, the Marxist system of theft and wealth redistribution?
“Major entitlements—Medicare, Medicaid, other health care, and Social Security—devoured nearly half of the 2022 budget, consuming 46 percent of all spending. ($2.9 trillion)”
That is just the start:
“Other federal transfer programs consumed another 18 percent. ‘Income security’ and other benefits include federal employee retirement and disability, veterans’ benefits, unemployment benefits, and welfare programs such as food and housing aid.”
To put the wealth theft and transference into perspective:
“Overall, two‐thirds of government spending in 2022 went to pay some sort of benefit to someone. And that’s before accounting for student loan forgiveness.”
Indeed, that observation doesn’t immediately reveal the stark and eye-popping way certain kinds of expenditures and edicts – most of them insults to the US Constitution, but manifestations of the dangerous centralizing tendency Mr. Clinton worked so hard to expose in 1787 – have been inflated and multiplied by DC politicians.
“Most noteworthy, spending on education more than doubled compared to 2021, due to $379 billion in student loan debt forgiveness, initiated by the Biden administration.”
So-called “National Defense” – which many conservatives cite as one of the few “constitutional” prerogatives for DC, but which, since 1945, has seen the Executive Branch toss American soldiers, weapons, and overt and covert “alliances” across the globe without any constitutional Declaration of War or Letters of Marque and Reprisal – comprised a much smaller percentage of the 2022 budget. But that’s still immense:
“Meanwhile, 12 percent of all federal spending went toward national defense. ($766 billion)”
The 2023 defense bill, signed by Biden in December of last year, is even bigger, flopping in at a gargantuan $816.7 billion.
Boccia notes the immediate and looming economic danger:
“The federal government’s budget outlook is quite dismal as well. Federal health care programs and Social Security make up 60 percent of projected spending growth over just the next 10 years. Interest costs from servicing the federal debt are projected to add 22 percent to spending growth. Combined, major entitlement programs and interest will be responsible for 82 percent of projected spending growth over the next 10 years.”
This not only is unsustainable, it already prompts the feds to do three things.
One: they find virtually every way they can to increase taxes or create new taxes and “fines.”
Two: since that incoming lucre cannot come close to paying their year-to-year profligacy, the vast majority of politicians in DC repeatedly vote to “raise the debt ceiling” and issue more bonds.
And three: the Federal Reserve and numerous federal agencies then either create money out of nothing or use the newly created money to buy US debt instruments – bonds that, of course, will come due and require the cycle to be repeated at even greater costs and as part of even larger budgets.
This last activity not only redirects useable capital away from productive market activities in the same way the first actions – taxation/regulation – do, it inflates the money supply, inspires malinvestment, moral hazard, and misallocation of resources, and sees the diminution in buying power of each unit of money.
“Unfortunately, if legislators continue to refuse to seriously consider health care and old age entitlement reform, there isn’t much they’ll be able to do to avoid massive middle‐class tax increases. Medicare and Social Security are responsible for 95 percent of long‐term unfunded obligations. Benefit growth is unsustainable and the alternative of doing nothing risks a future fiscal crisis. There’s simply not enough money to grab from higher‐income earners to make the math work.”
And, unless fundamental changes are made to Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid “assurances” – i.e. promises to current generations made by enslaving future generations – Boccia also reminds Americans that a “growing economy” won’t be able to fill the “promises,” made by our enslaving political class.
“And there is no way to grow out of this fiscal situation either. Social Security is indexed to grow with average wages and Medicare spending is growing faster than economic growth as the U.S. devotes an increasing share of the economic pie toward health care.”
The system is unsustainable. It is unsustainable because it is immoral. It is immoral because it is predicated on force and theft, on false promises and pandering to special interests who will act as the recipients of that stolen loot.
Only when more Americans turn away from their normalcy biases and recognize the fact that political governance is not a virtue but is a poison will there be any hope of change.
Right now, that prospect is dim, which means that the prospects for the “US Dollar” and our wallets are even dimmer – and each of us ought to prepare for the disaster that is on its way
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Reporter: Energy prices are up, food prices are up, and inflation has been outpacing wages for 26 months in a row, how does Biden sell to American's to keep going with these policies?— MRCTV (@mrctv) April 25, 2023
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