Teapublican Lie #12.

“The US government is going broke.”

In May 25, 2001, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform told National Public Radio’s Mara Liasson, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

Teapublicans have been trying to bankrupt the government ever since.

Yet, despite their efforts, the United States still has the world’s largest economy with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimated at nearly $14.7 trillion in 2010. That represents approximately one quarter of the global GDP.

Our current problem, as economist Paul Krugman has stated, is “insufficent aggregate demand.” As a result, we do not have enough revenue to cover our spending.  Moreover, much of the money spent is misallocated. To fix our economy, we need to increase tax revenue from those who can most afford it. And we need to create jobs by spending on necessary projects while interest rates are at all-time lows.

But, instead of dealing with the real issues, Teapublicans are using the debt crisis they created to destroy labor unions, to eliminate employee benefits, to depress salaries and eliminate our safety nets (the so-called entitlements).

Contrary to Teapublican accusations, these programs are not responsible for our growing national debt. Social Security and Medicare are funded by payroll taxes while our defense spending is not. 

According to estimates, our annual military/security budget is $1.1-$1.2 trillion, or 70-75 percent of the federal budget deficit. It has doubled since 9/11. And much of the defense budget is squandered through poor oversight, lack of planning and corruption. In fact, the Commission on Wartime Contracting stated that as much as $60 billion was lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade!

The US is not broke.  But if we keep electing Teapublicans, we soon may be.