Economic growth has become more and more government spending. The huge expenditure on growing the American empire has made the U.S. number one by a country mile as far as military expenditures are concerned and added to all this are huge amounts spent on Homeland Security. Now bailing out the banks, insurance companies etc. and economic stimulus plans have added even more to government debt. So far the US dollar is holding up well but who knows how long that will last. This is from the WashingtonTimes.
Big government gets bigger
Under Bush, the cost of protection, war and economic collapse reach historic levels
Jon Ward (Contact)Sunday, October 19, 2008
BIG GOVERNMENT SERIES: First of three parts
George W. Bush rode into Washington almost eight years ago astride the horse of smaller government. He will leave it this winter having overseen the biggest federal budget expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt seven decades ago.
Not since World War II, when the nation mobilized to fight a global war against fascism and recover from the Great Depression, has government spending played as large a role in the economy as it does today.
This time, it is a rapid mobilization against another global enemy — Islamist terrorism — that lies behind much of the growth. But rising spending on discretionary domestic programs has also played its part.
"We have now presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society," said Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate vying to replace Mr. Bush in the White House, during the first presidential debate.
That, in fact, was an understatement. No president since FDR — who offered a New Deal to pull the nation out of the Great Depression and then fought World War II — has presided over as rapid a growth in government when measured as a percentage of the total economy.
And now comes the Next Deal — the rapid-fire series of programs announced in recent weeks to deal with a global financial crisis that few Americans even understand. It has begun with a decision to use $700 billion in taxpayer money to buy up financial assets and take an ownership stake in the nation's largest banks and could be followed by a stimulus program of up to $300 billion driven by congressional Democrats.
As a result, Mr. Bush already is the first president in history to implement budgets that crossed the $2 trillion a year and $3 trillion a year marks. His final budget, which comes to an end Sept. 30, conceivably could near $4 trillion, depending on the final tab for the financial rescue.
Mr. Bush campaigned in 2000 on a pledge to reduce the size of government, continuing a trend that had been under way since the end of the Cold War. But since terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, he has done what he thought was necessary to keep the country safe. That commitment became a centerpiece of his 2004 convention speech: "Whatever it takes."
The White House does not contest the numbers showing near-record growth in the size of government on its watch, but says it has no regrets about the president's decision to eschew a limited government agenda in favor of homeland security and defense spending.