The Obama stimulus program designed to jump start new car sales in 2009 not only failed to do so, it hurt the economy. A study by Texas A & M shows that “The Car Allowance Rebate System” (costing $3 billion of federal tax dollars) resulted in $3 billion in lost industry revenues, as new car sales went DOWN. Read the study report here.

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The National Debt (the amount our government owes)  is at $16.3 Trillion and growing.  But it isn’t just our politicians who are borrowing to spend on what they can’t afford.

American Household Debt is currently $11.3 Trillion. Most of that is Mortgage Debt ($8.3 Trillion), but we owe $956 Billion in outstanding Student Loans, $768 Billion in Auto Loans and a whopping $852 Billion in Credit Card Loans, with an average credit card balance of $15, 328.  Our default rate is about 11% (up about 1% since 2010).

As taxpayers and consumers, we owe more than $27 Trillion.  Sure, we can raise taxes or get a second job to help pay off a little, but until we deal with our reckless spending habits, both personal and political, we cannot fix this problem.

The Washington Examiner’s Charlie Spiering highlights costs of the FCC Lifeline Program.  Lifeline was originally created to provide free landline phone service to low income households for emergency and basic usage.  Since the mid-90s, it has been funded primarily by the Universal Service Charge included on all consumer phone accounts  But in 2008, the program was expanded to include free cell phones and service. 

The cost of the program skyrocketed from about $800 Million to more than $1.25 Billion, with evidence of wide-spread fraud.  There are proposals in both the House and Senate to reform Lifeline in order to return the program to its original intent, provide low cost basic phone service for those who need it most.  Spiering points to Rep. Tim Griffin’s video “Uncle Sam’s Unlimited Plan” for details.

According to the US Treasury Department, the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout, 15% higher than previously forcasted.
 

White House officials point out that “over a million” jobs were saved by the bailout.  But is this true?

I’ll give you 44 guesses.

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For an official history of deficits (with an occasional surplus) in real dollars, see the OMB Historical Budget Tables.  (You can compare administrations.  I bet you are surprised by the Clinton  – Bush – Obama numbers.  Don’t forget Harding – Coolidge.)