Ten Trillion & Counting

Business Economics

Things to Remember

The multiple concepts and ideas learned in the video Ten Trillion, and Counting is very important to me because they have taught me many facts about our Nation's debt, and how the government is trying to handle it currently. It also taught me where we are getting all of our debt from in the first place. By knowing everything that I have gained from this video, I will be able to spend money wisely in the future and it will also help me decide on which candidate I want to vote for that will handle problems such as these.

Starve the Beast

The first concept that I have chosen to go with is Starve the Beast. The reason I chose this as one of the most important concepts gained in the film is for the following reasons. The Starve the Beast theory is one that the administration would rely on to balance their budget when things started to look bad. An example of this would be when the president may keep cutting taxes in hopes that it will put pressure on Congress to stop spending. Even though taxes are cut, Congress usually doesn't worry about the issue because they realize that instead we can just borrow our money from China.
When George W. Bush was president of the US, he stated that he was going to keep cutting taxes rather than raising them. Over and over he said he would not raise taxes. "These tax cuts cost the federal government over two trillion dollars (2,000,000,000,000) in lost revenue from 2001 to 2010 alone" (www.ardent-design.com). After Bush realized that our nation's deficit (debt) was becoming too large, he decided that he didn't have any other choice but to raise taxes for the good of the country's economy.
People did not like the fact that Bush went back on his word and they felt betrayed by him. Bush later lost what could have been his re-election to Bill Clinton. Bush knew that they were going to need the money sooner or later and many people agree with him. For example, "some Republicans and Conservatives, such as Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and former Bush CEA chairman Glenn Hubbard, now talk about the inevitability of a major tax increase in the not-too-distant future to pay for all the government spending now in the pipeline, resulting mainly from the population's aging and its impact on entitlement programs such as Medicare" ("'Starve The Beast': Origins And Development Of A Budgetary Metaphor - Bruce Bartlett").
By knowing about this theory, people will be able to identify it much easier today whenever we are able to watch and see as our nation's government try to use this strategy. This is something very important to know and can be very beneficial to many Americans when it comes to financial situations within our government in the future.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is basically an extension on to the original Medicare service which has been provided to the public since the year of 1965. As if Medicare was not expensive enough, our country is currently adding on to it, and this is one of the leading causes of why our country's debt is growing so fast. Our population is growing and many people are becoming older every year, and when these people get to be the age of 65 or older, they then qualify for Medicare. Medicare then will provide money to all those who qualify by giving them a certain amount every month to live off of. They do this for older people whom can no longer work for themselves.
With the passing of this new bill for Medicare, "Medicare beneficiaries across the nation have the option of enrolling in Medicare Part D to get help with their prescription drug costs" ("Medicare Part D Coverage & Enrollment"). Unfortunately, our country could not afford it and the reason it passed was because the majority of the voters were 55 years old or older, so people liked it. During this time, Pay-Go had also expired making it easier for the bill to pass. Pay-Go is if there isn't enough in the budget to support a bill, policy, etc., we don't do it. This was no longer the case when it came to healthcare.
As of now, "Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone account for 47 percent of federal spending today, a portion that will only grow larger in the future" ("Medicare And Social Security Tabs Coming Due"). This is a very important concept to know about because by knowing about Medicare then you know where a huge majority of America's money is going, and where a lot of our debt is accumulating. This concept also demonstrate's that Healthcare is overwhelming the national budget and will eventually take over if something is not done.

Obama Fiscal Policy vs. Republican Stand-off

The moment that Obama became president of the United States and entered the white house to take charge, one of the very first things that he began to do was begin to deal with the country's debt. He began by preparing an Economic Recovery (Stimulus) Plan as his administration figures out how they are going to deal with the economic situation left from the past 8 years before he got in office. They realized that this plan was going to cost around 800 billion dollars. Turns out, "The $830 billion spending blowout was sold by the White House as a way to keep unemployment from rising above 8%. But the stimulus would fail on its own terms" (Freeman).
The spending of $830 billion was something that the public did not want to hear about while being in a recession, and in the big mess that we were already in. When the Republicans heard about Obama's plan they knew that if Obama succeeded with his Stimulus plan that it would make the Republicans look bad. This was just about basic politics for most Republicans and Democrats although, Obama pledged bipartisan, which means he was willing to work together with everybody. Even though he pledged this there was still resistance given by the Republicans.
In 2014, 5 years later after Obama signed the bill in 2009 we can now see that this package had failed, and we did not get out of our debt. Part of this reason may have been due to the fact that Obama funded a lot of our money into Healthcare which we could not afford anyways. Although this plan had failed there were some positive outcomes as well. "The stimulus could have done more good had it been bigger and more carefully constructed. But put simply, it prevented a second recession that could have turned into a depression. It created or save an average of 1.6 million jobs a year for four years" (Board).


"Medicare And Social Security Tabs Coming Due". Cato Institute. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 May 2016.

"Medicare Part D Coverage & Enrollment". Ehealthinsurance.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.

"'Starve The Beast': Origins And Development Of A Budgetary Metaphor - Bruce Bartlett". The Independent Institute. N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.

"Government Is Good - Starving The Beast". Governmentisgood.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.

Freeman, James. "Obama's Stimulus, Five Years Later". WSJ. N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.

Board, The. "What The Stimulus Accomplished". Nytimes.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 5 May 2016.