KERN: Obama squandering America's wealth, $111,000 every second

Pennies add up. A penny a second is nothing, however, to the federal government's rate of spending, now Photo: AP/ burning money

INDIANAPOLIS, August 15, 2013  If you saved a penny every second, you’d accumulate $864 every day. That’s $6048 every week, or a whopping $315,360 each year.

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If the mafia forced you to do without those pennies, the first few seconds, or maybe even a day or two, wouldn’t be a huge budget burden, but the constant drip, drip, drip of those pennies would quickly drain your bank account, probably forcing you to resort to selling assets, followed inevitably by initiating an escalating crime spree.

Not too many people can afford a penny a second.

In the 1990s America discussed a universal health insurance program popularly called “Hillarycare.” The answer to “Why Hillarycare?” was that health care was extremely expensive, and government healthcare would need to be provided instead of a private system, because, when it came to health insurance, “Nobody will be able to afford it.”

“Well, if nobody can afford it, how can everybody afford it?” That’s a great question, and it applies to all sorts of forced-redistribution schemes.

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Our government spends a lot more than a penny every second. The government can’t afford it, either; that’s why it borrows another dollar for every dollar and a half that it raises, from all sources. Let’s take a hundredth of a penny a second from your bank account. That’s still $3153.60 a year. For many, that’s doable, but the pain it inflicts would be more than annoying.

What, then, would $10,607 represent, as a burden on everyone in the country: legal or illegal; infants, teens, adults; old, disabled, or comatose? Largely undoable, and in a practical sense, impossible.

But the government — we’re talking only the federal government; our states and localities do their share, as well — doesn’t spend a penny a second. In July, it spent $111,000 a second. That’s $10,606.90 for each of 330 million people, accumulated over a year. It borrowed, at interest, roughly a fourth of that. The government won’t sell assets, but it has embarked on an escalating crime spree, the evidence of which is all around us.

And the money didn’t go into an account for the people. The money’s gone. Gone to Egypt’s military, to an African vacation for our royal family, to IRS probes that will go nowhere, to bail out failed industries, to government jet rides, to the salary of Major Hussein Nidal (in jail, on trial for killing 13 of his co-workers at Ft. Hood), to cover-ups for Fast & Furious and Benghazi, to hordes of regulators and faceless bureaucrats who spend their time looking for ways to strangle small businesses.

Gone, like constitutional limits on the size and scope of government. Gone for that matter, like treating the Constitution as if it were the law of the land. Gone, like self-respect on the welfare rolls. Gone, like responsibility for the sacred trust loaned to those we elect.

Gone, like the patience of the plundered masses soon will be.

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Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.

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