To the editor:
The cost of running the federal government has grown enormously in just the last 36 years. Government economists claim government spending ranges between 17 and 23 percent of gross domestic product, but is that the true cost?
Martin Weiss of the Safe Money Report figures that the $500 billion budget deficit, the borrowings from the Social Security Trust Fund, the war in Iraq, planned tax cuts, prescription drug coverage and the money needed to bail out the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation add up to a total deficit for 2004 of over $1 trillion. That's just the deficits. Add in the regular budget of $2 trillion, and suddenly we are looking at government spending of about 30 percent of GDP.
But there also is the cost of inflation. Government has been printing money faster than the growth of GDP. This inflation benefits those at the top of the ladder at the expense of those at the bottom.
Republicans know that the cost of government comes at the expense of enterprise and jobs. And they also know that taxes are only part of the expense that government puts on this nation's economic output.
If you add up all the figures, the cost of government may well exceed the estimated 30 percent of GDP. It is like a leech draining the blood of its victim. In this case there is an exceptionally large and growing leech sucking the economic blood out of this nation.
Marble Hill, Mo.