Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Little Engine That Couldn't

I recently received a link to the video below from a friend.  It clearly explains how it is currently impossible to balance the federal budget.  The consequences from failing to deal with the budget and the debt avalanche cannot be good, maybe catastrophic. 

I'm reminded of the story of the Little Engine that could.  A little engine takes on the task of pulling a long train over a hill.  He struggles, but ultimately succeeds in getting the train to its destination.  However, what if we added additional cars to the train.  At some point the little engine would fail and the train would fail to reach its destination.

The federal government is like a long train.  Over the years we have continued to add additional cars that add to the burden of the federal government (a little engine).  During the Great Depression, FDR added a number of cars (Social Security was the biggest long term program).  But somehow the little engine kept pulling its burden.  In the 1960s LBJ added Medicare and Medicaid.  And again, the little engine continued to struggle up the hill.  Since then, Congress and the President have added additional cars and the little engine is starting to sputter.  The American economy is struggling under the burden of too many cars and not enough engine power.  Since Obama took office he has added trillions more to the debt.  How much longer can the little engine keep going before it finally breaks down.  The engine can only pull so much weight.  We must make severe changes to federal spending  and the role of the federal government or the train will break down.