Where Do Deficits Come From?
Congress has about as much self-control as Animal House's Bluto in the dining hall line. It just can't keep from stuffing its face with plates of Jello and pastries—in the form of new and bigger spending programs.
To add up the meal tab, the Heritage Foundation compiled a list of proposed new programs designed to buy votes at minimal immediate cost. Note that these are all new programs, each of which will develop powerful constituencies once inaugurated, leading to even higher spending as time goes by. The list doesn't include all the "free" programs many politicians want to make employers fund—mandatory health insurance, parental leave, various child care schemes, and so on.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Where Do Deficits Come From?".