Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Secret Cost of the Stimulus Bill

This is from Michael Franc at NRO-

There is a secret program lurking within the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Debt bill. You won’t find it listed in the table of contents, or anywhere else for that matter. Yet it will cost taxpayers an additional $347.1 billion over the next decade.

It starts out at the relatively modest level of $700 million in 2009, but rises inexorably thereafter—to $4.1 billion in 2010, $11.1 billion in 2011, $22.0 billion in 2012, $31.9 billion in 2013, $37.5 billion in 2014, $42.1 billion in 2015, until it reaches $53.6 billion in 2019.

We’re talking about the interest charges that will be required to finance the $825 billion cost of the debt bill. We learned this today in a letter that Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf sent to the senior Republican on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Here is the relevant part:

Under CBO’s current economic assumptions and assuming that none of the direct budgetary effects of H.R. 1 are offset by future legislation, CBO estimates that the government’s interest costs would increase by $0.7 billion in fiscal year 2009 and by a total of $347 billion over the 2009-2019 period.

So when you hear politicians talk about the $825 billion ten-year cost of this legislation, keep in mind that it masks these unavoidable interest costs, bringing the total ten-year cost to at least $1,172,000,000,000.00.

The debt that gives rise to $53.6 billion in interest costs in 2019 alone, moreover, will not magically disappear in 2020 or beyond. Thus, the real cost of the debt bill will grow and compound over the years so long as that debt remains unpaid

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