This is by the fairly conservative Ernest Hollings, former Democratic Senator of South Carolina. http://www.charleston.net/stories/?newsID=84520§ion=commentary First, Washington hasn't paid a bill in five years. Inheriting a budget "with surpluses as far as the eye can see," the president and Congress have been spending. In five years they have added $2.5 trillion to the national debt. Beginning in 1789, we paid for all the costs of wars and government before this nation reached a trillion dollar debt in 1982. The $300 billion Iraq war didn't cost $2.5 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office now projects that interest costs on the national debt next year will exceed $1 billion a day ? $399 billion. Spending $1 billion a day for nothing. We have just paid personal income taxes to the government ? amounting last year to $927 billion. This means that with interest rates rising the government will spend almost half of its personal income tax take for nothing. To keep the government going we have to borrow about $2 billion a day. How have we gotten by with this scandalous conduct? The answer is by China and Japan financing our deficits. Japan now directly holds $673 billion of our Treasuries and China $265 billion. China could stop financing our deficits and we would be in trouble. To observe a good economy, everyone cites that the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew last year by 3.6 percent and today's unemployment is low at 4.7 percent. No influence in finance is more corrosive or less recognized than the systematic distortion of U.S. economic reality by government agencies. The government's greatest deception is quoting a deficit less than it is. For example, rather than subtracting spending from revenues, the government credits Social Security surpluses to Social Security and then spends the surplus, reporting a less than actual deficit. I authored the law forbidding the president and Congress from citing a deficit figure that includes Social Security money. Ignoring the law, President Bush states on page 4 of the U.S. Government Budget for FY 2007: "We now project that the 2006 deficit will come in at 3.2 percent of GDP, or $423 billion ?" But turn to page 334 of the same budget where it shows the gross federal debt from FY 2005 to FY 2006 increasing $706 billion ? a deficit of $706 billion instead of $423 billion.