Many thought that when federal government agencies saw all the furor that arose when people heard about their frivolous spending a few years ago, those mindless days of squandering $36 on a hammer or $640 for a toilet seat were over.

Apparently, not all the memos got through. The government is so bloated that the days of paying crazy money for things with our tax dollars appear alive and well in Washington. A new report this week reported that serving goodies at Justice Department events can do wonders for the economy – especially if you're in the catering business. But now more than ever, spending $16 for a muffin, $10 for a brownie or $8 for a cup of coffee is getting harder to swallow for budget-conscious Americans, especially after seeing the long unemployment lines, the escalating consumer prices and presidential economists who seem to have no clue.

The fact that the federal government is too bloated is something many of us have long believed. A new Gallup poll shows that the problem, however, is worse than anyone imagined.

To their credit, lawmakers have been trying to reign in the federal spending. As part of this year's budget deal, a supercommittee of 12 members of Congress is now looking for additional areas to cut, in order to avoid automatic cuts in defense and entitlement programs.

As federal revenues have been sliced back, state and local governments have been forced to make cuts in order to balance their own budgets. But while the federal government continues to cut and trim, a majority of Americans have a hard time believing their sincerity.

In 1986, citizens believed the federal government was wasting 38 cents on every dollar it spent. Just two years ago, Americans believed that more than half of federal spending (51 percent) was being wasted.

The poll proves that Americans have greater trust in state and local governments than with Washington. Those polled believed that their state wasted an estimate at 42 cents on the dollar and on the local level, it was down to 38 cents.

This administration has delivered Obamacare, a failed stimulus, stagnant unemployment and a national debt that is spiralling into the stratosphere. Many of us have no idea how large $14.7 trillion is ... the size of our national debt.

Breaking it down to smaller numbers is much easier to compute. The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.93 billion per day since September 28, 2007.

As of yesterday, each American citizen's share of the debt was $47,269.97.

Obama's economic advisors can toast that figure by having one of those $16 muffins which our tax dollars paid for.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com [1]