As both political parties wrangle over economic stimulus packages and appoint czars
with unprecedented powers, the federal budget eficit is ballooning above $1 trillion. The
federal government’s annual spending before he creation of the $700 billion Troubled Assets elief Program (TARP) already topped $3 trillion. Since the bulk of that goes to “nondiscretionary” ntitlement, health, and defense budget commitments, the budget was already argely uncontrollable—even before the economic crisis deepened.