What is the Real Debt Number?

August/10/2011 16:57PM
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For years Washington has stolen from every budget they can get their sleazy little hands on. They stole trillions from our social security deposits and gave us IOU’s to be paid by the US Treasury.

The Wall Street Journal just wrote about another little honey pot that grimy little hands from Washington have looted.

Nuclear utilities have been paying into a “polluter pays” pot for generating nuclear waste. It’s 1/10 of a cent per kilowatt hour. Recently, that’s a cool $750 million a year. Since the law went into effect the balance is $25 billion. A tidy little chunk of cash we can use to find a place to store the waste or pay down our debt. Surely you don’t really believe that?

A 1985 act, the Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, let Congress treat those fees as taxes. Or, in other words, the infamous DOE, Department of Energy just handed the money over to Congress to spend. But, Congress promised the nuclear utilities that they would haul that waste away for those fees. Utilities are now suing the DOE to recover their storage costs. Those suits may add up to $16.2 billion. Meanwhile, billions were spent on the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada to begin hauling away these piles of spent fuel with a destination. But, Harry Reid killed Yucca Mountain.

Doesn’t this just sum up how Washington works or doesn’t work? Is it no wonder that a recent Rasmussen poll shows only 16% of Americans feel their elected officials represent them.

The government has a problem with spent nuclear waste. They have to be responsible for taking care of this safely for obvious reasons. They bill utilities $25 billion over the years to handle this problem. They spent that money. Now, the utilities are going to sue to collect $16 billion back for charging them and doing nothing. Just letting the stuff pile up at the nuclear plants. And, the government puts together a plan, finally, to solve the problem. They spend billions on that plan. But, one Senator, a senator who makes no sense to me at any time, decides to kill the plan.

Meanwhile the waste piles up, the money is gone, the money must be paid back putting another $16 billion hole in the budget. And, there is no plan.

Nice work Washington.

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