Whoo boy, gloom and doom, but too damn true!
And if pigs could fly
Continued"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury." -- Unknown
Deficit spending has been a contentious issue in American politics since we first became a country and started having ferocious arguments about how quickly to pay back our Revolutionary War debt. However, we've come a long way from those days and the times soon after when Jefferson had fierce arguments with Congress over whether the U.S. should expand its 4 ship Navy to force the Barbary pirates to leave American shipping be.
Today, we have a 10 trillion -- that's trillion with a "T" -- dollar debt. That's almost $34,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country. In other words, the next baby born in this country after you read this column will start his life almost $34,000 in debt -- and that's not even the real number. If the government were forced to adhere to the same standards we use for businesses and unfunded liabilities were included (Hello, Medicare and Social Security), the price tag becomes much more daunting,
"Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined."
That's why there's a certain unreality to the political discussions we have in this country. Those of us who are conservatives and Libertarians rail against government spending, liberals bizarrely say we need government to get even bigger -- and then both parties, after assuring us that they're going to reduce the deficit, go to Washington and promptly agree to spend even more of our money.
The politicians in D.C. hand out hundred million dollar earmarks like Trick or Treat candy even as they glibly promise to "invest" billions more and scold anyone who might be so "mean" as to want to cut whatever the latest non-functional, but pleasant-sounding government program happens to be. However, there is a big problem with that sort of thinking: at some point, no matter what kind of happy talk our politicians give us, the bill is going to eventually come due for all the goodies they're using to buy votes -- and they know it.
There was a time in this country when our leaders had the same philosophy as Tom Paine, who said, "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." Today, Washington's philosophy seems to be much more akin to, "Let's get while the gettin' is good and to hell with the sort of country our children grow up in."
Month after month, year after year, the future of America's children is being mortgaged to pay off interest groups and buy votes, often with an excuse of "It's for the children" being offered as the reason to spend more money. If politicians really were interested in "helping the children," the most important thing they could do would be to stop putting our progeny deeper in debt to the Chinese.
That has been true for years, but it's doubly true now: after the Chinese just bent Uncle Sam over a barrel and forced us to push through an ineffective and unpopular $700 billion bailout plan.
What just happened should be particularly frightening to Americans who truly understand how Reagan broke the Soviet Union. It wasn't through a military invasion; it was through economic "warfare." He put the Soviets in a position where they couldn't keep up with the United States militarily and feed their people. Well, guess what? Even though our economy is richer and more productive than anything the Soviets could have ever dreamed of, our refusal to live within our means is slowly but surely putting us into the same position the Soviets were in.
So, what now?