DROWNING IN DEBT, NOBODY CARES

Posted on September 25, 2017 by

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By: Christian Rogers

Today’s Quote

“You go back to 17th century Spain, 18th century France, 19th century Great Britain, ancient Egypt, ancient Rome — every one of them knew that there was a problem, they did nothing about it and they collapsed…Are we going to face the same thing or are we going to be smart enough to learn from their examples?” – Ben Carson

 

Time Check

September 14, 1812 Napoleon occupies Moscow

September 14, 1939 World’s 1st practical helicopter, the VS-300 designed by Igor Sikorsky takes (tethered) flight in Stratford, Connecticut

September 14, 1956 1st prefrontal lobotomy performed in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

real time

Iss. 63

September 14, 2017

 

Dear Thinkers,

 

It is shamefully irresponsible to ignore and abandon financial obligations. This week, the U.S. debt surpassed an astounding $20 trillion. How did we get here? Well, according to Forbes,

 

“Between 1900 and 2015, the federal government’s budget had a deficit in 89 out of 116 years or 77% of the time.”

 That’s how.

If true, this is not only irresponsible, it is immoral. Running an infinite tab that you purposefully neglect to pay, is the equivalent of theft. Additionally, it is economically unstrategic in the short term. In the long term, such recklessness is unsustainable. Today we shall tackle each aspect of fiscal responsibility and how abandonment of such, will result in unavoidable consequences.

 20 Trillion. So what? 

“Twenty trillion dollars, the national debt, just back it back up to $18 trillion. If you tried to pay that off at a rate of 10 million dollars a day, 365 days a year, it would take over 5,000 years,” (Ben Carson)

 

It is quite facile to throw around the number 20 trillion… sounds big…sounds UUUGE…right? But to put it in perspective (and admittedly, this is hard to do as such a number is in certain aspects beyond our comprehension and relatability) the total amount of money in the world is somewhere around 60 trillion. And when you figure that our unfunded liabilities (meaning the debt that we are obligated to pay in the future, like interest) soar well over 100 trillion, you start to get a sense of the dire circumstances that we face. We Americans have dug ourselves a giant hole, and somehow we have dug so deep that there isn’t enough dirt left to fill it.

Other than a brief news report though, this arrival at 20 trillion—an astronomical number by any estimation—came and went unfelt. Your life did not change and neither did mine. This is why: 

For the past decade, the Federal Government has been pulling the curtain over on us. And standing behind the curtain is no wizard, but an empty pot with an IOU note at the bottom. For example, If you ran out of money for the month, put your rent check on your credit card but your credit card was already maxed out from last month’s rent, so you applied for a new credit card (which in the real world you would be turned away, but the Federal Government has no such dose of reality) then you put the overrun credit from your other card on another credit card… then you went and borrowed your friend’s money, took it to the roulette table, and promised everyone that you were going to win their money back…then you may have replicated just a fraction of the stupidity that our Federal Government is operating upon—at least in regard to it’s finances. The problem with the analogy is that, assuming you had planetary luck, and you won at the casino negating your debt, there would actually be enough money “in house” for you to cash in. My friends, the amount of debt the United States carries though, and is obligated to pay, well, there just isn’t that much money available in the entire world! 

The Topic of Debt is HUSH, HUSH

 The topic of debt takes a patient mind, it deals with abstract economics. It is much easier to run headlines like “The Racism at the Heart of Trump’s DACA decision,” or “Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Voters Bump Trump for Repub Dump”. It is a lot less exciting to talk about the climbing debt, the future crisis that looms, or heck, if we’re going to talk about meters, this one: national debt clock

And since, the the human being has a perpetual flaw when it comes to spending and balancing, it is not all that surprising that a government comprised of 320 million of these humans will have a serious spending defect. That is expected. But what is astonishing, is that our government operates in a state where they pretend the problem itself does not exist. Remember the alcoholic’s first step to recovery?  

Furthermore, any time a politician proposes any sort of budgeting, it is met not with praise, not that he or she took initiative to solve a problem. No, it is instead met with “they want to push grandma off the cliff,” “they hate the poor,” “they hate the sick,” “they’re racist,” and so on…  It’s unbelievable. 

Therefore, no politician in their right mind wants to propose budget cuts. For that matter, that applies to even any sort of budget! The reason is this: if something conflicts with that budget, they will be marked as hateful, selfish and mean. Plus, if wild spending is now en vogue, then why in their right mind would the political elite limit themselves and not take advantage of it? As a politician, this allows you to offer dinner before dessert, pumping out massive stimulus packages, free handouts, vicious building projects and memorials like some kind of pharaoh. Benefits galore, it’s an open bar, everyone order up!  This is like being able to eat bottomless buckets of ice-cream without the fear of getting fat. If you could just pass on your excess calories to the next generation, then what the hell is stopping you from having that extra sundae?! Well, the answer is that it would be highly unethical… In the old days, if we didn’t have enough money, we found out ways to produce more of it—or we just couldn’t buy the particular item. On the contrary, today, if you don’t believe that money simply grows on trees, then you will not be re-elected. 

I know we have used a few analogies to help depict just the harsh absurdity of the situation, however, please allow me to illustrate it outright using the actual scenario in one phrase, and quite ironically, it sounds more like an analogy than the truth: Running national and state debts is a subtle, underhanded, method of billing others (in this case, the forthcoming generations) for our extravagant, excessive, carefree, lifestyle. It is quite literally the epitome of forcing others to work for us! In the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States, it denotes that one of the core purposes for the United States Government is to, “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Not single handedly, fuck the following generation. 

What’s more, the Democrat party, the party that constantly sounds the alarm about the environment and how ‘our children will be left without a clean world,’ or that ‘the future generations will be condemned to dirty air and dirty water,’ all in the name of our current financial success as we stack our wealth carelessly. The Left, who is fast to call this greed, for some reason, does not remain consistent with its own philosophy here. Doing so would conflict with their agenda.

Condemning the rising generation to an unclean environment is sinful, but bankrupting our children and cosigning them to economic slavery is somehow admirable? 

And the worst part is that if you dissent from this main-stream outlook, just enough to question it’s validity… then your reputation is sullied and you get dragged thorough the mud. The Left will silence you, they will call you names, you will lose your job, and YOU WILL FALL IN LINE. 

Plus, the vilification of the person who  ‘gets rich on the backs of others’ is supposedly the heart of the Left’s gospel. It’s the ‘millionaires and the billionaires’ it’s that the ‘deck is stacked’ not to mention, they are the party that claims to represent the poor person who struggles in squalor while others live in excess. 

But what about this?

Every of those thousands of babies born today will come with a debt of $60,000 on their head. This does not go away, this is there. So we have to work within that reality. Almost every society had an opportunity to do this.” – Ben Carson

Is this not the poster-child for ‘the deck being stacked?’ Just being born today means that you are condemned to pay for your forefather’s easy living. What happened to the admiration of those who live within their means? The Left, while claiming to stand for the smallest among us, is trampling the heads of those who are either too young to vote or are not yet born and forcing them to pay for their cushy lives as they live in excess with free healthcare, and innumerable government handouts, infrastructure packages and of course much, much more… it goes unnoticed, but it is pure evil. They are quite literally living for free, on the backs of others. 

This spending epidemic though is widespread. It is by no means a partisan issue.

The Republican Party pretends to care about debt. The Democrats do not care one iota about it. I’ll leave it to you to declare which is worse. But this was illustrated perfectly during the past Republican Presidential Primary debate when Senator Rand Paul was pegged an ‘isolationist’ or that he was somehow ‘anti-military,’ or ‘unpatriotic’,  because he thought that Americans should not focus on building up our military until we balance our budgets. Our military, which is the largest and most powerful force the world yet to witness—and it should be as defending freedom is a daunting task—needs to be constantly updated and strengthened, but we must have MONEY to do so. As a known advocate of a strong military, I implore you, dear thinker, to consider the volatile position we find ourselves in. As of today, we have the world’s most powerful military, funded and made possible by our even more powerful economy. In my opinion, It is the debt that is the primary threat to our great armed services. It is no coincidence that we are able to project force globally in relationship to the size of the institution that funds the making of ships and planes; our free enterprise system. History shows that pouring money into the military works brilliantly… until you run out of money. The Soviet Union allocated around 22% of their GDP to their Defense budget. After Reagan announced that the United States had rolled out our missile defense technology, Star Wars (a bluff, but a well placed one), the Soviet Union ramped spending up to about 27 or 28% of their entire GDP. This spending frenzy accelerated what was already clearly unsustainable. (To give you a feel for the utter monstrosity of such spending, the U.S. spent about 3.5% in 2014). 

Also, these ‘Hawks’ on the Right should look no further than the Roman Empire as an applicable case study. It is widely known that the Roman Empire overextended itself. What is often ignored, is that this great expansion would not have been as much of a problem if they were able to finance it. Their immigration and military problems were both a byproduct of an insurmountable debt. As the IOU’s began to pile in the capital, it became harder and harder to defend the outer reaches of the Empire and enforce law. The vast uptick in spending on military campaigns sank the Empire into a great hole—even after many victories. While victory often brings riches and wealth, this should be a lesson some that a balance is essential. Constant military spending is great, it tends to work (as we noted). But you must ensure that you have the funds before you can commit to unfettered growth. If not, this will result in weakness, which is counterintuitive. Those who happen to bang the drums the loudest in advocation of the military industrial complex, unknowingly contribute to impairing our forces in the long-haul.

National debt is a complex issue. Therefore, neither party will address it, and when it does come up, it is quickly put to rest. HUSH. 

The Debt in Perspective:

So for you politicians out there,

“When you continually overspend, there is only one possible result: greater debt” (Forbes).

No shit.

We are currently spending roughly $7 million per minute, and this reckless habit has gone on for way too long. – Rand Paul

It needs to stop.

Since the “War on Poverty” was declared, we Americans have spent over $22 trillion. Now that we all know what an unfunded liability is, that does not count the unfunded liabilities. The Cato institute estimates that Medicare is responsible for 48 trillion in unfunded liabilities alone. 

Since this War on Poverty began, we now somehow have MORE people in poverty today than when it started! How does that happen? Where did our money go? Was the $22 trillion wasted? 

Well friends, I could spend a whole lot of time breaking down the spending missteps. But when it comes to long-term economic health, it is the contractual-type spending that has wrought the impending crisis that we have not yet felt. * For instance, if you have the stomach flue, that sucks and it should be dealt with. But it is nothing in comparison to the cancer that has been growing for years in your liver. Likewise, we must address the BIG THINGS FIRST. 

All you need to know though are 3 big pieces: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Yes, there are other types of fraud waste and abuse that are outright criminal. Yes, we spent ourselves into near oblivion during the War on Terror (and still are today). Yes, President Obama spent more than any world leader in the history of the world after first chastising Bush for his spending habits making him a giant hypocrite and harming our nation’s monetary security, therefore, amassing trillions of dollars (look how easily we threw the T word around again without stopping to think about how big that number is) in debt and attaching it to the heads of us, our children and grandchildren. Great, but we can survive it. We can survive the Bush debt. We can even dig our way out from the Bush and Obama Spending NIGHTMARE that we have had to endure. But in comparison to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, Bush and Obama’s sins are mere child’s play. These three entitlements rack hoards of debt year after year. They are unsustainable. They threaten America far greater than ISIS, Iran, Russia, N. Korea and China combined. 

***Side note: Yes, there will come a day when the value of the American dollar will be desecrated if we keep our current course (actually that day should have come already, but we just keep kicking the can down the road. And when Daddy comes home he’s gona come with far more fury than he would have, had we just dealt with our financial crises properly years ago).

Unfortunately, this is the status quo. After promising to zero the debt, in 8 years (yes, he promised to slash it to zero) President Trump has shown no signs of even attempting to lead the way to setting a responsible yearly budget . The last time the United States was free of debt was 1835. 

This task of paying down our colossal debt would be incredibly hard if we tried to do so. The fact that we don’t see this as even one of the top 15 issues facing us, surely means that it is nearly impossible. You must take it seriously if you are to do something and it is clear that few of our leaders are. 

We will, of course revisit this topic several times throughout the course of the Trump administration. We will monitor the issue and it would be my pleasure to admit that I was proven wrong. I want America to be strong, as financial well-being does not begin with a pile of debt, but the evisceration of deficits.

Speaking to Congress, Ron Paul once said, 

“I do not understand though, that if the debt is the problem—and I agree, the debt is the problem—that for us to come here and raise the debt by 2.4 trillion dollars is the solution. That just baffles me, I think it’s a distraction. Because when a country gets indebted to the degree that we’re indebted, the country always defaults. This is historic. Especially if the country is a significant country.”

Let us not, out of arrogance, forget the lesson of history. We cannot defy economics, and there will come a day when our deceitful nature comes to light. If you’re lucky, you may be long gone, but history will remember us as an unparalleled villain. Until now, even the worst men took their miseries to the grave with them. This will be the first time where we pass our troubles on…two, three, four, generations down the line. 

 And about that Ron Paul quote—this might give you a laugh. When I found the quote, Someone commented below it: 

Unfortunately Dr. Paul might as well be preaching abstinence at a convention of sex addicts.

Sad but true. Both Bill Clinton and Anthony Wiener (among other things) were frivolous spenders. 

Keep it Real

Christian Rogers

 

The Real Times- a degree in common sense…

~Intellectual Entertainment~

E-mail the author at: christianrogers@realtimesblog.com

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