Washington's inability to govern as mature adults threatens the financial stability of our nation at a time when the economy is already in a severely depressed state. Nobody has the luxury of ignoring the looming financial catastrophe.
Washington politicians celebrated minuscule "cuts" in the recent short-term spending appropriations bill on the basis that the proposed FY 2011 $1.58 trillion deficit in the compromise is lower than the $1.65 trillion deficit of the White House budget proposal. But the White House budget was never introduced! So why the inability to slash the budgeting of another $700 billion of TARP money and the over $100 million slated for the doomed Obamacare?
The celebrated one-week extension, H.R. 1363, funds the Department of Defense through the end of the fiscal year and the rest of the federal government for just one week. If the compromise becomes law, the federal government would spend $284 billion more in fiscal year 2011 than in FY 2010! What on Earth is going on in Washington?
Let’s take a look at just the current proposed FY 2011 deficit (forget for a moment the staggering total debt of $14.3 trillion). As things stand, the FY 2011 shortfall of tax revenue against spending will amount to $1.58 trillion. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume a few things to understand how enormous this sum is for an annual deficit (unrealistic as they are):
The FY 2011 deficit is financed interest-free.
Beginning in FY 2012, and continuing thereafter, revenues will exceed spending by $36 billion per year.
These assumptions would provide for a $3 billion “monthly payment” ($100 million per day) against the FY 2011 deficit.
If these two unlikely events unfolded, then the deficit for just FY 2011 would not be paid off until August 21, 2055! [Calculation: $1.58 trillion divided by $36 billion = number of years required to pay down the deficit (converted to a date based on starting at beginning of FY 2012, October 1, 2011)]
Remember, this is just paying off the deficit for FY 2011.
How much of a burden on a typical family of four is this reckless deficit spending?
To get an idea how difficult it would be to pay off the deficit in one year, if the FY 2011 deficit were apportioned equally to every individual, the additional withholding tax required from a family of four would be nearly $1,700 per MONTH (over $20,000 in extra taxes per year)! [Calculation: $1.58 trillion divided by one-quarter of the current population (family of four, per capita tax burden) estimated at 311,000,000 (census bureau estimate of 2011 population).]
It becomes easy to see why politicians don’t have the stomach to raise taxes to where they’d have to be to balance the budget. Instead, they continue to irresponsibly destroy the value of money by allowing the Federal Reserve to inflate the amount of money in circulation by “monetizing the debt” (that is, simply printing more money, thus making the money in your pocket worth less). Monetizing the debt is particularly devastating to the current depressed economy.
Far from being the “richest” nation, the USA is now the most massive debtor in world history. Washington politicians seem oblivious, childishly playing partisan political games to continue “business as usual” spending while failing to address the most compelling threat to the continued existence of our nation.
If the Obama deficits continue for the next 10 years, the national debt that has accumulated over more than several hundred years prior to Obama’s inauguration will more than double!
The arrogance of “business as usual” politics in Washington is the most massive catastrophe this nation has ever faced.
It is high time politicians (and the public) seriously address the question: "What functions of government can only be performed by the federal government"? Everything else must have a rapid, yet orderly devolvement to the states. In many instances (Education, EPA, Health, etc.) states already have redundant departments/programs. What sense does it make to have things that are more properly (and better) handled at the state level residing at the federal level where they are not sanctioned by our Constitution and create an enormous additional tax burden on the nation?
Don’t lose sight of the fact that major newspapers and network television news reports continue to side with the spendthrifts in Washington who refuse to maturely address this crisis. By their inaction and endorsement of reckless spending, news outlets are fanning the flames of the destruction of the US economy and our standard of living. There will be a day of reckoning for these traitors to their profession and the American public's right to have objective, unbiased presentation of news.
What to do about this mess?
Aside from joining the Tea Party movement to impact elections so that strict constitutionalists (those who would actually obey their oath of office) are elected and sent to Washington, we should all get behind a constitutional amendment (a “balanced budget amendment” that requires a super majority in Congress to raise taxes) that will force our federal government to live within our nation’s economic means. Politicians have shown they do not have the maturity to handle this crisis without being forced to live within our means.
Our nation is in real peril of financial collapse -- a collapse that could be avoided if we slam the door on more spending and demand a balanced budget amendment.
Part of this strategy is to prevent any increase in the debt ceiling. To allow the debt ceiling to increase is to invite certain financial collapse.
Nobody can afford the luxury of ignoring this crisis because this crisis certainly will not ignore any of us.
Bob Webster, a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.