With the election over and, 2022 grinding to an end, the national debt clock quickly passes $30 trillion. As I watched this happen a John Adams quote comes to mind. He said: “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” Could this “1826” quote take place before our very eyes and we’re too blind to see it? Ben Franklin answered over 200 years ago when he said: “He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.” So, did the election change anything?
What does $30 plus trillion in debt really mean? Do the citizens of America, be they Liberal, Conservative or Moderate understand? Do we somehow think the government can create wealth out of thin-air? As we sit in our three bedroom, two bath home, eating, drinking and merrying, most could care less. Give a voter a welfare check, a free cell phone, cash for their clunker, food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid, 99 weeks of unemployment, free medicine, and they will vote for you the rest of their life---“even after they’re deceased.” Surely our government will fix the problem! After all they’re people of honor;---“aren’t they?” How do we account for the debt crisis in other countries if national debt doesn’t matter? Can this problem be fixed or have we gone too far? What kind of world will we leave generations to follow if they must pay back this debt?
As I ponder these questions I wonder what I would do if I were in debt more than I could pay. Would I continue to run-up the amount and leave it to my kids to pay? Would I rob my neighbor? Would I get a printing press and counterfeit money? All this would put me in direct competition with the government and, a new home behind bars. So how will these tyrants solve the problem?
For starters they have no problem pushing the debt down the road and onto the backs of our children. They have no problem printing fiat money and last they have no qualms about robbing taxpayers.
The easiest and least intrusive of the three is to just start the presses and print more money. The presses are running wide open as I write this letter and like Hitler’s Germany, and all other countries that used this method, we can expect the same result.
Pushing the can down the road by borrowing from China or any other country willing to lend puts the burden on our children. At what point will our children be speaking Chinese or Arabic, our daughters wearing Burkas and our Constitution replaced by Sharia law or the UN?
That brings us to the third solution, robbing the taxpayer. Winston Churchill summed it up best when he said: “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
Like most Americans I’m not opposed to supporting my country. I served in the military during the Vietnam conflict. I would pay my last dime to save my country. So why are so many so upset about paying taxes today?
As I write this letter the streets of the middle-east are ablaze with radicals burning the American flag while congress decides how much foreign aid money to send them. The FBI has become the KGB. The IRS is getting 87000 new gun toting agents “to help us fill out our taxes”…When I think of all the ways this bunch of thugs steal and waste my hard earned life I could fill the pages of this newspaper.
Yes, I would gladly send my money to help my country but not to fund a bunch of America haters. Is it any wonder Mark Twain said: “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” The real idiots are the folks who keep sending this vermin back for more. And to think we pay these Cretin’s $3,400 per week for the rest of their lives. It’s hard to believe but there are apparatchik lemmings who look forward to jumping out of bed to head-out to work to pay this ineptocracy government. Did the election change anything? No, it just re-arranged the deck chairs on the Titanic.
There’s only one solution to our countries problem: “You cannot get the water to clear up until you get the pigs out of the creek.”
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Mr. Huber’s letter was both incredibly thoughtful and, at the same time, equally humorous. Two characteristics that are seldom wedded together, though perhaps they should be.
Mr. Huber’s letter deserves to be framed and conspicuously posted in the waiting rooms of our senators' and representatives’ offices in Washington as a constant reminder to all, including themselves, about the pathway our country has embarked upon.
David R. Evans
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Mr. Huber's letter is definitively a topic that should concern all Americans.
However, I expect the Right will not focus their attention on Mr. Huber's primary issue of the tremendous national debt resulting from the actions of all national parties throughout the history of our country. Instead, they will solely blame President Biden and the Democrats for all accumulated national debt, despite Reagan's, W's, and Trump's ineffective tax cuts and their budget deficits. (Yes, there was a budget deficit under the Obama Administration, but no tax cuts.)
I expect the Right will also incorrectly utilize several points of Mr. Huber's letter to unfairly and wrongly criticize President Biden and Democrats.
1. There is an implication by Mr. Huber that the debt must be primarily attributed to "a welfare check, a free cell phone, cash for their clunker, food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid, 99 weeks of unemployment, and free medicine".
But will the Right recognize that only Medicaid (and health/free medicine) is the significant driver of these categories at 15 percent of the current national budget? Will they recognize that the defense budget is 12 percent, claiming it is an untouchable item, despite there being waste there too?
I am not ignoring that 26 percent of the budget goes to health and human services, and there likely is much waste. But to blame HHS solely for the national debt and not the remaining 74 percent appears prejudicial toward the poor and minorities. (All from Fiscal Data at Treasury.gov)
2. "The streets of the middle-east are ablaze with radicals burning the American flag."
The CarnegieEndowment.com has tracked global protests since February, 2017. I did not find a single protest solely directed at the U.S. for political reasons. There may be some but not to the extent Mr. Huber alleges. This too is unfairly prejudicial to presumably Islamic countries, and likely to be seized by the Right as fodder to unfairly blame President Biden's foreign relations policies.
If someone wants to point out a current protext against the U.S. for political reasons, provide sources; don't just post generalities.
3. "The FBI has become the KGB."
Wrong, and clearly directed to the MAGA minority. The litigation record so far is DOJ/FBI 100 percent and Trump 0 percent. So why the KGB comparison except to arouse the Trumpers? This is the wackery of Marjorie Taylor Greene and her Trumpist radical ilk.
4. "The IRS is getting 87,000 new gun toting agents to help us fill out our taxes."
While no one likes the IRS, wouldn't it be ludicrous to have an armed agent come to your house to "help you fill out out taxes"?
But these are not "gun toting agents". They are auditors; the bulk of new audit activities will be directed at high-net-worth individuals, large corporations and complex partnerships (CNBC.com, 8/31/2022 article by Ryan Ermey). Calling them "thugs" shows ignorance, and appears to be directed again to stoke the anger of the MAGA radical minority.
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As it stands now, according to the US debt clock (https://www.usdebtclock.org) the US national debt amounts to $31.4 trillion. To put that into perspective, that equates to $248,582 per taxpayer. That’s essentially a mortgage. On a per citizen basis it’s $94,200 per citizen, meaning every last man, woman, and child owes $94,200. In kindergarten? You owe. 95 years old? You still owe. That’s every single breathing human being in the US.
And I say you (and I) owe because how ultimately does that debt get paid back? It’s you and me. You can say “corporations” but last time I checked, most of us receive our income from working for corporations. It’s a tautology to note that increased corporate taxes are highly correlated to higher unemployment rates. Every additional dollar paid in taxes will be cut somewhere else, and salaries plus benefits are the bulk of most corporate expense.
Tax the rich? Okay, but there goes the vast majority of your investment capital so look forward to zero growth for a decade or so a la Japan’s “lost decade” that is actually approaching 30 years and counting. And as it stands now, the top 10 percent already pays over 70 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent pays only 3 percent of all income taxes. Should we tax the lower half of earners more? Of course not.
So where are we then?
In 2008 when the economy was in peril, the federal reserve was able to drop interest rates to pour liquidity into the financial system before it locked up, but with inflation still at generational highs, that lever is no longer available to us. Fiscal policy will also likely not be an option either - at some point global appetite for American debt will hit its limit and we are already seeing signs of that limit approaching. The federal reserve is shrinking its balance sheet so there goes one of the biggest buyers of American debt.
We have been fiscally and monetarily profligate for far too long and now it’s time to pay the piper. Austerity is coming and I fear that our lack of national unity is going to prevent us from finding a solution before it’s too late.
Some other related financial facts:
Personal debt per citizen (includes credit card debt): $72,000
Average state debt per person: $3,700
Average local debt per person: $6,900
US money supply in the year 2000: $4.9 trillion
US money supply now: $21.4 trillion (and we were surprised when inflation hit 8 percent)