Bonnie Alba
DEBT dishonors and destroys our nation
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Bonnie Alba
November 19, 2010

George Washington once remarked to James Madison, "No generation has a right to contract debts greater than can be paid off during the course of its own existence." That generation might be considered "austere" by today's out-of-control debt loads, personal and national.

The Deficit Reduction Commission recently released a draft proposal for fixing the mess made by decades of government overspending. Is this just another intellectual armchair exercise with little action?

Congressional leaders are already squabbling. While many are possibly eyeing 2012 elections, President Obama surprises us, "If we are concerned about debt and deficits, then we're going to have to take actions that are difficult and we're going to have to tell the truth to the American people.'' Maybe.

Almost every president and Congress first overspends, then promises to end the deficit and produce a surplus by the time they leave office. With the current National Debt pushing $14 trillion with no end in sight, this strategy will no longer work. Take a look-see: www.usdebtclock.org Watching this debt explosion second by second, we're left with a feeling of mortification and shame. Not to mention: The interest on the Debt, January — November is about $347 Billion.

Don't look for shamed faces in our leaders — they have persuaded themselves there's nothing wrong with debt or overspending. For the most part, our elected leaders believe that the revenues they collect for managing the government are unaccountable and therefore "not to worry" about debt.

Bringing down the deficit is good, isn't it? Of course. But it is only a symptom of the larger problem of the National Debt hanging over our future. The deficit is current annual debt. The National Debt is the accumulation of debt over decades. The fact is that the Debt is never paid off because the feds only make interest payments on it rarely making inroads on the principal.

Example: Say you have a credit card with no cap on borrowing or charging; you never worry about maxing out your account. Hypothetically you could keep charging and borrowing against it your whole life. You pay only the monthly interest and never pay on the actual accumulated debt — you die and pass that debt on to your children and grandchildren. Is this sane?

This is Big Government's accustomed lifestyle — borrow and spend, driving up unpaid debt and passing it along to future generations. It doesn't matter, Elephant or Donkey, they have forsaken sound and sane for wild and foolish. They have forgotten or never learned the history of other nations which, to their detriment, have suffered horrible consequences for such behavior.

After the implementation of Social Security (insurance) and the Great Society "welfare" programs, the extraction of hard-earned income taxes from citizens has ever increased with periodic up-and-down reforms. The congressional borrowing and spending game continues its climb of Mt. Olympus and beyond placing our twenty-first century nation at greater financial risk than ever before in history.

Can you name a time when Congress stuck to any spending cap? Their bookkeeping carries an aroma of "smoke and mirrors" deviousness, hiding the factual spending figures. Witness what they have done for decades with Social Security withholding taxes: They led the people to believe Social Security was a "Trust Fund" with surpluses earning interest for future social security recipients. We now know this was the biggest Ponzi Scheme ever perpetrated on generations of Americans.

The other face: Americans also appropriated the borrowing-spending game on an individual level. Witness the continual climb of America's Personal Debt to heights that would confound "saving" citizens in the first 175 years of our country. Even bankruptcy has become the acceptable route for individuals to seek relief from their fall into borrowing and spending beyond their means.

The one thing I have against this commission proposal is it says nothing about downsizing the government. But tax increases are included such as a 15-cent raise per gallon of gasoline and eliminating mortgage interest deductions.

As former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan stated on NBC's Meet the Press: "But we have to recognize that, longer term, the problem is spending. You can't think about the concept of taxes until you ask, what is it that you're funding? At the moment, we are essentially borrowing more than a third of what we spend, and this is causing a huge increase in the debt, and it's not going to be easily reversed."

Debt is a horrible thing! We must keep telling them ...and ourselves!

© Bonnie Alba

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Bonnie Alba

Bonnie Alba is a "politically incorrect" researcher-writer. Since 1995, her articles have appeared in California newspapers. Previously she served in various Department of Defense positions for over 16 years... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Bonnie Alba: Click here

More by this author