Madeline Crabb
America's debt debate--if not now, when? Part One
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By Madeline Crabb
October 11, 2013

The Federal Government is officially shutdown, or rather, slowed-down. Drudge reports 83 percent of the government is still at work. As discussed in my last column, this is a good thing in that it gives Congress time to slow-down and reassess our situation. Are they doing it? Facing another showdown over raising the nation's debt ceiling, the battle is heating up. But once and for all, isn't it time we seriously, seriously discuss the problem instead of simply raising the limit once again? We can't just keep kicking the ball down the road.

It seems some members of the House are listening to the pleas of We the People. But as we have repeatedly seen in the past, GOP leadership has not shown enough intestinal fortitude when up against vicious attacks from Democrats. And today's battle has gotten brutal. Mr. Obama had a press conference on Tuesday to tell us that if congress didn't raise the debt ceiling, America would default on its debt, and that Social Security checks wouldn't be sent. Lies...but to today's amazingly uninformed, under-informed, and uneducated masses, it sounds true.

While we have already talked a little on this, some more information might be helpful in explaining it to our friends and loved ones. Mark Levin did most of his show about this subject on Tuesday night. As many of you probably know, he is an expert on the U.S. Constitution. He explained that the Federal Government must pay its debt and Social Security (pensions) as stated in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. He also said our government receives $220 billion monthly in revenue that is adequate to pay the debt. In other words, any talk of default is ludicrous. With Social Security, Levin explained, "Checks will be paid to 2038 unless he (Obama) takes illegal steps to stop them."

So again, either Obama is really stupid, or is intentionally inflaming citizens. Because of some of his behavior since the so-called shutdown, it is probably the latter. Again, this administration likes to point the finger of blame at everybody but himself. Unfortunately, he is responsible for much of the mess we are facing at this moment. He's the one who has increased our debt $6.3 trillion in just five years, and has already needed the debt ceiling raised three times during his presidency. The debt ceiling indicates the limit of the amount of money we can borrow. Our debt and spending grew, if we are reaching the limit on our ability to borrow.

Studying the U. S. Debt Clock (www.usdebtclock.org) should shake us down to our bones. Our total debt is almost $17 trillion. With unfunded liabilities, it totals over $126 trillion. During his presidential campaign, when talking about unfunded liabilities, Mitt Romney said that this means promises made by the Federal Government where there is no money to pay them. Think entitlements. The Heritage Network (heritage.org) reports that over 70 percent of the federal budget goes to individual assistance programs.

Because of our corporate debt, the Debt clock shows that each American taxpayer's share is over $1 million. This is debt that continues to grow, and truly will keep our kids and grandkids in servitude to the government for their entire lives. As mentioned in the last column, elected officials from both parties are guilty of incurring, and driving up, unthinkable debt. It's almost as if they say to themselves that once they are out of office, this becomes someone else's problem. Indeed, it does become someone else's problem. It is shameful how much pork our legislators load into bills just to make themselves look good to those whose votes they seek. And of course, voters understand they can get freebies by threatening to withhold their votes. Don't kid yourself – this is exactly what has gone on for ages. It's called the people voting themselves "bread and circuses." About this process that is destroying America, Author Robert Heinlein said: "Bread and circuses is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader – the barbarians enter Rome." And as we know, the great Roman Empire was thus destroyed.

The U.S. Debt Clock gives us "real time" figures regarding our financial picture. (It gets very depressing if you study it too long.) U.S. population is almost 317 million. The number of actual taxpayers is about 114.5 million. Those employed is about 21 million, while the unemployed total almost 12 million. According to these figures, only about 35 percent of Americans pay taxes. Even if you aren't great at mathematics, it's pretty easy to understand that this isn't enough people to "carry the load." And only 21 million workers in such a population isn't very promising either. With so many government handouts, growing numbers realize it is more advantageous to them to not work. Hey – two years of unemployment...Who wouldn't be tempted to simply take the payments and not look for a job?

Further, Heritage figures from 2012 say that one in five Americans, over 67 million, are on some form of government assistance. And that figure doesn't take into account illegal aliens, a figure anywhere from 11 to 20 million. This number has likely grown, considering added layoffs caused by Obamacare on American businesses. As we have heard, read, or experienced, the ACA forces employers to provide insurance for their employees, so many of them are either laying-off workers, or reducing them from full-time to part-time status, thus, reducing and weakening the revenues from workers. And it will only get worse. There is always a ripple effect into other areas of society.

As Americans lose jobs or have their hours forcibly reduced so that the President can assume the job of providing "health care for everyone," how will the nation's bills continue being paid? In our own homes, it is pretty clear that less money in our paycheck means less money to spend. Either we are wise and live within our "means," or we use credit to get things now, instead of waiting until we have the money to buy them. Unfortunately, I am among the many that have lived through both situations. Seriously, accruing debt is easy; paying it off is hard. Our government is NOT living within its means. There is no money tree from which it can pluck dollars. Oh, almost forgot about its ability to print money, which is like having a money tree. And then they borrow, which is like us running up debt on our credit cards. And we come again to the crux of the problem: the need to raise the debt ceiling.

We simply can't raise the debt ceiling in our homes and businesses. And we should NOT raise it for our government. Again, when speaking about our debt crisis (and it is a crisis), Mark Levin said that the $220 billion the government takes in monthly is enough to pay 75% of our deficit, and that spending needs cut by 25 percent. Done. Problem solved. It's called, living within our means.

Yes, we know Nancy Pelosi says the "cupboard is bare," that there is absolutely nowhere spending can be cut. Yeah, right. Well how about towel service to the congressional gym. (Yes, I know it is a miniscule area, but stick with me.) Democratic Congressman Bruce Bailey actually complained that due to the government shutdown, there was no towel service for their gym. First of all, Congress has a gym. I don't have a gym and have to pay to go to one. So who do you think pays for the congressional perk – their gym? That's right, you do. I am sure they have the very best of equipment because OPM (other peoples' money) paid for it. But having the gym isn't enough – they must have a towel service as well. How about them carrying their own towels? Folks, congressmen make lots more money than the majority of Americans, and they also have tremendous perks. In fact, the perks must be very, very good since they won't divulge the extent of them.

In our households, if we are making less money, again, we have less to spend. Therefore, we have to examine our expenditures and cut some. Obviously, we can't cut certain things like heat, electricity, and water. And contrary to what Queen Michelle thinks, none of these are free, including water. Because of government involvement in all sectors of society, through taxes, we pay even more for these basic services So, why doesn't our government have to make similar choices?

Don't we truly need to insist that our government "live within its means?" Don't we need to "tear up their credit card" and tell them to seriously alter their spending? There is a terrific video that we can share with others who don't understand the problem we face. I feel that if every reasonably sane individual saw this short video, the congressional phones would be ringing off the hooks. The video is: Debt Limit – A Guide to Federal Debt Made Simple. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Li0no7O9zmE)

If we don't stop Congress, they will enable our president to take us into the ever-deepening hole of debt we will never be able to dig ourselves out of. For once, isn't it time for all of us to consider the consequences of our actions? There are consequences, after all – some immediate, some that affect our offspring. There must be a debate about debt in our homes, and in our government. If not now, then when? To anyone willing to hear....

© Madeline Crabb

 

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Madeline Crabb

Madeline Crabb is a Christian, a Constitutional Conservative, and a patriot. Holding a degree in journalism and public relations, and training from the Leadership Institute, she has been a columnist since 2000, and has written for various Christian newspapers around the country. As a “watchwoman” on the wall (Is.62:67), Madeline calls all citizens to awaken, arise, and act in restoring one nation under God.

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