Our country is in big trouble. In June, the federal deficit, the amount of our annual overspending, topped the $1 trillion mark for the second straight year. We are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and, at the urging of the Obama administration, Congress continues to spend, spend, spend.
When Obama took over, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. Now it’s over $13 trillion. By the end of next year it will be closer to $16 trillion.
We have reached the danger zone, and, while most Americans are concerned, they cannot begin to understand the depth of the hole we have dug for ourselves.
Most of us hear a number like $16 trillion and it doesn’t register. The 16 part we can get. Sixteen is a relatively small number. “Sweet Sixteen” marks the end of the age of innocence. It’s the age, in most states, where you can get a beginner’s driver’s license. At 16, you can legally drop out of school and get an adult job. But, you still can’t drink, vote or join the military. In other words, you’re still technically a kid.
It’s the trillion part that is way beyond comprehension. Most people can’t even begin to write out that number. A trillion is a one with 12 zeroes after it. A trillion is a thousand billion or a million million. Does that help? I didn’t think so.
I asked the folks at the National Taxpayers Union Foundation to help me put it in perspective for you, and here’s what they came up with:
- If you had a stack of a trillion pennies and glued them all together, it would circle the earth about 4,000 times.
- If you spent a dollar every second of every day, it would take 31,600 years to spend a trillion dollars.
- If you paved a four-lane, 50-foot-wide highway with $1 bills, it would be 380,000 miles long.
- It would take a workforce of 440,000, earning the current average wage, a lifetime of 50 years to earn.
It took our country 205 years, until 1981, for our national debt to reach $1 trillion. It was $10.5 trillion at the end of the administration of George W. Bush. We are now burning through trillions as if it were pocket change.
What does that mean for us? What does that mean for our children?
For many years, the Office of Management and Budget was required to give an estimate of the level of taxation a child born each year could expect when he or she entered the workforce in order to sustain the present level of government. President Clinton abandoned the requirement when it reached 85 percent, because it was just too scary.
Those children born during the Clinton administration are now between the ages of 10 and 17. When Clinton left office, the national debt was $5.7 trillion. Looking back, we could refer to those years as the good old days.
The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the federal debt could reach 87 percent of America’s gross domestic product by 2020 and surpass 100 percent of GDP by 2025.
That’s the point of no return.
Obama’s policies are backwards. The stimulus money is a giant slush fund, much of which was used for liberal programs that would not have passed if subjected to the normal budget process. The current fight is over whether to use some of the money that is still in that slush fund to extend unemployment benefits or run up the nation’s debt even further. Please!
You cannot dig your way out of a recession by increasing the size of government. Government is a drain, not a stimulus, on the economy. We now know that most of the jobs that have been created were government jobs.
Want to stimulate the economy? Give us two years to make investments free of the onerous capital-gains tax and watch stocks and real estate go through the roof. The best part of all, the government doesn’t have to spend one dime. Furthermore, those investments would not be cashed in at one time. Therefore, this would not be a big drain on tax revenue which, in this economy, is dismal.
Bottom line: we can’t afford lawmakers who can’t balance the budget!
The National Taxpayers Union issues a report card on Congress each and every year. In the report that came out in February, of the 535 members, only 55 were deemed to be “taxpayers’ friends.” The rest need to be dumped! These are tough times, requiring tough action starting with you.
Remember, when we lose the ability to control a fair portion of what we earn, freedom is just an illusion.