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By Dave Leach
Federal debt: $16.394 trillion.
Our budget deficit (how much we added this year): $1.089 trillion.
It has not been explained to America’s satisfaction how that much can be cut, in order to stop the borrowing. We’ve gone way beyond where just cutting waste can balance the budget.
But cutting eight zeros and making this a household budget can at least make our problem, its cause and our only solution clear.
Uncle Sam made $24,490 in 2012.
Trouble is, he spent $35,380. That put him $10,890 deeper in debt.
His total debt: $164,000.
His interest: $3,590 – over half the $6,510 he had to pay for home defense. (He lives in a really bad neighborhood.) (Source: Treasury Department.)
People say Uncle Sam’s only problem is waste, but he himself lives on only $4,280 a year, besides the $6,510 for home defense. The rest of his bill, $20,960, is for Grandma, Grandpa and disabled Daisy. That, plus interest, adds up to $60 more than Uncle Sam’s income, forcing him to put his entire personal budget and his home defense costs, plus $60, on credit cards.
Sam’s friends tell him all he has to do is steal more from “the rich” – Sam’s income is from stealing from everyone on his block, and there is one “rich” guy who still had some left after Sam’s last heist. But Sam’s expenses were 23 percent of ATM (All They Made) of the whole block. So Sam’s other friends are warning him that if he steals so much that his neighbors can’t stay in business, they will run out of things for Sam to steal. Worse, they might move.
Sam could stop his home defense and hope his enemies decide to beat their guns into flower pots. He could put disabled Daisy on the street. He can’t put Grandma and Grandpa on the street, because they own the house and can vote to put Sam on the street.
Sam’s wife tells him to lay off the gardener and save $1,400, junior’s tutor and save $570, the maid and save $130, and charity and save $200 (Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, foreign aid). Although that would be a start, it wouldn’t touch the $10,890 deficit.
Uncle Sam’s fundamental problem is the declining population of his block. Over the past 40 years, Sam has shot 60 block babies, so now there just isn’t enough wealth for him to steal. If somehow he could replace 40 of those he killed, who would now be old enough to be making lots of money, he could balance his budget. That is, if he would also make those minor cuts his wife wants. Otherwise he would need 50 new wage earners he could steal from.
Some think he can just cut half his deficit, and incomes on the block will naturally rise enough to make up the difference, so that in 10 years Sam will be able to stop borrowing. That “solution” assumes banks will keep loaning to him until then, there won’t be another war, the wind won’t blow his roof off again, and Sam won’t dig any deeper in the cookie jar for 10 years.
There is a real way to replace those workers, but Sam dreads it.
It turns out there are actually 40 workers who want to move to Sam’s block where he can steal from them! But Sam’s buddy Steve says they would just take jobs from block workers. Besides, they talk funny.
A few economists say Steve is wrong. They offer evidence that immigrants are as economically beneficial as babies. If they are right, then letting immigrants come really is the only solution to the biggest problem on Sam’s mind. It is the only way Uncle Sam can have “No More Red Ink” and No More Tears, both.
But being human, the one thing harder for Sam than having a big problem on his mind is dealing with a bunch of evidence that might change it.
And besides, immigrants talk funny.
Some try to torpedo productive discussion by bringing up what God has to say about the decision, but of course, everyone knows He is irrelevant.
Sam’s wife has her scissors out and is on her way to the credit cards. She is threatening to cut them if Sam doesn’t give up the gardener, the maid, the tutor and charity. But Sam doesn’t take the threat seriously because he knows it’s just a bluff. She doesn’t dare actually cut the cards because she believes the household won’t survive a month without more borrowing; with more borrowing, they might at least make it another year or two.
Her threat would mean something if Sam thought she had a strategy for surviving without the cards. But the only possible strategy – those 40 would-be immigrants – aren’t part of her thinking because of what Steve said.
CIS Research Director Steven Camarota is relied on by immigration restrictionists, from talk-show hosts to congressmen. He told me his evidence that immigrants take most job growth does “not prove that immigrants are displacing natives. But it … should be discussed. …”
Indeed, maybe Uncle Sam’s situation has become serious enough to merit looking more deeply into this dispute – whether or not massive additional legal immigration would heal, or cripple, our economy.
Dave Leach writes for CafeConLecheRepublicans.com and Iowa Latino newspapers, publishes Prayer&Action News, hosts “Uncle Ed. Show.” Conservative. Pro-life activist. Statehouse candidate. Quotes God a lot.