Do you want to understand the magnitude and imminence of America’s financial calamity?

I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words about it over the years, but an accountant, Hal Mason, has prepared a five-and-a-half-minute YouTube video that does a pretty good job of bringing it all home simply and starkly.

I advise every American to take a few minutes to view it if you want to understand why Washington is plunging off the fiscal cliff, even while the Democratic and Republican establishment talk about averting it.

All one really needs to do is view the 2013 budget from a high level. Don’t worry about the details. Just take a peek from 30,000 feet to see the crisis.

The budget is 3.8 trillion.

Projected revenues are $2.5 trillion.

That leaves a $1.3 trillion deficit.

The deficit will be borrowed – on top of more than $16 trillion in existing debt.

It’s a fait accompli unless Americans awaken to this scam and stop it. We’re no more than weeks away from action by Congress – including the Republican House – to raise the debt limit again to permit this insanity to continue.

Take a look at the projections for spending and borrowing in the years to come. There is no end to it. The budget just keeps on growing, sustained by endless borrowing. In a few years, we’re headed to debt exceeding 26 trillion.

Republicans say they’re against it. And they have the power to stop it. But they keep on raising the debt limit, which simply postpones the day of reckoning and the kind of catastrophe we see in Greece, where the people are burning down banks with citizens inside.

As Mason points out, the projected revenues next year are scarcely enough to pay for what Washington has determined are “mandatory programs” – entitlements that just keep on growing. That means all the money needed for defense, interest on the debt and so-called “discretionary” spending needs to be borrowed.

The debt now exceeds America’s entire gross domestic product.

As Mason asks, “What are we paying these Washington intellects to do?”

The answer does not reside with them. They will never make the hard choices that need to be made unless you demand them.

There is no way to pull yourself out of a deep hole of debt until you stop digging.

That’s common sense. But it’s the kind of common sense that is rejected by the leadership of both parties in Washington.

We’ve got to demand it.

That’s where the “No More Red Ink” campaign comes in.

Just as Washington is drowning us in red ink, we must bury the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in red paper demanding that we freeze borrowing now. And that’s just what this innovative program, designed to empower American citizens to make their voice heard over the din of business-as-usual platitudes in Washington, does – if, of course, you take advantage of it. More than 1 million of those red letters have already descended on House Republicans. It’s going to take at least another 1 million to shake them from their complacency.

Yes, it will be painful.

Yes, it will require dramatic entitlement reform.

Yes, it will prompt angry response from Americans on the dole.

Yes, the press will lambaste Republicans who dare to take such action.

But what is the alternative?

It only gets worse if this inevitable step is delayed for another year or another four years or another decade.

The federal government will not discipline itself unless Americans demand it.

Washington is not inclined to become responsible or force itself to live within its means as long as the borrowing spigot is turned on.

Don’t let House Speaker John Boehner fool you into thinking his hands are tied. Americans elected Republicans to control the House of Representatives because they pledged to stop borrowing and spending. Now’s the time to hold them accountable to their own rhetoric. The House Republicans have all the power to shut off the borrowing madness.

So, don’t despair. Take action. Get involved in the “No More Red Ink” campaign now.

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