Just to make sure we all understand exactly where America stands:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.
Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.
And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.
Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities.”
–Senator Barack Obama, Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt, March 16, 2006.
The quote from then-Senator Obama serves to illustrate the height of his hypocrisy. Now, a few short years later, Obama demands that the debt ceiling be raised from $16T to $20T, without any discussion or requirement on cutting spending. His claim that this demonstrates a lack of leadership is nowhere to be found. His observation that the “reckless spending” is out of control no longer applies. Obama has said repeatedly, “We don’t have a spending problem.” That is exactly the kind of thing you hear from an alcoholic who refuses to see the consequences of his drunkenness, “I don’t have a drinking problem, I can quit anytime I want.”
Obama claims that raising the debt ceiling does not increase the amount of money that can be spent, but instead ensures that “our bills are paid and our obligations are met.” But in reality, raising the debt ceiling is directly increasing the amount of money that can be spent, because it is being raised in order to pay for things that were done previously. It is the functional equivalent of having a teenager who tells their parent every few months, “I’m not asking for a raise in my allowance, I’m just saying it would be irresponsible of you not to pay for my maxed-out credit cards.”
Even worse, given the irresponsible things that Democrats have done with the taxpayer’s money (see the $831 billion Stimulus that wasn’t shovel-ready, the $535 million boondoggle known as Solyndra, and the $700 billion cut to Medicare), what liberals are asking America to do is the equivalent of that same teenager presenting a maxed-out, overdrawn and past-due credit card bill to his parents, telling them that it would be really irresponsible not to pay the card he used to pay drug dealers from whom he purchased 20 kilos of cocaine, because otherwise, he won’t be able to use the card to pay some sex traffickers for a shipment of third-world prostitutes.
Throughout American history, our principled and conscientious leaders have warned the people to resist and oppose the accumulation of debt. It is up to the Republicans in Congress to bring this madness to an end. They must stop Obama and the Democrats from burdening future generations with extortionary, exorbitant debt that will enslave them to a life of indentured servitude. Instead, cut spending dramatically, enact a balanced budget amendment, make entitlement programs solvent by block granting most of the funding and responsibilities to the states, enact a flat-tax plan and let the free market work as it was intended to, allowing the people to grow the nation’s economy by adhering to the principles of the free market. We would do well to heed the warning from Thomas Jefferson:
I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
Vladimir Davidiuk | University of St. Thomas | @VladDavidiuk