The Debt Ladder
We’re a couple of days away from another government shutdown. Go ahead, yawn loudly. I’ll wait. The Republocrats are blaming each other, and the news media is in a panic, and old ladies across our great country are clipping coupons for cat food while criminals sharpen their knives and load their guns!
I’d like to interrupt this message for a moment to remind you that we have thousands of gun laws in place to ensure that you are safe. However, if government shuts down, big brother will no longer be able to enforce those laws so… you’re on your own! (Note: this is sarcasm. Gun laws will be just as effective whether or not the government is there to enforce them.)
So, the government is shutting down because Big Brother has run out of money again. The kissing cousins will engage in some fake sibling rivalry to convince you that it’s the other side’s fault, but the truth is we are not about to run out of money. We’ve been out of money for decades. It’s how we roll: in enormous, incomprehensible, unjustifiable, crushing debt.
Do you understand the debt we’re in? Don’t answer. You don’t. $20 trillion is a number simply too large for the human mind to comprehend. You might understand it if you’re one of those math wizards they make melancholy chick-flicks about, but even then, you probably don’t get it. Allow me to prove my point.
The federal government spends $6.85 million per minute. This means it will only take 2 hours and 26 minutes to spend $1 BILLION! (Not a typo. This is a real number!) This means if Jeff Bezos donated his entire $100 Billion fortune to the federal government, it would keep the federal government running for a little over a week.
The combined net worth of the heartless monsters who steal from the poor, who are honored with inclusion into the Forbes 400, is $2.7 trillion. The government wouldn’t last a year with that piddly sum. And remember: that $2.7 isn’t their income. That’s their net worth. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
So… taxing the rich isn’t the solution. Neither is holding a bake sale. Someone tried that back in the 1990’s and yet here we are.
I told you that to tell you this: We will never be able to tax our way out of this mess! Never in a million years! There isn’t enough money on the planet, let alone in our country. If it were a matter of raising $20 trillion that would be one thing, but we also have to deal with the $3.8 trillion per year in the federal budget. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no one understands that, either!
So how do these 536 “leaders” of ours (yes, I’m including the President, too) finance their reelection campaigns? By spending money they don’t have on crap we don’t need. Sure, there are some things government must spend money on, but we are acting like kids shopping for a “my folks are out of town this weekend and we’re going to have most epic bash ever!” party. And don’t doubt my words, dear reader. This is all about CONgress keeping their phony-baloney jobs.
So, to add a little drama to our lives, they’ll cry about how the other side is going to force a government shutdown because of the debt ceiling. The truth is there is no debt ceiling. It’s a myth. There is only a debt ladder, one that keeps extending to the heavens as if out of a cartoon firetruck. But this ladder doesn’t reach heaven. It’s a ladder to our demise. The air will be too thin and the fall will be too great. I’m not sure which will kill us, but rest assured, death is certain.
So if more taxation isn’t the answer, what is? The only thing that will work, in the long run, is to spend less. It’s that simple. Government has some legitimate functions, like running the courts and providing for the common defense (which is not the same as sending our fighting men and women all over the globe). But much of what government spends tax revenue on is excessive, wasteful, unnecessary, or better handled by the private sector. This spending must stop if we are ever to find our way off this ladder.
Think of our country as a corporation. This corporation has great assets and a capable workforce. Its product is unique and special and desired by the entire world. The product is so desired, in fact, that people sneak into their stores to obtain it illegally. Wouldn’t that be a great company to own and work for? It would, but the company has been poorly managed for decades. The once proud factories stand idle and the workforce has become lazy and entitled.
Rather than taking over the company and fixing what is wrong, the government has sold off its most important asset: its soul. Its reputation has been pawned and it is in debt, with its future in doubt. So we keep retaining the same incompetent management team, those same Republicrats who keep sending us the same dire reports.
How do we fix this, you ask?
I’d recommend a bake sale. If that doesn’t work, a saw. Time to cut down the ladder.
by Adolfo Jiménez – Membership Committeeman, Libertarian Party of Broward County
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