The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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by Ron Cruger
We're in trouble
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        The least of my worries is whether we call this mess we’re in a recession or a depression. I get depressed just thinking about it.
        The plight we’re in is a result of a combination of actions of a line of Republican and Democratic administrations and presidents. President Obama is continuing a long line of irresponsible “charge it” mentality spending. For years now our state and federal governments have been spending as though tomorrow would bring some kind of miraculous fiscal relief. It hasn’t.
        The situation has gotten so bad that the state of California is having a “garage sale,” selling off cars, houses, trailers and trinkets. Many of these items being captured during drug related arrests, liquor store holdups and robberies.
        Other states have shut down official functions, services and offices for days at a time in order to save money.
        If our federal government was a car manufacturer, an insurance company or a store like Sears it would now be filing for bankruptcy.
        Our federal debt is increasing like crazy.
        By the next decade our debt will be somewhere in the vicinity of twenty one trillion dollars. And if you’re the kind of person who trusts figures, check this out. Six months ago the estimate of our debt was two trillion dollars less. That means that our federal/fiscal experts missed by two trillion bucks. That’s a helluva miss! You wouldn’t want to miss your household budget by an equal percentage. If you did you’d soon find yourself having a garage sale to bring in some money.
        Which brings me to the subject of our state and federal governments staging a mammoth garage sale – the biggest in history.
        The governors and our president can run some ads on Craigslist, eBay and their local newspapers advertising a “really big garage sale.” The wives can print up some “garage sale” signs and staple them on to the telephone poles on Pennsylvania Avenue and on the roads around our state capitals.
        In Washington D.C. the First Family can place folding tables on the White House lawn and fill them with the shiny gifts from foreign dignitaries, used helicopters, Gulfstream jets, extra sets of fancy silverware, presidential plates and thousands of tchotchkes given to the president and his family. And it looks like we’re going to have to sell some dams, parks and oil lands too.
        The Senators and Representatives could hold garage sales right in front of the Capital Building. Each Senator and Representative could have a table selling off the scores of gifts they receive from their favorite lobbyists. The Vice President and the Speaker of the House could sell some of the jet planes and helicopters that Senators and Representatives use to go to lunch and other clandestine meetings around the world.
        My guess is that these garage sales could contribute a few million dollars to the federal and state coffers. Hardly a drop in the bucket when one considers our future debt of twenty one trillion dollars, but it’s a start.
        It has been estimated that sometime in the 2030’s one-quarter of all the federal revenue will be spend on just paying the interest on our debt. That’s double the percentage of what we’re paying now.
        Costs of Medicare and Social Security will skyrocket, partly due to the retirement of baby boomers. Because of the coming increases in Medicare and Social Security and the costs of our ballooning debt, future presidents and members of Congress will have to radically reduce every other category of spending and sharply raise taxes.
         Besides the strong possibilities of damage to the value and creditability of the U.S. dollar and the risk of inflation there is the scary thought of the implications of having trillions of America’s debt being held by nations – particularly China! Our debt is now encroaching into areas of national security.
        And so, Mr. President, Governors and all you Senators and Representatives, start printing up the “Garage Sale” signs. We’re going to need the money.