Friday, February 08, 2008

The Debt

At this moment the current US Debt is 9,242,500,118,205. (You may check this site if you don’t believe me but it will be higher than this by the time you look because it goes up about 1.5 billion dollars a day.) This number surpasses trillions. What’s next? Quadrillions. You, my dear taxpaying American friend, are part owner of over 9 quadrillion dollars in debt. To put this in some understandable perspective, if you earn 1 million dollars a year you will have to work another 9 million years to pay off these loans. If you earn $100,000 a year you will work 92 million years to pay them off. Then again, if you are a member of the average American household, expect to work 185 million years to pay it off. Well, not pay it off really - that’s just the principal. 
And you’re worried about your credit cards? Yes, of course you are. There are 2 reasons you are worried about your credit cards…and your mortgage and gas for your car and health insurance costs and college tuition: one, you are a decent person trying to do things right and two, a significant portion of every dollar you spend is helping to pay for this absurd and obscene burden our politicians have saddled us with. Please become outraged. Please become outraged.
I have voted in every election since 1972. Rightly or wrongly I have leaned to the right – typically casting my lot with Republicans. I am not a member of The Grand Old Party but they’ve always made more sense to me economically and from the perspective of national security. I don’t remember all the particulars of my decisions. There was simply a sense of trust in the guys that looked and talked like my dad. 
In more recent years I have listened more closely. Frankly, I’ve got no big issue with taxes. As a matter of fact, if the federal government could do the math to get us out of debt I would do my best to write a check for my portion. The math, sadly, is incomprehensible. It’s certainly not as simplistic as the division I’ve presented above – or so they would have us believe; they being every congressman, senator and president that presided during my lifetime – all parties included – and their so-called economists.
The Debt is The Thing. To hell with everything else. Immigration? Terrorism? Oil? Iraq? Abortion? Gay marriage? Global warming (oh, please?) The Debt is the thing! It will kill us – unravel us – make us second tier and third world to the fourth generation.
Now, Bill Clinton got the debt under control and I’m happy to admit it even though I can’t stand the son-of-a-bitch. The Great Republican Suspicion is that Reagan’s Design was Clinton’s Reward. I don’t know – I’m not that smart. But something good happened, economically speaking, during his tenure. What I have witnessed is that the little crowned prince for whom I voted in the past 2 elections (2000 and 2004) has been a complete failure – on most fronts – especially The Debt. I regret my votes. However, you other guys could have thrown something better in front of our eyes as an alternative: Al Gore, who couldn’t win his home state – my state - but won the first-ever Nobel Prize for a science fiction film – and John Kerry – (don’t get me started.)
Enough already. What shall we do about it? Here’s the good news (sort of) – if each American citizen wrote a check for about $30,000 we will be out of debt. Will you do this –regardless of the sins of the past? Of course you won’t do this. And the other thing is – most Americans couldn’t do this even if they wanted to. So, I’m thinking that a ‘Patriotic Tithe’ is in order. Do you have $150 in the bank? Do you have $150,000,000 in stocks and bonds? Why not write a check for 10% of what you have whether you’re just starting out or you’re already retired and living on Social Security? Get rid of this debt. Tomorrow, if I can get some support –I’ll begin the process by writing a check the amount of which will be a reasonably accurate calculation equal to 10% of my financial assets. Not the value of my home or cars or anything else – just cash on hand including that which you have in your oh-so-precious retirement accounts which we will allow you to draw upon with zero tax consequences. 
Of course, you don’t know if I have $150 or $150,000,000 in the bank so how much of a sacrifice am I really making? Well, I’m sacrificing 10% of what I have and I’m asking you to do the same. Unlike other federal requirements there are no loopholes here – just honesty. And it’s also voluntary. (I realize you fat cats will lie about what you're worth; this is nothing new. Keep your money and send more jobs overseas to support slave labor. And you oh-so-kind-hearted citizens will reject this idea because the poor shouldn’t have to pay. 10% of nothing is nothing.) This is an appeal to the 80% of us who live in the middle – yes friends, the good old middle class. We’re getting stuck with it anyway so let’s do what we do in our own households – let’s sit down at the kitchen table and figure it out. 
Will you join me in this Patriotic Tithe and then, more importantly, begin to rein in the bastards who got us here? It is utterly outrageous and they will not stop on their own. We’ll become the biggest lobby that ever existed in America and we can pay them off.  This they understand. 


Blogger Tallu said...

I love it.

March 9, 2008 at 8:09 AM  

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