Common Sense – Chpt 2 Money Prt 1
Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-Of-Control Government
II—MONEY: The Real Opiate Of the Masses
There was a time when our political leaders inspired America to greatness and motivated us to face daunting challenges with courage and resolve. Our political leaders led us to successfully revolt against the British. They convinced us to defeat Nazism, fascism, and imperialism by fighting it in the homelands that have birth to those ideologies. They encouraged us in our fifty-year-long struggle against the spread of communism—and they captivated the world as we watched it collapse under its own weight.
There was a time when our political leaders cited their leadership, temperament, experience, judgment, character, and merit in order to gain the trust and support of a skeptical electorate. Today they purchase votes and campaign cash by boasting about the pork they’ve secured for their pet projects or the billions they’ve passed along to their powerful political allies.
With a few notable exceptions, our political leaders have become nothing more than parasites who feed off our sweat and blood. They fail to appreciate America’s potential or recognize her superiority and instead they view her as just another country to be sucked dry for their own benefit, without regard for the health of the host.
These parasites have fed undetected for years, but our present economic crisis has laid bare just how badly the members of our political elite have squandered our wealth while failing to prepare us for rough times. In good times it was more difficult to see exactly what they’d done to us, but now the true extent of their looting of the national treasury and pillaging of our paychecks has been exposed.
Unfortunately, our financial security is directly related to our national security—and that’s why I believe that what some of these people have done is borderline treasonous. They may not have directly sold state secrets to our enemies, but they’ve successfully put a target on our backs nonetheless. Our enemies rejoice and celebrate at our economic troubles, all the while plotting how to trigger our ultimate demise.
I have claimed, at various times, that socialism and fascism have been on the rise for two administrations now. Call it whatever you want, but common sense will not allow you to claim that it has resemblance to the system our Founders put together. Under President Bush, politics and global corporations dictated much of our economic and border policy. National building and internationalism also played a huge role in our move away from founding principles. Also, in the latter days of his administration, Bush assaulted the American system by, in his own words, “abandon(ing) free-market principles to save the free-market system.”
Enough is enough.
We must stop the spending sickness that plagues Washington, and we must stop it NOW! These addicts have racked up $11,000,000,000,000 in debt, with your family’s share of their spending binge coming in at $116,000. Do not expect sympathy or understanding from our political junkies; they just need another fix. One more high and they’ll quit. Really, they promise. But we know that their promises are empty–$12 trillion in bailout, TARP, corporate welfare, and other money is still not enough.
Politicians have forgotten that the money that sits in the federal treasure represents sacred funds purchased through the labor, blood, and toil of millions of faceless Americans who get up early, go to bed late, and miss countless weekends and nights with their families just to make an honest living.
Our leaders brought us to where we are by never saying no to a good spending project. Through their actions they taught the American people that spending money you do not have was not only reasonable, but patriotic. Our solution to September 11 was zero percent financing and a presidential call to “go shopping.”
Common sense tells us that you can’t solve a debt crisis with more debt or solve a spending crisis with more spending. It’s too bad that common sense itself wasn’t for sale—that would be the one new federal purchase I’d support.
DEBT: How They Purchased Our Silence and Subservience.
Each of us innately knows that debt should be avoided whenever possible. Many of us have lived within our means and played by the rules, hoping for a chance to give our children a better life than we had.
Thomas Jefferson knew that government debt was not only bad economic policy but also morally unacceptable because it effectively makes your children responsible to pay for what you bought. He said, “The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, but swindling futurity on a large scale.” If that wasn’t clear enough, he also said that politicians should consider themselves “unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves…”
By spurning this counsel our politicians damned our dreams. They have effectively branded our children as future slaves to our creditors and they’ve placed our country in a position of servitude to the rest of the world. If we try to escape these obligations through self-serving economic policies, we will be the ones held responsible.
When we place ourselves in debt we have no one to blame but ourselves—and the same holds true for our country. Yes, it was our elected officials who forced us into economic servitude, but didn’t we elect them to office, and then keep electing them term after term? Yes, it was our politicians who negotiated and approved the pork and the spending, but aren’t we the ones who sat idly by while they did it?
Our interest payment to service our $10,000,000,000,000 in debt now stands at about $26,000,000,000 ($26 billion). Per month. That’s over $300 billion a year that will be sent (likely overseas) to our creditors instead of being used to upgrade our schools, roads, or national defense. Common sense tells us that is unsustainable—a country that cannot educate or secure our population is a country that will not be around much longer.
One of the tricks that our leaders have successfully played on us is the illusion of numbers. If I asked you to send me a check of $4,000 you’d probably think about what you could buy with that money (an amazing vacation, new furniture, braces for your child, etc.) and then you’d wonder why on earth you’d send it to me. But when our government asks us for $26 billion every month we don’t have the same reaction because it doesn’t feel personal. Well, let’s make it personal. With one monthly $26 billion interest payment we could fully fund the annual budgets at the Centers for Disease Control ($6.1 billion, annual budget), Coast Guard ($8.7 billion) and the Department of the Interior ($11.1 billion).
With our annual $300 billion in interest payments we could fully fund the Department of Commerce ($8.1 billion), Education ($68 billion), Homeland Security ($42.3 billion), Housing and Urban Development ($52.3 billion), Energy ($23.2 billion) Justice ($25 billion), and Labor ($49.6 billion) for an entire year.
By 2019, annual interest payments on the national debt will balloon to a projected $806 billion! Why? Because, as you might know from your own credit cards, interest compounds quickly. Making only the minimum payments will result in the unpaid interest being added to our outstanding debt. It’s a cycle that’s almost impossible to pull out of and the damage to our country will almost certainly be irreversible. That $806 billion is more that what it cost us last year to fund the entire Department of Defense ($583 billion), Veterans Affairs ($86.6 billion) the Department of Transportation ($68.7 billion) , and the State Department ($18.0 billion) … combined.
Where will all of that money come from? Again, the politicians say “the rich!” or maybe “the greedy corporations!”—but if that’s our plan, then we are set up for a dramatic failure. The total 2008 profits of Exxon Mobile ($45.2 billion), General Electric ($17.41 billion), Wal-Mart ($12.7 billion), and IBM ($12.3 billion) totaled $87.61 billion. If we taxed those profits at 100% we still wouldn’t have even one-third of the amount needed to pay the annual interest payment—let alone any of the principle.
So what about the wealthy? Look at it this way: if we took all personal income tax revenue from every American taxpayer for the next decade you would still NOT have enough money to pay off the national debt, even if you excluded interest. And, as a side benefit, we’d have zero dollars to fund the actual government over those years.
This is modern-day slavery, but instead of being sold to work in the fields our children will be working hundred-hour weeks at their jobs to pay off the debts we’ve amassed.
Common sense shouts that if this were happening in your home you’d have to stop spending immediately. So what is Washington doing? The exact opposite. They’re spending even more.
President Obama announced that his 2009 budget was projected to produce a $1,700,000,000,000 deficit. If you break that down you find that we’re spending $4.657 billion every day for a year, which breaks down further to $53,906.64 per second. In the time it takes you read this paragraph, our government will have spent more than what most Americans make in more than twenty years of work!
Borrowed money has to be paid back—but it won’t be us who will have to do it. Our children will question our sanity for spending money we did not have on “bridges to nowhere”, skateboard parks, tattoo removal, and other pork-laden projects that politicians stuffed into “must pass” legislation. They will wonder why we tolerated such reckless behavior from our elected leaders instead of holding them accountable.
How will we respond?