(National Sentinel) Budget Blues: Well, we did it, America. We allowed our elected leaders to officially spend the country into oblivion, and the really good news is, it comes at a time when we’re going to have to spend billions more we don’t have to clean up from two of the worst storms in a century.
As reported by CNS News:
The federal debt officially surpassed $20 trillion for the first time on Friday, as the debt subject to the legal limit set by Congress jumped $317,645,000,000 in one day–following President Donald Trump’s signing of a spending-and-debt-limit deal that will fund the government through Dec. 8.
At the close of business on Thursday, Sept. 7, according to the Daily Treasury Statement for Friday, the total debt of the federal government was $19,844,587,000,000 and the portion of it subject to the legal limit set by Congress was $19,808,747,000. After President Trump signed the legislation suspending the debt limit, the total debt immediately jumped to $20,162,177,000,000 and the portion of it subject to the limit jumped to $20,126,392,000,000, according to the Daily Treasury Statement for Sept. 8, 2017.
That’s a lot of numbers, but you get the idea: We’re broke, and getting broker.
In case you were wondering, this is why dozens of Republicans — including four congressmen from Texas — voted against last week’s debt ceiling package; it wasn’t because they didn’t want to help their fellow residents and other Americans, it’s because we as a nation are so heavily in debt there isn’t any realistic way to pay it off.
What are we supposed to do if we get into a major world war? Where’s the money going to come from to pay for our defense? Can you imagine having to finance another Herculean war effort like that one it took to win World War II?
Congress would either have to raise taxes on everyone by high double digits, or impose some kind of war tax on purchases, goods and services just to break even.
Here’s another thought. Sure, the Treasury can just print money and viola, we have the “funds” to pay off the debt. What the hell, right? The U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency.
Yes, the dollar is the world’s reserve. For now. What happens when that changes (and China is attempting to do just that, by the way)?
Also, if it were true that the Treasury could simply print the money to pay off the debt, why hasn’t that happened yet? Simple; because fiat money — paper money and coins — have to be based on something of value in order to be any good. In this case, we don’t print just enough dollars to cover the amount of gold we have at Fort Knox, but rather the dollar is based on “confidence” among investors and on Wall Street that it’s “good” and “sound.”
What happens when that confidence dissipates, for whatever reason, as it has from time to time through the years?
The national debt may seem like some abstract thing to most people, but it’s just as real for a country as it is for a country’s citizens who struggle every day to balance their personal budgets.
When individuals accumulate too much debt, they go to court, declare bankruptcy and start over.
When countries go broke, they collapse.
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