Opinion

Failure to act makes the future under Obama look grim

If you love your country, break out your checkbook and make out a check to Uncle Sam for $47,000. That’s how much each U.S. citizen owes for the national debt. If you are married with two grown children and you’re on fire to ante up, write a check for $188,000.

But why stop there? If you live in Palm Beach County like me, make out another check for $970. That’s how much you owe for your portion of the county’s $1.36 billion debt borrowings.

Please, I don’t want to hear any squawking about why we shouldn’t tolerate this situation in the United States. Why? Failure to act. Many people who read this helped elect the people who created these monstrous debts. You see, the people we have voted for over the last couple of decades — our “representatives” in the hallowed halls of government — have done this dirty deed to us. Where is the lynch mob to mete out justice to all those liberal politicians who promised they could solve problems by borrowing and spending?

But I fear I haven’t scared you enough, so let me try it a different way.

In the last four years, America’s national debt has increased by over $5 trillion. Now, it’s at $16 trillion, and “gross public debt” is scheduled to be $17.1 trillion by the end of fiscal 2013. But to get to the real government debt, we must add the red ink of the federal agencies (mostly Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), which adds an additional $6 trillion to $7 trillion or so. That brings the total debt to roughly $22 trillion, not including our other unfunded liabilities of $80 trillion, give or take.

The Federal Reserve and Treasury keep printing money and endlessly manipulating the buying of government bonds at an annual pace of $1 trillion. Let’s add the $2.5 trillion debt that the Treasury owes Social Security because the government has spent your “Trust Fund” money.

That’s all bad enough, but we also must pay interest owed on the federal debt. What was the interest we paid on the debt for the last fiscal year? About $360 billion. What do we get for that? Nothing.

Oh, and not long ago, President Obama announced his 2014 budget. He was two months late, and his plan of fiscal horrors quickly got to a scary bottom line: Obama failed to balance the budget. Again, no surprise there, but here’s the knockout punch: There is no plan to balance the budget, now or in the future. And his budget doesn’t even include the cost of Obamacare, which the Wall Street Journal claims will take another $1 trillion in new costs.

But on second thought, don’t make out your check for $47,000. Instead, let’s make our children and grandchildren pay for it. That’s Barack Obama’s plan. He won’t pay the country’s debts, but he can dole out welfare to half the country to keep the liberal votes rolling in. So he smiles broadly, says, “Trust me,” and advances his plan to stick future generations with the bill for this gargantuan debt.

Just as with our own households, if the country spends more than it takes in, the outstanding debt grows. Paying down federal debt obligations requires the surpluses that only a robust economy and a healthy business climate will bring. True economic prosperity will never happen when deficits keep widening, debt keeps climbing, 13.8 percent of people are out of work, and the uncertainty of a future under Obama makes predictability virtually impossible for businesses.

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John R. Smith
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