Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

No Joy In Voting, But I Did

November 4, 2012

Thursday I voted. The basement room at the courthouse was bustling with people early voting, though I did not have to stand in a line. The 10 electronic voting stations was about perfect for the traffic.

Scores of people have already early voted this election; over 20%. The number is expected to reach 35% of voters.

There are so many reasons to be concerned about the outcome of this election, but in my own humble but accurate opinion, there is one reason that means life or death for the health and prosperity of our nation… one issue that is going to mean the difference between a country that is in a recession, but probably will emerge from it, and a nation that is no longer in a “recession” because the current state is permanent.

That one issue is the national debt.

Since we are in the TRILLIONS, let me first reflect on how much that is.

That’s a lot of nuts

Stop and think what an incredible military undertaking the wars have been during the past decade and a year. 11 years of salaries for hundreds of thousands of soldiers. The cost of all that expensive war machinery that we are continually amazed at. The cost of all that food, water and transportation. The cost of the jets and ordinance dropped and fired and wired from the sky.

Also, consider the cost of rebuilding efforts in both nations. Hiring entire fleets of contracted crews from the states to send their people over for twice their normal salary to install plumbing, electricity, sanitation, internet, medical services, etc.

The cost of all this for two nations is mind blowing. So how much is it?

U.S. Accounting Office Numbers

Three weeks ago the national news agencies reported that the U.S. accounting office priced the cost of both wars on both fronts for the first ten years at 850 Billion dollars. I see that cost to be somewhat higher as of the beginning of 2013, at around 1.2 Trillion. Here’s my source, the Congressional Research Service.

For the sake of argument, I’ll consent to work with the higher number of the two.

1.2 TRILLION dollars for a decade of two wars. What could possibly be more expensive than 10 years of military spending?

George W. Bush took office with roughly 2 Trillion of National Debt. In his eight years, most of it fighting the two wars, he doubled the debt to 4 Trillion.

In 3.5 years Barack Obama, who promised repeatedly to cut both deficit and national debt, has taken that mind-numbing number of 4 Trillion and not just doubled, but by the official U.S. Accounting Office tally, quadrupled it to around 16 Trillion dollars. And that’s just for today. Estimates of the next 6 – 10 years of Obama Care place us at around 25 Trillion dollars in debt. I believe this will prove to be low. Their spending estimates seem to always be low guesses.

I’m not convinced we can come back from the 16 Trillion debt we have currently. I am, however, convinced that 25 Trillion is at the very least, irreparable by a single generation. Just for a moment, lets say that a tax hike on the wealthy will not actually hurt the economy. Take the tax rate increase that the president asks for those making over $250,000 and DOUBLE IT, and even that would be just a scratch which would mean little to the deficit, and less to the debt. Tax rates are almost purely a red herring.

In truth, our debt liability is well over 200 Trillion dollars.


Even if Congress and the president could agree to run a balanced budget, making this year’s deficit “officially” zero, says Kotlikoff, “the nation’s true indebtedness would still rise by $4.15 trillion.”

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