Ladies and gentlemen of Redstate,
this is going to be my last post [scratch that, I have the feeling this is just getting started] on this debt ceiling/cap/balance subject. I only have a few words to say and I hope that any lack of eloquence on my part doesn’t reflect negatively on the importance of the matter we have before us at this moment.
It’s time to support the Good Guys.
The Good Guys in this fight are the people who are pressing hard, and continue to press hard, against very long odds, for a Cut/Cap/Balance solution to the country’s fiscal woes. They are the ones who are looking honestly at the exponential growth in our national debt, the completely heedless nature of which has become so otherworldly that it’s barely recognizable any longer. We’re pushing up against the boundary of 100% of our GDP in debt, if we haven’t already gone over it, depending on whose estimates you listen to.
Earlier this afternoon the Washington Post had an article trying to draw a parallel between this situation and that of 1990, when the US Debt was barely 5% of its GDP, about $492 billion dollars and approximately $850 billion today. The small errors in these numbers aren’t significant. You can read their article here:
“Read their lips: For the origins of today’s deficit fight, look to 1990″
The author there is remembering the debt in 1990 at $492 billion dollars or $850 billion in “today’s dollars.”
Through a long and tortured series of inside-the-beltway reminiscences, he somehow manages to convince himself that the people who are calling for real limits on debts that are more than 1,500 percent higher than that – right now – are the wrongheaded people. Our debt currently stands at something like 15 trillion dollars. It’s such an enormous amount of money that I really don’t think the entire rest of the world even understands it, and I don’t know whether we understand it ourselves. We hear things like 150 billion Euros for Greece and don’t realize that’s about that’s only about $215 billion dollars. That’s about 1/60th of our national debt. If the latest Greek bailout is 1 minute of agonizing pain on a clock, our national debt is AN HOUR. Does anyone in the world except the Chinese understand a Trillion Dollars? The limits just keep rising out of sight – but our ability to pay those debts, as everyone knows in the past couple of years, is nowhere near as robust. Go take a look at middle America.
What has happened since 1990 is that the situation has gotten between 15-20 times worse. And all of that money, all of that debt that is owed, is on the backs of our children. I’d say that’s a pretty damn good reason to be “intransigent” about it.
[Update: Let’s say our national debt is $15 trillion dollars. That’s a stack of dollar bills that would reach almost FOUR TIMES THE AVERAGE DISTANCE TO THE MOON. If we had a way of piling it up, gluing it together and climbing it, we could climb all the way to the moon and back, TWICE on the pile of our national debt.]
I get scared too when the President of the United States, his Treasury Secretary, and half of the MSM, and Al Franken, get up and proclaim that without increasing that limit, we’re calling for a catastrophe. Unstable people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz who base their existence on spending ever increasing sums of other people’s money and who are also utterly debased in their thinking try to stand up and throw stones. It may be that we’ve reached a point of reckoning, but that’s hardly a catastrophe: it’s healthy that we call a halt to it. It’s even more important that we realize people like Erick and the Club for Growth and Heritage are the people – probably the last of the honest people – who are sounding the alarm and calling on us all to do something about it. Don’t be scared. Be honest!
Please help me get behind their efforts and continue to support them. This is going to be a difficult series of days. Keep your cool, everyone, but do what I did three days ago: shake it off and keep demanding what you know is right. I had a bout of the “fear fever” but I came to my senses about it.
Our country deserves better. It doesn’t deserve to be spent into oblivion by people who are so irresponsible they cannot even recognize more than an order of magnitude of difference in the scale of the problems we face. And all of that more-than-an-order-of-magnitude difference has happened in just over 20 years, the time it takes for a generation to “grow up.”
What have we done?