Published on -3/7/2013, 9:31 AM
The nation's $16.6 trillion debt, increasing by about $1 trillion annually, is causing little public alarm. Maybe people do not comprehend its magnitude. Just one trillion $1 bills laid end to end would reach the moon and back about 190 times or circle the earth about 3,800 times. The share of the debt for each man, woman and child is about $52,000.
Unconcernedly, the Senate has not passed a budget for four years and spends without control, and the administration is creating bureaucratic bloat with ever more costly programs and job killing mandates.
I must be missing something and perhaps it's because I'm no economist, but I believe we're headed for an economic crisis.
The debt ceiling cannot be unlimited, so the question is, how much indebtedness can the U.S. safely sustain?
Significant cuts in spending are not likely to happen. Politicians are self-serving. Entitlement recipients resist losing benefits. The nation is in a constant war mode. We have troops everywhere in the world. Despite anti-trust laws, some enterprises (such as banks and the auto industry) supposedly cannot be allowed to fail. When environmental disasters occur, taxpayers pay for reconstruction and assistance. More and more people receive subsidies from the government. We give financial support to many countries in the world. Unemployment benefits continue year after year.
Every congressional bill authorizing legitimate payments contains pork. This past year alone, the president and his family cost the taxpayers a whopping $1.4 billion. Unenforced immigration policy is costing billions.
The trend seems to be more indebtedness, more socialism, bigger government and more government control. Are these desirable outcomes?
Continued borrowing and increased taxes could create an economic bubble that will burst as the housing market did. The end of the dollar as a world currency has been predicted, but we might yet be able to create an economic boom by developing our enormous oil and gas resources (using a new technology, hydraulic fracking) and luring industries to the U.S. through deregulation and lower -- not higher -- corporate taxes. Supporting businesses would arise under both possibilities, but these possibilities are not favored by the administration.
Maybe other means of creating a healthy economy could be implemented by competent and principled officials. We must elect/support such officials because hardships notwithstanding, the dollar's collapse must be averted. Its chaos is indescribable.
Milton J. Leiker