Debt ceiling: The tip of the iceberg

Published 17 years ago -  - 17y ago 39

Here we go again. The granddaddy of Washington’s problems is back. For the eighth time since 1987, the national debt is about to hit its ceiling once more. Congressmen, bureaucrats, and the loyal establishment press are starting to tell us that the limit on the national debt ceiling needs to be raised again. Stimulated only slightly by the new war and need for national security, it’s predicted that we’ll reach the cap of $5.95 trillion by March of 2002, in just three months.

Didn’t we just go through three years and a presidential election where Bill Clinton and Al Gore were both telling us that they had been paying off the national debt? And after being taken aside by Alan Greenspeak, didn’t our new second President Bush tell us that his administration would also be paying off the national debt? How did he put it? Oh yes, we would get rid of “available” debt in the next ten years.

Remember all the hullabaloo in 1995 when Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole had their Contract With America and refused to raise the national debt ceiling, then standing at $4.9 trillion, until the Clinton Administration would agree to a deadline date to balance the budget? Remember the government shutdowns?

Most Americans probably do not remember how, during these 1995-96 government shutdowns, members of Congress were screaming their heads off about how Robert Rubin, then Secretary of the Treasury, might raid their own personal retirement funds for money to run the government. The Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees rose its head as one of the few federal trust funds with any real money in it. The other 150 or so (see list) hold nothing but debt. Then in early 1996, the debt ceiling was raised to $5.7 trillion and once again everything was fine. The borrowholics could continue borrowing.

It’s almost certain that no one remembers how, as part of the popular November 1997 Balanced (Unified) Budget Act, John Kasich, then Chairman of the House Budget Committee, sneaked a provision into page 387 that raised the national debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion so we wouldn’t have to go through those shutdown hassles for awhile. No argument and no publicity this time.

Today, as I write this, the national debt stands at almost $5.9 trillion ($5.888 trillion). That’s an increase of one trillion since the 1995 shutdowns. Why don’t you average that out in increases per year to see just how honest your government has been?

How long does it take for the public to realize that the national debt has never dropped one cent? Never. We are the world’s greatest debtor nation. And Gross Domestic Product isn’t good for anything but predicting tax receipts. It counts the same dollar up to ten times over because that’s how often that dollar is taxed. And while Congress passes laws to tighten the noose on bankruptcy for you, they are loosening the rules on themselves.

If the public doesn’t recognize that much, then people will never understand the government’s ultimate plan to bankrupt all of the entitlement trust funds in about ten years. Once their debt laundering operation has moved all “available” debt from the honest investor side of the national debt—moved all that debt to the dishonest Social Security, Medicare, gas tax, unemployment tax, and other entitlement side—then they will bankrupt nonmarketable bonds. Junk bonds that have value only to politicians but have enabled them to steal your retirement money while pretending to borrow it. The greatest economic scam that any government has ever conducted against its own citizens.

The clues have been in front of everyone for some time. The long term thirty-year Treasury bond has already disappeared from the market, soon to be followed by the ten-year bond. Honest borrowing is being eliminated, while dishonest theft of entitlement money continues unabated. And the surplus available to steal grows and grows.

The 1997 Balanced Budget Act picked the year 2002 as the year for achieving a balanced “unified” budget solely on the basis that entitlement surpluses reach levels greater than any honest deficit ever run. And it’s right on track.

Cash stolen from Social Security alone reached $98.7 billion in fiscal 2001, with the theft from all entitlements coming in at a whopping $163 billion. That’s a fact recorded by the US Treasury but unreported by the loyal media who can’t get the simplest numbers straight anyway.

Anyone who wants to follow this debt laundering operation can turn to the Treasury’s own web pages at where you will find “Debt Held by the Public” (investor loans) rising while “Intragovernmental Holdings” (92% entitlements) goes up. And the total debt rises month by month and day by day with some fluctuations due to handling and maturates.

The fictitious baby-boomer fable fits right into the scam schedule since these spooks are not anticipated to be a problem until 2016, a date when the Social Security Trust Fund will already be long gone. King George Bush the Fourth will have already done American workers the favor of eliminating these bogus bonds and correcting the evil ways of his predecessors. And all of the people who couldn’t find these “76 million” extra births in the US Census base figures anyway will be relieved of their anxieties.

Meanwhile, the Social Security supplemental retirement and disability system will chug right along as usual correcting for minor demographic fluctuations like people living longer and the true seven million boomers. And maybe, just maybe, the idea of allowing workers to own their payments and invest surpluses will be extended to all the people contributing payroll taxes instead of just a few under the current stall.

What was always the simplest of problems to solve will finally be accomplished. Real trust funds which have always been lock-boxes will finally be permitted. Isn’t it a grand plan? It will go a long way towards helping route out the terrorists hiding in the forty countries we will probably be warring.

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