If debt is the enemy then there are traitors among us
By Frank Salvato
The so-called "debt ceiling default crisis" continues to loom, with enough Progressive-Leftist demagoguery in the air to choke a horse, or, in this case, kill an economy. I roll my eyes at the term "debt ceiling default crisis" because the honest man – an increasingly rare species in federal government – understands that there can only be a crisis should President Obama choose to create one. That said, Republicans, TEA Partiers and Conservatives are in danger of doing the right thing in refusing to enable more debt, but losing the public relations war to what amounts to the traitors among us due to chronic messaging impotency.
According to the Daily Treasury Statements, approximately sixty percent of every dollar gleaned by the US government comes to it in the form of revenue generated by taxes. This amounts to roughly $200 billion a month. Given that the debt interest due per month is approximately $29 billion, even a third grader from an under-achieving inner-city Atlanta public school can deduce that there is absolutely no possibility of the United States defaulting on its debt interest payments. The "debt ceiling default crisis" is not so much; it is a ruse, a canard, a fallacy...it is a lie.
Doing some simple math – again, at a level understood by an Atlanta public school third grader – we subtract $29 billion from $200 billion to find that we have $171 billion a month left over with which to pay off other debts, liabilities and operational costs incurred by the federal government.
Now, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, during any given month, Social Security outlays equal approximately $49.2 billion, and Medicare and Medicaid payments total about $50 billion. Subtracted from the $171 billion remaining after payment on debt interest, that leaves the federal government, each month, with $71.8 billion left to spend.
So, if the government employs a prioritized debt payment schedule – which, pathetically and due completely to political opportunism, they do not – there should be absolutely no chance of the federal government defaulting on debt interest payments, Social Security payments or Medicare and Medicaid payments. With this understood we can safely declare that a fiscally responsible administration would have no reason – other than political gain – to deny seniors and Social Security recipients their payments.
Now, what can be done with the remaining $71.8 billion that the government gleans each month from tax revenue alone (remember, this does not include money they insist they have to borrow)?
The federally elected spendthrifts can pay $2.9 billion in active military salaries and another $2.9 billion for Veteran's Affairs and still have $66 billion on hand. From there they can pick any number of liabilities to fund: IRS refunds, food stamps and welfare, unemployment benefits, the Department of Education, the EPA, etc.
So, with this sourced and understood as fact, not only is there no possible way for the United States government to default on its debt interest payments, it would be impossible – but for politically motivated action initiated by President Obama himself – not to be able to pay Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments. Additionally, obligations to our soldiers and veterans can easily be met, maintaining the ability to partially fund non-constitutionally mandated programs; programs seemingly necessary as political payola for use by the professionally elected class, i.e. Chuckie Schumer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the taxpayer-funded public trough feeders.
All of this is contingent on the federal government prioritizing their expenditures. The key word here is "prioritizing," something that, as I stated earlier, the political class in Washington does not want to do. Why? Because to prioritize expenditures is to leave unprotected special interest "bribe spending"; by that I mean tailor-made programs that benefit special interest groups that, in turn, make campaign contributions to those who gleaned federal funding from the pockets of taxpayers for the special interest groups in the first place. It's a vicious, unethical, almost criminal cycle that increasingly eats up taxpayer dollars the longer it goes on. It is exactly what is wrong with government today and it is exactly why we have arrived at this moment and situation.
Last election cycle, Progressives and Democrats received a "shellacking" at the polls specifically because the American people effectively sent a message that the days of freeloader political spending were over. In the ultimate polling – that done at the ballot box and not by some corrupt, ideologically bent mainstream media outlet – an overwhelming and convincing number of Americans said, in a clear, cohesive and intelligible voice that we wanted government to: a) stop spending beyond the means afforded by the taxpayers and the taxpayers alone, b) cut wasteful and non-constitutionally mandated spending, even to the extent of eliminating whole programs and departments, and c) balance the budget.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the 'Cut, Cap and Balance' plan by a vote of 234 to 190. The bill enacts substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter, imposes caps on federal spending as a percentage of GDP and allows for an increase in the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in exchange for both the Senate and House approving a balanced budget amendment.
This bill represents – exactly and without question – the mandate sent by We the People in the 2010 election to our elected officials in Washington, DC. Yet, today, political charlatans like Chuckie Schumer call the 'Cut, Cap and Balance' measure "extreme" and having been crafted by "the extreme element" of the House Republican contingent.
In the run up to the vote the White House attacked 'Cut, Cap and Balance' as an assault on "cherished programs," even though the measure doesn't contain any actual spending cuts but promises they will be made in the future.
And addressing the Balanced Budget amendment component of 'Cut, Cap and Balance,' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a political grifter from Nevada, said the balanced-budget proposal was "the stupidest constitutional amendment I've ever seen."
I'll tell you, dear readers, I have had it with the blatant and bald-faced lying and demagoguery that comes to us courtesy of this administration and the Progressive Movement.
The word "default" does not apply here and Progressives know it...but they also know that if they say it enough, the "stupid class" in this country (those who are either too dumb to do the homework or too lazy) will buy into it. That the RINO Republicans are complicit in this is reprehensible.
Further, would someone please list for me what the "cherished programs" are? Not one person from the Center or the Right has talked about ending anything but waste and special interest spending. Again, blatant and dishonest fear-mongering...that is unless Planned Parenthood and ACORN are defined as "cherished programs."
Perhaps most egregious in all of this is the incredibly naive and politically motivated McConnell plan. This plan is blatantly unconstitutional for the fact that it allows for the Legislative Branch to cede the power of the purse to the Executive Branch; Congress -- and specifically, the House -- is constitutionally bound to craft, create and enact all financial legislation. Ceding power to the Executive Branch to "raise the debt ceiling" -- as does the McConnell plan -- is granting the Executive Branch powers reserved for the Legislative Branch. Lawsuits should be readied.
Additionally, and specifically addressing the President's threat to veto any balanced budget amendment that reaches his desk; note to the constitutional scholar: amendment proposals don't involve the Executive Branch. This should bring into question whether or not Mr. Obama is actually a scholar of the United States Constitution or some other country's constitution (ahem).
As we stand in the aftermath of the passage of a bill that would cut and cap federal government spending and move forward into the amendment process a measure that would constitutionally mandate a balance federal budget, we see the pitter-patter of the lock-step collective that is the Progressive Movement – led by their fearless leader, the audacious Mr. Obama.
Completely ignoring the 'Cut, Cap and Balance' vote in the House, Mr. Obama said, "We don't have any more time to engage in symbolic gestures. We don't have any more time to posture...we're in the eleventh hour and need to start talking turkey about crafting actual legislation that has a chance at passing."
Please, take a moment to ask yourself, honestly; what good reason would any politician -- from either party -- have in refusing to commit to a balanced budget, in amendment form or otherwise? Why would a politician fight as if his or her very existence depended on the defeat of fiscal responsibility? How can anyone justify being against balancing the federal government's budget?? The answers are ugly....that is, if you're being honest with yourself.
One thing on which Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents can all agree (I leave out Progressives because the jury is out on whether they want Capitalism to fail or not) is that our nation's future is threatened by our amassed debt and by the distinct possibility that a spendthrift, politically opportunistic elected class, facilitated by the politically spineless, will be stupid enough to continue spending, borrowing and amassing said debt, all in the name of "compromise."
Consider this. If debt is the nation's enemy, and I will go out on a limb and say that an overwhelming majority of Americans recognize it as such, then wouldn't it hold true that anyone lending support to creating more debt is aiding and abetting the enemy?
In my world we call those people traitors!
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, "Ezekiel and the MidEast 'Piece' Process: Israel's Neighbor States." He is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting Network and on NetTalkWorld Global Talk Radio catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. Mr. Salvato is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, BigGovernment.com and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.