America’s Last Chance

Let’s expose presidential prevarication. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama warned that Social Security checks will be delayed if Congress fails to increase the government’s borrowing authority by raising the debt ceiling. However, there’s an issue with this warning. According to the 2012 Social Security trustees report, assets in Social Security’s trust funds totaled $2.7 trillion, and Social Security expenditures totaled $773 billion. Therefore, regardless of what Congress does about the debt limit, Social Security recipients are guaranteed their checks. Just take the money from the $2.7 trillion assets held in trust.

Which is the lie, Social Security checks must be delayed if the debt ceiling is not raised or there’s $2.7 trillion in the Social Security trust funds? The fact of the matter is that they are both lies. The Social Security trust funds contain nothing more than IOUs, bonds that have absolutely no market value. In other words, they are worthless bookkeeping entries. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, meaning that the taxes paid by today’s workers are immediately sent out as payment to today’s retirees. Social Security is just another federal program funded out of general revenues.

If the congressional Republicans had one ounce of brains, they could easily thwart the president and his leftist allies’ attempt to frighten older Americans about not receiving their Social Security checks and thwart their attempt to frighten other Americans by saying “we are not a deadbeat nation” and suggesting the possibility of default if the debt ceiling is not raised. In 2012, monthly federal tax revenue was about $200 billion. Monthly Social Security expenditures were about $65 billion per month, and the monthly interest payment on our $16 trillion national debt was about $30 billion. The House could simply enact a bill prioritizing how federal tax revenues will be spent. It could mandate that Social Security recipients and interest payments on the national debt be the first priorities and then send the measure to the Senate and the president for concurrence.

It might not be a matter of brains as to why the Republican House wouldn’t enact such a measure; it likes spending just as the Democrats.

I believe our nation is rapidly approaching our last chance to do something about runaway government before we face the type of economic turmoil seen in Greece and other European nations. Tax revenue has remained constant for the past 50 years, averaging about 18 percent of gross domestic product. During that interval, federal spending has risen from less than 20 percent to more than 25 percent of GDP. What accounts for this growth in federal spending? The liberals like to blame national defense, but in 1962, national defense expenditures were 50 percent of the federal budget; today they are 19 percent. What accounts for most federal spending is the set of programs euphemistically called entitlements. In 1962, entitlement spending was 31 percent of the federal budget; today it is 62 percent. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security alone take up 44 percent of the federal budget, and worse than that, it’s those expenditures that are the most rapidly growing spending areas.

Our federal debt and deficits are unsustainable and are driven by programs under which Congress takes the earnings of one American to give to another, or entitlements. How long can Congress take in $200 billion in revenue per month and spend $360 billion per month? That means roughly 40 cents of every federal dollar spent has to be borrowed. The undeniable fact of business is that a greater number of people are living off government welfare programs than are paying taxes. That’s what’s driving Europe’s economic problems, and it’s what’s driving ours. The true tragedy is that just to acknowledge that fact is political suicide, as presidential contender Mitt Romney found out. We can’t blame politicians. It’s the American people who will crucify a politician who even talks about cutting their favorite handout.

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  • Abdul Razaq

    Word for USA> 2Chronicals 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  • Rostislav

    "nation is rapidly approaching our last chance" – I'm an optimist, but unfortunately can't agree with this statement. America had her last chance in November. And she lost it in the most spectacular way. Now any talks about the point-of-no-return ahead are already long overdue – there is no fuel for return to the home airport in the tanks, and (the saddest thing) there are no plans to land the plane safely in the pilots' cabin. Since November it's a clear crush-course, or so it seems to me. Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

    • PhillipGaley

      No, the nation is not approaching the point of no return on run-a-way government spending: because spending our liquidity is like water or medium in an aquarium, or like simple water dilution in a soup, without more, the problem is not gov't spending, but how the money is spent and under what philosophical or ideological aegis. In a word, the problem has most to do with corruption.

      For one thing, our elected guys and gals—or, crooks—have never been subject to proscriptions against insider trading, and consequently, in grabbing billions for themselves, they have avoided the dictates of clean minds and honest.

      Or, for another, if money is to be introduced to expand the economy, not as the hundreds of millions of $ for GAO or other governmental office parties, nor also, for companies bound to go bankrupt, rather, that liquidity should have been spent into circulation on some positive good, . . .

      I think, it may be in Kalehburg's book on the Harvard law school, he quotes Prof. Dershowitz as saying: "I don't want to tell you to lie, . . . but it works.", . . . this nation has blithely passed through many last opportunities, . . . and if as appears—with Kerry as Sec. or State, or, in Chuck Hagel as Sec. of Def., or in say, the women recently appointed to the high court—she has no intention whatever, of changing course, . . . but no, and yes, the so-called "debt ceiling" is simply more scam by people who should know better—and some do—upon people who should know better, but few do; for "If you would do My will, then would you know My will." but, they just don't want to, . . .

      • bluffcreek1967

        I've read your post at least 3 separate times and I still don't know what the hell you wrote – especially the final paragraph! Geez, what on God's earth are you trying to say? Yes, I understand that you don't think our nation has approached the point of no-return. The rest of your post, however, is confusing and rambling. Please write your posts in terms that us simple folks can understand, okay? After all, isn't that the entire purpose of making comments on this site – namely, to share relevant, concise and clear comments that the rest of us can ponder and enjoy? Remember: clarity, brief sentences, relevant information, sentence structure and careful of verbal clutter. Thank you.

  • WatcherOntheWall

    Obama's electorate committed national suicide. The rest of us were murdered. . . . . .

  • EthanP

    Walter; We passed the point of no return in November 2012!

  • Geppettwo

    This is becoming disturbingly repetitious, not because of conservatives like Mr. Williams here repeating the message that's been repeated thousands of times, but because no one in a position to do something about it, members of Congress from both parties, is demonstrating any real concern, other than the usual campaign rhetoric and lip service. They all have their own little (gigantic) social safety nets and resist or ignore suggestions that they accept the same social safety net the rest of us must do. And if by the one chance in a million that they are ever forced to do so they will all suddenly desert and seek employment with the lobbyists that keep them immersed in glitzy perks and bulging bank accounts.

    Given the current electoral control exercised at specific intervals, America is in a no win situation until a way is found and implemented that better controls elected representatives government service benefits commensurate with the direct results. Here's an off the cuff, initial proposal and this may not be original, I just don't know. Take a cue from successful private enterprises and institute the "suggestion box." Rewards commensurate with the resulting savings. Eliminate or streamline a multi-billion boondoggle and 10% or so of the savings, as a one time benefit, is divided up among all whose votes decided the issue, after the savings are fully realized. Ten percent of that 10% going to the originators of the suggestion. Savings to be determined by the alleged, politically unaffiliated CBO. This would in no way change the election cycle other than the likely influence it would have on the candidate pool and the candidate elected. It's no doubt not perfect, what ever is, but what do you think? Anyone care to flesh this out? Good idea, bad idea, what?


    "The House could simply enact a bill prioritizing how federal tax revenues will be spent."

    Lots 'o luck with this one. I spent my last 15 years in the DoD trying to get Washington to prioritize the tasks it wanted us to do, because there was never enough $ to do them all completely. They would always ask, "What do you recommend?" which is sorta like asking the grocery clerk which items you should put back when you don't have enough to pay for everything you put in your basket.

  • JacksonPearson

    America must return to being fiscally conservative, a balanced budget, or else face a massive meltdown. If the white house's reckless spending continues, the whole country will crash and be vulnerable to international vultures.

  • bluffcreek1967

    America's last chance?! That came and went a long time ago. It's over now. America is done! Americans, by and large, have neither the presence of mind to see the danger we're in nor the collective will to fully change our direction. As a nation we are morally bankrupt and fiscally irresponsible. Trying to 'save' America at this point in its history is about as useful as polishing brass on a sinking vessel! There is too much fight against, Americans are asleep still, we have literally been flooded with illegal aliens and third-world immigrants, we lack any cohesion and common purpose as a people, we are divided as befits any declining nation in its last days, and we have been so deeply indoctrinated by liberalism that we cannot even hope to reach any agreement on matters of morality and common sense. It's over folks. Wait till you see what's on the horizon.

    Hey, did you ever hear the story about the frog in the kettle?

  • semus

    "It might not be a matter of brains as to why the Republican House wouldn’t enact such a measure; it likes spending just as the Democrats."

    Exactly, they are the other side of the same coin. I'm afraid I'm down on the whole process. I've saved the following link, I've asked sveral so called pundits if there's any truth to this. No one other than bloggers like myself have responded.

  • Mary Sue

    You have too many idiots in power and who vote that believe the reason Europe is having problems, and the way USA and Canada will go under, is because of tax cuts for the rich. Such economic illiteracy I have not seen in a long time among the general public.