Real Austerity Measures

Thomas G. Brown |

There has been a lot of talk in news about Austerity measures that need to be taken by the state, county, and local governments as well as the Federal Government to reduce the debts they have accumulated and how we all have to make sacrifices. Well great, that sounds good and all but what is the deciding factor what is cut and what is kept? One word, politics, New Jersey’s governor is taking aim at teachers unions and cutting their spending. The new Congress has decided to slash its own budget well that’s great but it is barely a pimple on the giant ASS that is our government debt. Below is what you can find on US debt on Wikipedia.

{The United States public debt is a frequently reported measure of the obligations of the United States government and is presented by the United States Treasury in two components and one total:
• Debt held by the public, representing U.S. Treasury securities held by institutions or individuals outside the United States Government;
• Intragovernmental holdings, representing Federal government obligations for specified programs, such as Social Security; and
• Total public debt outstanding, which is the sum of the above components.[1]

As of December 31, 2010, the “Total public debt outstanding” was $14.0 trillion and was approximately 99.3% of 2009’s fiscal year-end annual GDP of $14.1 trillion, with the “Debt held by the Public” at approximately 66.7% of GDP ($9.4 Trillion) and “holdings” standing at 32% of GDP ($4.6 Trillion).[2][3][4] Using 2009 figures, the total debt (86.1% of GDP) ranked 12th highest against other nations, while the component “Debt held by the Public” (53.5% of GDP) ranked 41st.[5] }

Instead of just doing what we always have done which is o do a few token cuts that amount to pin in a haystack while the continue with business as usual. Our Congress should have the courage to stop this viscous cycle by cutting off the supply of debt and vote no on raising the debt ceiling. Our government is like a junkie that needs it’s next fix. If they don’t they will become sick. This will be painful but if they force themselves to go through this tough time they will become healthy and after a while be free from the drug. The time of withdraw will correlate with the amount of time they have abused the drug. This may seem like a bad idea but the alternative is to keep the junkie supplied until he overdoses. Well the government has used the drug known as debt for decades since the creation of the Federal Reserve and continually spent beyond its means. So when we cut them off we will have to go through some rough times but it would be better than the Republic dying off as result of a debt OD.

Our Current Debt ceiling is set at $14.29 trillion and could hit this by March 31st according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who in a letter sent to Congress Secretary Geithner stated ““Never in our history has Congress failed to increase the debt limit when necessary,” he wrote in a letter to congressional leaders and top committee members, including Hatch. “Failure to raise the limit would precipitate a default by the United States. Default would effectively impose a significant and long-lasting tax on all Americans and all American businesses and could lead to the loss of millions of American jobs.”

This statement by Geithner either shows his ignorance or he has some agenda as the increase of the debt ceiling imposes a huge tax on citizens in the form of devaluation of folks purchasing power. This doesn’t take into account the huge bill due by each citizen to possibly pay this debt off. As of right now that bill per tax payer is $126,688 . The debt ceiling for years has been nothing more than a rubber stamp and not the checks and balance that it was intended to keep spending with in the confines of the Constitution.

The newly elected Republican Tea Party candidates must follow through on their promises to cut spending and waste in Washington and the first test is to vote no on raising the debt ceiling. This will be painful but with the austerity measures being doled out by state and local governments right now and into the foreseeable future this would have a market force behind it which would focus on the areas that actually need to be cut or eliminated. In addition this would force Congress to raise taxes if it wanted to do something that required more money and citizens would wake up and pay attention.

When you as an individual spend beyond your mean you have to cut up your credit cards and start cutting back to pay off your debts and get back to spending with in your mean i.e. the amount of money you take in from your job(s) and investments. The government must do the same thing but can’t get more money without taxing if we don’t raise the debt ceiling. The raising of taxes will not be taken well by the citizens of United States and will force individuals to start paying attention to what taxpayer funds are being used for by our Government. Even if citizens sit back and allow the increase of taxes to happen there is only so much money that can be garnered by this method. You can’t get blood from a stone and you can’t get taxes from broke citizens, and non-existent businesses as they will cease to exist in this environment.

Our government would be forced to work within our means as credit will dry up and Congress and the President would be forced to cut government down to its Constitutional size. Many programs such as Social Security, Medicare, the illegal wars in Iraq an Afghanistan would have to end. Our Empire mentality would also need to come to an end as we would not have the funds to have troops, bases, and monster embassies abroad. The government would also have to stop it’s “Foreign Aid” which is nothing more than bribery with tax payer dollars to get governments to go along with our agendas and policies. The money would dry up for the Health Care Act, The Patriot Act, and any other bill that is outside the scope of the Constitution will not be able to be funded. This will start the path to getting government out of our lives and just do what is allowable by the Constitution. That is to protect our boarders, defend us from invasion insure that our rights are not being infringed on by government, industry or an individual and that is pretty much it. No less no more.

So Congress you were elected on the promise of fiscal responsible so please do your duty and vote no on expanding the debt ceiling!

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