Congress, by Paul Webb Chapman
Following WW-1 Allied victors imposed great reparation penalties on Germany, including the requirement in gold or foreign currency. Choosing to simply print money, inflation quickly got out of hand with serious political consequences. Stories of people bringing suitcases of money to buy a loaf of bread abound.
In a failed attempt to take over Germany in the fall of 1923 and correct its failed leadership, future leader Adolph Hitler was arrested, sentenced to five years for treason, served less than a year and using the world-wide depression of 1929 as a springboard, began his rise to power and ultimately WW-2.
Almost 100 years later the Congress of the United States, aided and abetted by Presidents of both parties, is failing its citizens and not accepting responsibility for failure.
Although the US is not at present suffering inflation seen in 1979-80 of almost 14% (or more!), Congress continues to print money with no apparent fiscal discipline. Today, with a national income of about $3 ½ trillion dollars and a debt of $20 trillion and interest payments of $460 billion taking almost 8% of income, one wonders when the house of cards will fall.
Simply put, if a couple earns $100,000 per year, their maximum house loan will be roughly $300,000 (taking into consideration an average family debt in the neighborhood of 30-35% of income). In other words, they could buy a house at three times the amount of their annual income. If that ratio is good for a family, perhaps it should be an acceptable standard for our government. As we approach a national debt six-times the nation’s annual income, Congress shuns any notion of fiscal discipline. Remember when politicians argued that there is no tax problem —there is only a spending problem? If only they believed it.
It is no secret that half of our population pays no or very little income tax, while the other half carries the nation’s financial burden. Tax payers are grateful for the current tax break, but the question remains: are we drinking the same stuff as the politicians who say the benefits (forget the concurrent increase in national debt) will pay down our deficit at some point in the future?
Federal Budget watchers project that by FY 2024 (only six years away), interest payments will surpass how much the government now spends on all of its investments, including research and development, education, training, and infrastructure. By FY 2027, interest payments will exceed defense costs.
Politicians all state concern regarding debt, they harp on the growing deficit announcing plans to erase it in a series of ten-year plans much like the old USSR’s famous plans that never seemed to work out. “If only,” they say, “we could increase the debt by only a $trillion or so the debt will be paid in ten years.” The cost to pay it off right now is over $152,000 for each family in the US. And increasing!
If we look at the exploding stock market, we see the big banks making money, but I do not see any of it going to paying interest on my saving account. But the CEO gets big bucks and a bonus.
Obama and his Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are guilty of theft, violating over a century of corporate law, took over Freddy Mac (FMCC) and Fannie Mae (FNMA), loaned auto industries millions, took over an insurance company, and made money for our government when loans were paid back. Well, except for Freddy and Fannie. Their profits were swept to the general fund and continue today. Banks who trusted the US government and had stock in Freddy and Fannie were forced out of business, along with a large number of people thrown out of work. Individuals who had trusted the US government and bought Freddy and Fannie stock at an average of $47 (or more) a share saw their investment plummet to less than $2 a share.
Our political masters promise that we need to reduce the numbers of special interest groups, clean up inefficiencies, reduce fraud in welfare and other social services. I can’t recall much of that happening.
People are tough. Americans can – and have withstood a multitude of extremely hard and difficult times throughout our history, from military adventurism to financial hurricanes. I believe that, as a people, we can endure truth and the discipline required to correct the profligacy of politicians.
I encourage politicians at all levels to serve their constituencies rather than marching in lock step to a party. The coastal elites of both parties are not good shepherds of our nation. They are more loyal to their party than to their constituencies. Can anyone remember the last time a budget was in place for the new fiscal year?
Finally, the nation was so fed up with traditional politicians that they elected Donald J. Trump to the presidency. What a message! The question is whether Washington is listening. I think not. They still dither about blaming each other and refuse to responsibly serve the United States.
Every school board in Texas operates with more responsiveness and effectiveness than Congress. Washington DC should be greatly embarrassed.
Why vote for any sitting politician in the next election? It is our fault if we continue to vote to retain the status quo. In the end we get the government we deserve.