Snoopy, The Peanut Sunday Comics, And Our Skyrocketing $13 Trillion Federal Budget

by Bruno Korschek - Date: 2010-06-24 - Word Count: 1337 Share This!

Recent news stories remind me of an old Sunday Peanuts comic strip. Snoopy is out jogging one day when his knees start to complain about the punishment they are taking from the jog. The feet then chime in about how they are taking the most pounding and how much they hurt. The lungs then volunteer that they are absorbing the most punishment since they have to work so hard pumping air into the body. The ears even complain about how cold they are and why were they outside jogging anyway. At that point, the heart says something to the effect that they are jogging for the heart's benefit because if the heart goes, everything goes. At that point, all body parts go silent and the jog continues.

So it goes with the Federal deficit. If we cannot fix our fiscal situation, nothing else matters. Much like the heart, if the financial foundation of our country is destroyed, then nothing else has any importance. You cannot even talk about global warming, a national energy program, improving public schools, fighting drug addiction, defending the country, helping out the needy, creating and maintaining job growth and economic growth, nothing else. If the heart goes, it does not matter how strong your legs are or how much air your lungs can pump. Much like the heart, sound fiscal policy makes everything else possible.

The severity of our fiscal distress was recently brought to mind again while reading the May 31, 2010 issue of Business Week magazine. In a short blurb, Business Week asserted that total U.S. debt, as of May 26, was $12.996 TRILLION. Given that we are now past that date, I think it is safe to assume we have broken through the $13 TRILLION threshold. What does this mean:

- At $13 TRILLION, the average U.S. household is on the hook for about $113,000 worth of government debt. Since the government does not create wealth, it can only confiscate wealth from its citizens, at some point we are all responsible for paying down this debt.
- At $13 TRILLION, every man, woman, and child in the country is responsible for about $42,000. Thus, a family of four is on the hook for about $168,000.
- The Obama administration's ten year budget plan calls for another $8 TRILLION or so in debt to be accumulated by the Federal government, boosting each household's debt burden to about $175,000 if nothing is done to change the trend.
- Last summer, Forbes magazine ran an article where they estimated the total wealth of the 400 richest Americans. As an illustrative example of how big the Federal debt is, assume that the Federal government confiscated the total wealth of these 400 Americans. Their total wealth, not their income, so this confiscation would be a one time shot. The total wealth that could be confiscated was estimated by Forbes in the article to be far less than $3 TRILLION. Thus, soaking and bankrupting the rich will not come close to paying down this skyrocketing debt, every U.S. living and to be born in the foreseeable future, is responsible for a large part of this $13 TRILLION.
- From a freedom perspective, you cannot live in a free country if the political class and the government in that country burden you with such debt. By running up such a huge deficit, a deficit that we will all have to pay down or suffer the consequences of default, we lose our freedom to spend our wealth on what we want to spend it on. We cannot send our kids to a better school, start our own business, retire when we want to, help out a charity or blow it all in Las Vegas.

Give the dire situation of our county's heart and future, what has the political class been keeping themselves busy with in the past year or so:

- Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California and her staff were busy working on legislation to Federally regulate the sound volume on television commercials. Never mind that TV watchers can mute the sound, change the channel, leave the room to get something to eat, fast forward on their DVR machines, or just ignore the TV for 60 seconds. Why work on soaring deficits (and other major national problems) when the TV commercial sound volume issue is so pressing?
- Congressman Jim Moran and his staff were busy investigating whether male dysfunction television commercials should be banned. I did not know this was so important either. As with Ms. Eshoo, let's ignore real budget and financial issues facing America and work on E.D. commercials.
- Congressman Thaddeus McCotter and his staff were busy working on legislation to provide up to $300 a month in income tax deductions so that the unemployed do not have to put their pets up for adoption. Maybe if his staff and he were working on how to get America working again, which would increase tax revenue to pay down the deficit, there would be no need for this ridiculous program that would never be able to be tracked and would be rife with fraud.
- Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye's and his staff have been busy helping a bank in Hawaii get bailout money from the FDIC after the FDIC determined the bank was not worth saving. Turns out that the Senator had invested heavily in the bank and stood to lose a load of money unless the bank was saved by the American taxpayer.
- Ex-Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana was busy getting convicted of taking bribes and was sentenced to 13 years in prison. You may recall that Mr. Jefferson was caught with frozen bribe money in his home freezer.
- Also, Congressman Randy Cunningham was busy getting sentenced to eight years in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes, Congressman Bill Ney was busy getting sentenced to two and a half years in prison for taking bribes, Congressman James Traficant was busy getting sentenced to seven years in prison for taking bribes, and the majority of ex-Governors of Illinois were either busy serving prison time, have served prison time, or may soon face prison time.
- 60% of the Congressional members sitting on the House Armed Services Committee were busy receiving campaign contributions from the very companies that they had previously earmarked pork barrel budget money for.
- Congressman Charles Rangel of New York was busy being investigated for a number of ethics violations including, but not limited to, non-declaration of rental income, certain assets, and other income.
- Fifty Republican Congressmen and women were developing legislation to replace Ulysses S. Grant's picture on the $50 bill with Ronald Reagan's picture. Given that all U.S, currency will soon be worthless unless the national debt is brought under control, this seems like a pretty useless endeavor.
- Every member of Congress has been busy in the development of the over 11,000 wasteful earmarks and pork barrel spending programs, in the latest Federal budget, for their home states and districts, the vast majority of which are nothing more than re-election badges for incumbents and all of which exacerbate the huge government deficit.

Thus, rather than solving the one major problem on which all else depends, many members of the political class chose to work problems that would probably not even make America's top 50 concerns (TV commercials and doggie deductions), were busy taking bribes and/or serving time for taking bribes, or were busy diverting taxpayer money to their own personal benefit. Getting back to the Snoopy and Peanuts analogy, these politicians are busy putting earmuffs on cold ears and or tightening up their scarves while the body is in the middle of a massive coronary.

That is why it is critical to vote out all incumbents in November and place into office a new breed of politician that realizes what the major issues are facing this country, with fiscal soundness being the most critical. We need new representatives that can take unselfish, bold action to fix and address those issues. Listen to Snoopy, fix the heart first and then everything else is possible.

Related Tags: peanuts, deficit, trillion, national debt, snoopy, political class politicians

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