E-Newsletter No. 13
If not us, who?_____If not now, when?
As we anticipated in last month’s newsletter, the US House of Representatives and US Senate recently passed “Continuing Resolution” legislation that funds most of the departments of the federal government through the end of the government’s fiscal year on September 30, 2015. While this legislation helped to prevent another government shutdown, the country is virtually guaranteed to incur another deficit this year.
In President Obama’s 2015 budget, payroll tax receipts for Social Security are expected to be $756 billion, and spending will be $896 billion, for a deficit of $140 billion. Medicare payroll tax receipts are expected to be $231 billion, and the outflows for Medicare/Medicaid are budgeted to be $860 billion.
We are also sorry to report that the country passed another new milestone this past month – – the cumulative US debt has now risen above $18 trillion.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote – I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its constitution; I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.
There is another quote that is often attributed to either Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859, a French historian most famous for his work Democracy in America) or to Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh) – A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. Another variant of this quote is – The American Republic will endure until politicians realize that they can bribe the people with their own money.
Margaret Thatcher (the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990) gave us her own perspective on the issue – The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.
The link between all three of these quotes is that there has been a collective failure of our country’s elected officials, who have chosen to ignore the advice of one of our country’s Founders. Instead, they have pushed a huge financial burden onto future generations.
As we noted in our inaugural newsletter a year ago, David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the US Government, put it this way – This is not just a financial issue. This is not just an economic issue. This is an ethical and moral issue… We are mortgaging the future of our kids and grandkids at record rates… and it must stop.
The next key date occurs in March, when the country’s debt ceiling needs to be addressed by our elected “leaders”. We will keep you posted….
US Debt Clock – – December 1st – $56,266 per citizen / January 1st – $56,356