Five Unthinkable Options (Part 5 Of 5)
March 22, 2010
By J.J. Jackson
I hope that you have been sleeping well. I sincerely mean that too and I ask because I have been getting emails from people telling me how the stark reality of our federal budget that I have been pointing out over the course of the past month is causing them to lose sleep as they worry about our nation's future. No joke. A lot of people are waking up to reality and it is bothering them very deeply.
It is almost over, however. No, not the budget crisis and our bloated national debt; those are still here and looming larger than ever. What is almost over is this series about ways to solve the problem. Now, before we get on to discussing the last unthinkable option, number five, I do want to address a particular concern that so many of you have emailed me with. Some of you are asking me why I have not proposed simply selling off the trillions of dollars in land our federal government owns as a way of dealing with our federal deficits. Especially since by some accounts there would be more than enough to make us whole. Well, yes, that is true. But it is only a temporary fix to the problem.
Let’s say we were to sell off about $12 trillion in land tomorrow and make the deficit go away. What then? Well, the very next day we would be right back in the red racking up more debt spending. In reality this is no different than unthinkable option number one where even though we staved off the inevitable, we would just keep on doing what we were doing.
Personally I think that it would be a great idea for the federal government to divest itself of land that has been acquired by time and again violating the sovereignty of many States within our Union in the course of procuring it. But unless we cut spending then nothing changes. At the rate our current President and Congress are spending we would be right back here again in ten to twelve years and that time around there would be no land to sell as a fix.
This series of articles is about living within our means and ways to do so. And with that explained we are on to the final unthinkable option.
I hope that you have enjoyed the ride of welfare and transfer payments system which this country has been on for decades. Because under unthinkable option number five it all ends. Kick and scream all you like about how such a proposal is anti-poor or how you as a senior citizen have “earned” those monthly checks because you paid someone else’s way previously. All you are going to do is become hoarse.
Last week I showed you how much needed to be cut from every program of the federal budget just to pay down the debt in a reasonable time frame. The week before I showed you that in order to even have a shot at paying down the debt every single item other than the big welfare spending line items would have to be let go. This week though we are going to take a novel approach and adhere to the Constitution. That means if it is not in the Constitution as a power of our government then it is gone.
Weep if you are getting a government check. Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
While in previous weeks it has been a struggle to get the budget under control this week, by simply eliminating unconstitutional spending, it is very easy. Not painless, but easy. Oh, and once again, as much as I hate saying it, even though we cut this spending taxes must remain the same. Again, I realize that cutting taxes would actually raise revenue and even though I have said that many times in this series people still scold me for this part of the plan. Listen; again I am going to tell you we are not going to deal with an argument over tax rates here. We are just dealing with numbers we know (those from 2008 and previously noted) and we are not going to get in a bind by guessing at what new revenues could be if we had a more sound tax policy.
And spare me all your cries about these programs not being unconstitutional because of this court ruling or that court ruling. Courts, in case you are unaware, cannot rewrite our federal Constitution. Oh, they try and often the people just go along with it but they still have not in fact changed the actually meaning of the document.
This week is when the guillotine comes down. No scalpel. No axe. We are bringing out the mother of all blades.
Now, we are still working with 2008 numbers here. And as much as you may not like it, they are the same as has they have been in previous weeks where we have $2.569 trillion in revenues and $3.094 trillion in spending and a $525 billion in debt each year with $12 trillion in total debt. Don’t worry, this will be quick.
Lop off the $608 billion spent on Social Security. Lop off the $386 billion spent on Medicare. Lop off the $209 billion in Medicaid and SCHIP.
Do this alone and we are running, with current taxes kept as they are, a surplus of just under $678 billion each year and can have the debt paid down in 18 years.
Let’s cut some more heads off. Come here you $324 billion in Unemployment payments, Welfare, and other “Mandatory Spending.” That leaves us with a trillion dollar surplus and a payoff period on the debt of just 12 years.
Yep, where as under unthinkable option number three when we had to spend iteration after iteration knocking off this program and that program to scrimp and save enough while we protected these precious little programs above to sooth the angry masses partaking of them, just four quick chops here have us well on the road to fiscal responsibility.
But we can go further. If we cut other unconstitutional discretionary spending the numbers get better. Ditch the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Labor and the “Off-budget” spending our yearly surplus balloons to $1.236 trillion allowing us to pay off the debt two years quicker. Yes, in just ten years we would have the deficit retired! And reasonably by also cutting waste in even the Constitutional programs such as the Department of Defense we can save even more.
All it would take is for us to abide by the Constitution.
Would there be misery? Sure. But as I have said before, we have misery now where the productivity of the producer class is confiscated to provide hammocks to the rest of America in which they sleep waiting eagerly each month for their checks signed boldly by Uncle Sam. And personally, I think it is high time that the producers be cut a break in this country.
So there you have it my friends. The five unthinkable options are laid out before you. Which will you chose? You can even come up with your own if you think you have a better option. But the fact is that even if you do so misery will stem forth from all of them be they the ones I have set out on the table or any further ones that you concoct. Do you make our children suffer? Does the current day's working middleclass suffer? Do the dependent classes suffer? You just have to hold your nose and pick your poison.