National Debt Relief

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Copyright (c) 2011 Scott F Paradis

Sensational rhetoric resounds, "We must raise the debt ceiling or face bankruptcy." The underlying message to this all but foregone conclusion is that the full faith, trust and confidence of the U.S. Government, and by implication the citizens of the United States, is at risk. Unless and until we borrow more, that is go further into debt, we will be seen as a threat to those who hold our debt and continue to feed our addiction to living beyond our means. Does this argument make sense to you?

The federal government is in the hole over fourteen trillion dollars. We are dropping further into debt to the tune of $100 billion per month. Public Law 111-139, enacted February 12, 2010, raised the U.S. debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion. Less than one year later we are fast approaching this artificial limit. Maintaining our current speed and trajectory that debt limit is going to be nothing but a insignificant speed bump to a fast moving big rig.

The Fed, Congress and the Administration have exhausted every trick in the book to no avail. The economy continues to languish, unemployment persists, while debt mounts. We are borrowing to sustain the empire, fuel the nation, maintain unfettered entitlements and pad the pockets of the elite siphoning off any chance of recovery. This compulsion is sure to lead to insolvency.

If you are inclined to see the astronomical numbers advancing in real time check out the website:

A quick review of the facts will show the debt increasing at a pace of nearly two to one relative to tax receipts. State and local government obligations add an additional three trillion dollars to the total accumulated debt. And those are only current accrued charges, the numbers are truly staggering when one considers future government liabilities.

In medical parlance we are hemorrhaging and fast approaching the need for life support. But what are we to do?

The current answer, offered by those in charge, is to raise the debt ceiling. The globalized economy is "all in" on this bet, so why not live a little before the house of cards comes crumbling down. It's always easier to start tomorrow rather than to face the pain today. Discipline and sacrifice are an anathema to our current political system.

Building on the medical analogy, the United States must take drastic measures immediately to save, stabilize and then heal this fading patient.

The federal government continues to reinforce two fundamental missteps in attempting to manage government largesse. First the system lacks any measure of fiscal discipline. Lax oversight and the assault of special interests have overwhelmed every attempt to balance government receipts and expenses. We must impose fiscal discipline to live within our means now.

In addition, and a much more challenging undertaking, we must reestablish a fair, equitable and productive economic system. To advance the interests of the few, we erred grievously elevating finance to a privileged market position. Convinced we could create wealth from nothing we moved production offshore (to maximize corporate profits from reduced labor, environmental and regulatory costs), we remained shackled to an carbon-based energy regimen (even after the viable sources of oil threatened our national security) and we handed over the reins of our national economy to titans of finance and the captains of industry who have busied themselves concentrating wealth at a speed the world has never seen.

Our national debt is obscene to the point of being overwhelming. The social welfare state has nearly comprehensive reach. We all experience the short term benefits of our mistakes in government largesse. Our recklessness, however, is our existential threat. Now is the time to act.

Discipline, pain and sacrifice are the means to change course. This bad news will not grow more favorable with age. It is time to address our national debt crisis now. It is time to set ourselves on the course of greatness once again. Do we have the will to make the right choice?


Scott F. Paradis, author of "Promise and Potential: A Life of Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Will" publishes "Insights" available for free at

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