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Why Not Just Put the Entire Federal Budget on Credit?

Let's finally open our arms really wide and embrace our massive debt, swiping the big government credit card to pay all our bills.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

March 21, 2013 - 1:00 am

The sequester is far too devastating for America to bear. Already the White House has had to stop giving tours, and who knows how it will escalate from there? Maybe next they’ll cancel the Easter Egg Roll, or close the mineral exhibit at the Smithsonian. Or reduce operating hours at the Washington Monument bookstore. Soon there will be nothing left to do in D.C. but go to the visitors’ gallery at the Capitol building and shout at the politicians down below.

A mere $85 billion cut has caused all this agony, yet the federal deficit has been over $1 trillion for each of the past four years. Maybe it’s time to admit we’ll never stop running huge deficits. The majority of our spending comes from entitlements, and we can’t cut those because people are, by definition, “entitled” to them. That means it doesn’t matter what math and reason say, we have to continue to pay for them. Thus an increased national debt each year is inevitable. But so what?

Think about it: We’re past $16 trillion in debt so far, and we’re just fine. We have a pretty good scheme going to keep up the level of government we want: We take big loans from our children and then die before paying them back. And we have no reason to stop. What’s the worst that has happened so far? America’s credit was downgraded. And that hurt us how? It’s not like people are going to stop giving the federal government loans — it has nukes. Plus, the president has asserted that he can take out anyone he wants with drone strikes whenever he feels like it (“Want to know who’s on my secret kill list? I’ll give you a hint: No one who loans us money.”). So that brings us to the obvious question: Why not just put the entire federal budget on credit?

Are we just being suckers paying taxes? The point of taxes is that someone needs to pay our government’s bills, but considering the amount of debt we’ve run up with no problem, maybe that’s not true. It seems unfair that the politicians see no reason to cut spending, but we have to keep paying taxes like the federal deficit actually means something. So why not give our economy a big stimulus and just put all government operations on credit? The debt ceiling will now just be whatever numbers we actually have words for.

This should receive huge bipartisan support. Republicans don’t like taxes, Democrats don’t like spending cuts — so now we’ll have no taxes and no cuts. The only thing we’ll have is even more debt, and we can all just agree to stop pretending we care about that. How can it hurt us, anyway? Dollars are just made-up things. They used to represent gold we had in a vault somewhere or something, but now they’re just completely pretend numbers on a computer. Saying we owe 16 trillion dollars is like saying we owe 16 trillion unicorn farts. How will this “debt” ever harm us?

So let’s continue onward without fear and with a lot more money in our pockets. We’ll have generous entitlements that are completely tax-free, and the only problem will be some growing number no one really pays attention to. What could possibly happen? I guess some sort of complete economic collapse that takes the government and all of its entitlements down with it. But with the path we’ve taken for years, haven’t we already been betting that will never actually happen? So let’s finally open our arms really wide and embrace our massive debt, swiping the big government credit card to pay all our bills. We can celebrate by adding free roller coaster rides to the newly reopened White House tours.

Frank J. Fleming is the author of Punch Your Inner Hippie, coming November 11th, and the science fiction novel Superego, coming later this year, blogs at IMAO.us, is a writer for the creative agency Emergent Order, and wants you to buy his book.

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All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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Why stop there? So long as the Federal Reserve can keep interest rates at zero, any amount of debt will require yearly debt service of zero.
Every household in the lower 20% could be given one million dollars. Poverty ended with a few keystrokes! Let's not neglect the middle class. College could be free. Every five years each driver could be given an American made automobile.
You could still pay $35,000 for a new foreign model, if you want.
Utilities could be free. Food free! Housing free.
The debt might be 500 trillion but who cares. We owe it to ourselves.
Only the upper 1% would not receive these benefits. Those fools, along with the tedious middle class, would continue to work 60 to 80 hours a week to make it all happen.
Bold decisive action is all that is required.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would prefer paying lower taxes with present spending levels, than hiking taxes. The deficit is a problem, but it conceals the real problem, excess spending. Focussing exclusively on a balanced budget is just an invitation for the leftists to hike taxes. We should be focussing not on the deficit, but on getting todays bloated spending of 22-23% of GDP back to a sustainable level of 18% of GDP.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm all for it. I mean long-time conservative "deficits don't matter" Dick Cheney is for it, what could go wrong? I mean we really need to "set aside the free market to save the free market" don't we? I mean let's really set it and our children's hopes and dreams aside while we are at it. We are "conservatives" because we say we are, darn it. Math be dam(n)ed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think people are missing the boat by not looking at the national debt as the principle problem with over a trillion dollars a year just to service the minimum interest repayment obligations.

The consider....

1. Record economic activity and profits through out our core industry sectors.

2. Record low government tax revenues per GDP.

3. Record or at record wealth disparity.

4. Record level of poor and poverty classes increasing continually.

5. Record low labor wages to GDP.

6. Record high comnsumer credit.

7. Record high educational debt.

8.. Record high credit default.

9. High unemployment to GDP to activity and profits.

The top 20% of the nation is doing very well while the majority is not doing so well and this should NOT be a political partisan matter of address! The government is already at record lows in terms of tax revenue to GDP while the debt interest service to GDP alone, will continue to increase year to a point of unsustaiability.

While "cutting & slashing" the government (including DOD) to a well reasoned back date, say pre-9/11 would be of benefit, cutting & slashing beyond that will be 'extremly' economically counter productive.

An interest 101 read on the debt and yes, one is from a democrat perspective and for good cause:

http://www.policyshop.net/home/2013/1/28/interest-payments-on-national-debt-will-partly-go-to-senior.html

http://www.investmentcontrarians.com/national-debt/


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The consider... should read Then consider....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your question is tongue-in-cheek but I'll bet not one in a thousand American voters could answer it. No one understands that one of money's primary functions is to keep track of who creates what and what their productivity is worth to others. When the government pays itself handsomely for doing all kinds of things that nobody really wants or needs - including the early and lavish retirement of millions of public "servants" - then it destroys our whole system. Our economy can be thought of as a big pot into which we all place our productivity. Then we get to buy from that pot with the money we earn. If you are working hard in a trade, trying to send your kids to college and save for your retirement, how does it feel to get elbowed away from the meat counter and over to the canned spam by a highly paid assistant to the deputy administrator for diversity at the local community college. It doesn't matter if that person's salary and benefits come from taxes on the rich or from government borrowing. The result is consumption of valuable goods and services by someone who has produced nothing of value. That's what's wrong here. The sorry fact is that the tradesman in question, likely duped by Obama's class warfare strategy, probably votes Progressive right down the line.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And we won't have to file income taxes anymore, either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sign me up for $2 Billion in government subsidies!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I suspect your the wrong Color,Sex,and Party for that kind of consideration.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Im the right color, sex and party, just trapped in this body and a false consciousness!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, well, in that case, sign here to get a 560 million dollar gene therapy grant to change your color and sex. And another 40 million, let's say, with which you can hire someone to cause you massive brain damage with a hammer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I know you think you are funny but this IS pretty much what is going on.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He's dead serious and that's the point.It stopped being funny 10 trillion dollars ago.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let's nationalize all credit, all debts, public and private. Every debt owed is backed by government credit. Print money to pay off private citizen's debt. And allow private, government-backed credit cards to be used to pay taxes. What could go wrong?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
so tell me again why the laws of math that I need to use to balance my budget don't apply to congressmen and washington?

Or maybe we should just do what D.C. does and run up massive debt and then just take it from our neighbors that have more, because that isn't fair and we should just spread their wealth.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hello Barry,

The government has no credit or bills. They belong to those forced to settle the obligations, which are the taxpayers.

If one enriches a citizen lender with a bond, it creates an asset for the nation. and the nation incurs a debt, that same bond issued and all accruing interest. Combine the asset and liability, and the two add to zero. But imagine how well a government must operate in order to attract funds from citizen lenders. It is the end of government squander and the end of Taxation's deterrent effect.

GM
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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