O.K. guys… Hang in there for a tough one, but I promise a brief “Whiz Bang” conclusion at the end…
Heard the phrase “entitlement programs” lately? Geez… It’s almost like some HSS cat warned you about this stuff back in 2009… Now this stuff is all the buzz coming out of the Forth Estate… Golly gee… Are you getting it yet?
Apparently D.C. isn’t. Today, in his first press briefing Jay Carney touted that President Obama’s recent speech boasted of a $400 billion reduction in costs over the next ten years. Four hundred billion??? Look at the chart below… This is from the government – our government…
Let me read that to you… The interest we owe in four months on our entitlement spending is 169 Billion, 361 Million, 712 Thousand, six Hundred and twenty eight dollars and 99 cents. Remember… That’s the interest, and not the principal. So $400 Billion over ten years is… well… a joke. The principal we owe (see warning above) on our debts to foreign creditors is somewhere between $60 Trillion and $100 Trillion+ with absolutely no end in sight. (Read that, “The principal we owe (see warning above) on our debts to foreign creditors is somewhere between $60 Thousand Billion and $100 Thousand Billion+ with absolutely no end in sight.“)
Before we get into the “blame game” of politics, you need to understand how “Big Brother” keeps the books… In fact, there are three books: The first is the one we all know… Our “deficit…” That stands at about $14 Trillion ($14 Thousand Billion) which roughly equals our yearly Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The second is our emergency funds for stuff like hurricanes and floods… But it’s the third that no one, and I do mean no one, has the stones to discuss… That’s the budget for the un-funded liabilities of the “entitlements” of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, pensions, and the ilk… Turns out that Gov’ment has absolute no idea how to meet that $60 – $100 Trillion debt – a debt that is at least five times our GDP.
Now, on to the “blame game” of politics…
Democrats: Shut up. It was your beloved FDR who got this whole mess started with the advent of a generation-removed Ponzi scheme called “Social Security”. Clinton’s claim in 2000 that the government was no longer in debt was one of his most glaring whoppers (aside from not having sex with “that woman” and “not inhaling”.) Look at the chart above for the year 2000… We were in hock up to eyeballs. And when it comes to the “mess” that Dubya left, Obama has at least doubled or even tripled the problem. Democrats… Shut up.
Republicans: Shut up. All I need to say is “Part D”. Republicans, shut up. (Oh, by the way Dubya, thanks for securing our borders.)
Conclusion: Here are those three simple ways of thinking of all this…
Our nation’s economy is no different than yours – we have a budget we have to meet. Right now your total household income might be $50k and your total debt might be $50k… No big deal right… The problem is that the “significant other” has secretly racked up $300,000 on credit cards. In fact, the significant other has used no less than 32 credit cards to pay just the interest on the other credit cards. Replace the credit cards with our foreign-sold treasury bonds and blow the unspoken debt up into Trillions facing compounding interest, and you have the U.S. economy.
How did this happen??? The “Honorable” (insert your local dirt-bag politician name here) has played you like a cheap plastic fiddle.
Finally, let’s look at this like it’s a stack of dollars… How tall is $400 Billion? (Not that it really matters given the $60 Trillion pound gorilla in the room, but here we go anyway…) $400 Billion is roughly $500 Billion or one half of one Trillion dollars… (Read that… “$400 Billion is 1/120th of our real debt.”) But even at a pathetic savings of $400 Billion over ten years, that would equate to a stack of dollars over 2,700 miles high.
And that my friends is why we’re screwed. My advice, pay off your debt, stock up on long-shelf-life wine, and brace yourself…
Two cats blogging by the racks…
* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.
* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.