A Million Here, A Million There….
Today’s Wall Street Journal posted the following :
“Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the government would be left with just $30 billion cash on hand ‘no later’ than Oct. 17, and the Congressional Budget Office predicted these funds would be used up between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31 if legislation isn’t enacted to raise the ceiling on government borrowing. That little cash could make it difficult, if not impossible, for the government to pay the roughly $55 billion in Social Security, Medicare and military payments due Nov. 1. Lawmakers on Wednesday cast about for options to keep the government funded beyond Oct. 1, a separate deadline that is offering a taste of what a debt-ceiling fight might look like later in October. Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on how to avoid a government shutdown, with no path to a deal in sight.”
I really wanted to scream, “are you kidding me?” In today’s world of spending millions, billions and even trillions, if we don’t raise the ceiling on government borrowing, we would only have $30 billion cash on hand by October 17? And we won’t be able to pay people on Social Security, Medicare and oh by the way we won’t be able to make our military payments either, leaving the spouses and children at home with no way to pay the electricity and food bills.
I am astonished that this government that spends money like the proverbial “drunken sailor” on every kind of wasted programs you can imagine would only have $30 billion on hand. That seems very trivial compared to the 16 or so trillion in debt that we currently have doesn’t it. Here’s the number of debt held by the public on this day in September: $11,964,783,769.751.11 (don’t you like adding the .11?) and by intergovernmental holdings: $4,773,680,725,095.78. I just thought I would type the numbers in so we can just realize what trillions really look like.
Is there no fiscal sanity left? Thirty billion left on hand??? We owe almost 17 trillion? And then there is of course the political insanity that threatens to not pay Social Security, Medicare and our military. Does anyone out there really believe that we won’t step up and pay those folks? I am so frustrated with the lack of fiscal constraint by our President and most of the electeds in DC. We simply have to get control of our spending and our debt and elect more people like Senators Corker and Alexander who have the courage to talk about the debt and its impact not only on us but our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
We need another statesman like Senator Everett Dirksen who reportedly said about our government’s spending habits, “A million here, a million there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Only now it’s a trillion here, a trillion there. Stop the madness!