At one time, America was the most prosperous and the most admired nation on earth.
Today America is bankrupt and despised even by former admirers.
Update, 2010: The figures described below now exceed $202 Trillion.
I have described the government as an investment advisor who is corrupt, incompetent, or mentally ill. The latest figures force us to revise this diagnosis downward: these politicians are sociopaths. "Wikipedia" describes this as "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others."
Senator William Proxmire: "...there are 37 million people, is that right, that get Social Security benefits?"
Social Security Commissioner James Cardwell: "Today between 32 and 34 million."
Proxmire: "I am a little high; 32 to 34 million people.
Almost all of them, or many of them, are voters. In my state, I figure there are 600,000 voters that receive Social Security. Can you imagine a senator or congressman under those circumstances saying, 'We are going to repudiate that high a proportion of the electorate?' No.
"Furthermore, we have the capacity under the Constitution, the Congress does, to coin money, as well as to regulate the value thereof. And therefore we have the power to provide that money. And we are going to do it. It may not be worth anything when the recipient gets it, but he is going to get his benefits paid."
Cardwell: "I tend to agree."
(The Social Security System, Hearings Before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, 94th Cong., 2nd Session, May 26 and 27, 1976, pp. 27-28. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1977.)
Why is it Social Security benefits will "not be worth anything?"
Because the dollar will not be worth anything.
This is because the government had to print up trillions of new dollars.
This is because the government is bankrupt. This is because all your social security "contributions" have long ago been spent by politicians.
This is deliberate, conspiratorial, premeditation to destroy the dollar in order to save face. The government plans on "keeping its promises to the elderly" in a formal, technical sense, by giving the elderly fists full of "dollars" -- just like they promised -- but the "dollars" won't buy food.
Not only will the elderly be screwed, but the entire economy will collapse.
When the dollar collapses, it will certainly have international consequences for all currencies tied to the dollar.
This is a global economic catastrophe. This is millions unemployed, starving, dying and probably a suspension of the Constitution and declaration of martial law. This is potentially the destruction of western civilization.
And the politicians don't care.
They only care about the next election.
This is a mark of a sociopathic personality.
This is not just financial bankruptcy, it is moral bankruptcy.
Now, if you wish, you can read the rest of this webpage, as it was written several years ago, and has been periodically updated over the years.
New figures released by the CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas put the total of America's bankruptcy at $83.9 trillion.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently released a report which revealed that politicians have legally obligated the United States to pay out over $60 trillion in government benefits at some point in time to people now living -- money the government doesn't have now, and does not expect to have unless taxes are raised significantly. How much? A "terrifying" amount, to quote the St. Louis fed report.
Over $60 trillion in unfunded legally-obligatory promises made by politicians to those who will vote for them. Unbelievable.
There's no point in continually updating this page as the national debt soars to new heights. Although this material is nearly a year old, the principle still applies: it is unethical and dangerous for government to promise benefits that can't be paid.
And if you continue to vote for the same reckless and unethical politicians, you are not a Good American.
From the Blog . . . .
In yesterday's post, I gave a conservative estimate of government fraud at $60 trillion.
This morning I came across a more recent figure, given by Richard W. Fisher, CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas:
Fisher is President and CEO of one of the 12 Banks that operate the Fed's payments system business. He chairs the Fed's Information Technology Oversight Committee and sits on the Federal Open Market Committee, which is "responsible for crafting a monetary policy designed to foster sustainable noninflationary economic growth." Its actions are what the press and financial analysts love to bill and coo about. The Fed moves $5 trillion per day between financial institutions to settle their accounts. Fisher says:
According to official government trustee reports, the infinite-horizon discounted present value of our unfunded liability from Social Security and Medicare—in common language, the gap between what we will take in and what we have promised to pay—now stands at $83.9 trillion.
This staggering deficit portends conflict, chaos, and a Great Depression.
Imagine that General Motors settled a strike with United Auto Workers by promising huge pensions and health benefits to workers in retirement, yet accountants revealed that GM would be unable to pay those promised benefits. The strikers would not be happy. GM's credit rating would turn to junk bond status. Oh, wait . . . no need to "imagine" that:
Washington D.C. is a "junk bond" government. Used car salesmen are less ethically-challenged than federal politicians.
Politicians are liars and buffoons. A liar makes a promise that can't be kept. A buffoon just stands there while his colleagues continue to lie, when millions of people are depending on promises that won't be kept. Speaking to 4,000 students at BYU, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
reminded the students that government can be our "friend," and cited throughout his speech numerous government programs as successes. "For example," he added, "Social Security is the most successful social program in the history of the world."
Would you write a check to a person and say, "Here's something to provide you with income security when you retire," knowing you didn't have the funds to honor that check? Would you vote yes on legislation which did the same thing on a scale billions of times larger? Who are these people who can vote for such bills without pangs of conscience? And far from keeping these misdeeds quiet, they boast about them, publicly campaigning on them: "Vote for me! I voted to give you a check that will bounce!" The poor and the elderly are going to be shafted to the tune of $83 trillion. Or the rich and middle class are going to be divested of everything they've worked for all their lives. Politicians are Liars. Irresponsible buffoons.
But we’re a big country, so let’s look at it on a per-person basis. If you divide the $83.9 trillion evenly among the 300 million U.S. residents, you get a per-person liability of $280,000—more than five times the average household’s annual income. Each of us would have to pay that much today if we wanted to guarantee the solvency of our entitlement system for future generations.
Let me put it yet another way. The total unfunded liability from these programs encompasses about 7.5 percent of U.S. GDP from here to eternity, which works out to 68 percent of all federal income tax revenues from here to eternity. So instead of paying $280,000 per person now, we could permanently sequester 68 percent of all current and future income tax revenue for use only on Social Security and Medicare. Or we could permanently raise income tax rates by 68 percent to accomplish the same thing—although we’d actually need to jack it up even higher because a large tax hike would probably discourage some people from working.
"Discourage some people from working" is a pleasant euphemism for what could be a lot more unpleasant. Imagine the reaction of the auto workers when they find out that all the promised benefits they worked for are an illusion, or that all the wages they've worked for must be returned. The question I asked yesterday was How will tax-payers react to a seizure of $280,000 per person? Or the flip-side of the coin: How will tax-feeders react to a denial of promised benefits amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars? Will they have the moral fiber to resist a violent protest of this massive transfer (or non-transfer) of wealth?
The promises made by government politicians are fraudulent. The federal government had no authority under the Constitution to make these promises (even if they had the money to honor them), and politicians who took an oath to "support the Constitution" violated that oath by supporting these unconstitutional promises. They all know about the social security problem. Their failure to confront the inevitable problems caused by these massive and fraudulent promises is reprehensibly irresponsible, deliberately avoiding the heat, hoping to get out of office with a comfortable government pension before the fraud is uncovered and future generations have to deal with the chaos. Politicians
are liars -- but "We the People" seem to like it that way.
This is an issue that "separates the men from the boys." Any politician who just "goes along to get along" and does not speak out about this massive fraud should be turned out of office. Every voter should be a "single issue voter" on this issue. Voters should not vote for any politician who does not support the concept of the Constitution as a document of "enumerated powers," and who does not speak as forthrightly about the terrifying bankruptcy of the United States as Dallas Fed CEO Richard W. Fisher.
Just don't vote for them.
"But if I don't vote for X, Y will win," you say.
And Y is going to be worse than the X-created $83.9 TRILLION??
You should not vote for someone who does not have the ethical integrity to avoid making fraudulent promises, and lacks the foresight and the guts to speak out about the dangers of false promises already made.
You Need an "Extremist" in Washington D.C.
Politics is a "tug-of-war." On one side of the rope are politicians who want to win re-election by promising gullible, ignorant voters that they can have some of your money: either money withheld from your next pay check, or purchasing power taken from the money you have saved for your retirement.
Pulling on the other side of the rope, pulling toward smaller government, lower taxes, less debt, fewer promises that can't be paid, returning to the Constitution, restoring "Liberty Under God," is . . . who?
Who is on the other side of your rope?
More important, who is strong enough to pull against 400 other Representatives who are pulling to give your money to special interests and ignorant voters?
You need an "extremist" pulling the rope in your favor. You need a fanatic who will pull harder than all the other members of Congress. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican Nominee for President, responded to repeated accusations of "extremism" as follows:
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!
When Democrats accuse Republicans of wanting to "cut spending," all the Republicans are really proposing is to cut the rate of increase of spending. Instead of spending increasing by 10% a year, Republicans want spending to only increase 7% a year! This only postpones the Day of Reckoning.
You need someone who, like America's Founding Fathers, would "alter or abolish" unconstitutional spending. You need someone with strength of conviction who is passionately against today's unconstitutional debt and reckless spending.
You may not agree with Kevin Craig's radical views. You may think he distrusts government too much. You may think he goes "overboard." But if your representative in Congress is only hoping to "hold the line," he's going to be out-pulled by hundreds of representatives who are trying to increase spending.
You need someone who's actually trying to "go too far" in order to balance out those who have already gone too far.
Only a radical libertarian can be trusted to pull against extraordinary corruption and dangerous spending from an entire Congress.
Just as the world gasped in horror when America's Founding Fathers created a nation with no king at all, so you may be shocked at the radical libertarian ideas of Kevin Craig. He believes that future generations will have no government at all.
The only reason "the government" exists is to permit the governors to do things against the governed that would otherwise be immoral and unethical:
Take money from other people.
Take vengeance on one's enemies.
You don't do these things in the ordinary conduct of your business, as you better the lives of your customers and clients. All these things are unapproved in polite society, unrewarded by the Free Market, but they are legal and taxpayer-financed in the world of "the government."
We cannot eliminate "government corruption" without eliminating the entire concept of "the government." It is an out-dated idea. It was never a good idea.
If you disagree with this, but do indeed want less "corruption," less debt, less unconstitutional spending, your best bet is to vote for a candidate that believes all government action is corrupt. If you vote for someone who believes some government confiscation of the life, liberty or property of others is morally and ethically legitimate, you vote for someone who has no ultimate restraints on his corruption. America's Founding Fathers crafted what they believed was the greatest political charter in the history of the human race. It was designed as carefully as they knew how to prevent the rise of the very government we have today. Obviously the Constitution is a failure. The promises of today's politicians are worth even less than the Constitution. Everything the greatest sages of the
ages have discerned about human nature warns us that a license to steal (taxation) will never atrophy, but will always be used with increasing frequency.
Computers, automobiles, medical supplies, air conditioners, telephones, refrigerators, and everything else that raises our standard of living, can be produced better, more efficiently, more inexpensively, with higher quality, by the Free Market than by "the government." There is nothing that human beings need that can be produced with higher quality and a lower price for more people by "the government" than by the Free Market.
Our system of government is supposedly based on "the consent of the governed." "We the People" don't need to consent to anything anymore. History has taught us that socialism always fails, and capitalism triumphs. Government lowers our standard of living, capitalism raises it.
We didn't need London in 1776, and we don't need Washington D.C. today.