DownsizeDC.org
December 16, 2009
National Debt: Do you want Congress to waste another decade?
By James Wilson

Congressional leaders were planning on raising the national debt limit by a whopping $1.8 trillion.

Luckily, the end-of-year legislative logjam has prevented them from doing so. They are likely to pass a short-term increase to keep the government running for a few months.

But after the New Year, Congress will be back with a spending agenda which, if not stopped, will raise the national debt so that it will soon be the size of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product!

Congress must not continue on this reckless course. Please send a letter to Congress demanding that they cut federal spending. https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/104

Here's what I wrote in my letter . . .

In 2000, Congress was debating what to do with a future full of budget surpluses, but the last ten years have turned out to be a wasted decade. Both parties chose to embark on a reckless and unproductive spending spree that doubled the national debt.

I know that Congress had plans to raise the debt limit to $14 trillion this month. It looks like that won't happen, but I know Congress will try to pass it after the new year. This means the national debt COULD BE about the size of the GDP a year from now! The last time this happened was at the end of World War II, but back then . . .

* Social Security was more affordable because there were 16 workers for every recipient
* Medicare didn't exist
* And federal spending fell by two-thirds between 1945 and 1948, because the war ended

By 1963 the national debt was less than a half of GDP, and it was less than a third by 1979. (Source: governmentspending.com http://tinyurl.com/ydb9muc)

But the situation is very different today . . .

* There are just 3.3 workers for every Social Security recipient, and that number will fall to 2.2 by 2030. (Source: "The Economics of Social Security" Powerpoint: http://tinyurl.com/yaygbbx)
* The total unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare are $107 trillion: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba662

* Ending our foreign wars and occupations won't save us as much money as the end of WWII did -- not that there's any end in sight to these things

The consequences are dire:

* Americans will pay $4.8 trillion in taxes just to cover the interest on the debt over the next 10 years http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/19/news/economy/debt_interest/index.htm
* Foreign governments own a quarter of our debt, which may give them leverage over our foreign and domestic policy -- they might even be able to cripple us by turning off the flow of funds http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17424874/

* Our huge deficits have been built on dollar depreciation, and could lead to price inflation, crippling American's purchasing power

This issue can't be put off any longer. It's not just that we can't afford fancy new federal programs, we can't even afford the ones we have now.

The American people get it -- 80% believe dealing with the debt and deficit should be a top priority. http://knowthedebtfacts.com/

And I'm telling you now: when Congress comes back in session next year, scrap your ambitious spending plans, and DO NOT raise the debt limit to $14 trillion. Instead, go to work CUTTING SPENDING!

Don't waste another decade. Put our fiscal house in order now. I'll be watching closely to see if your votes are fiscally responsible.

END LETTER

You can send your letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System: https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/104

Please share this message with your friends.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org

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