Before I begin this, I want you to have some concepts rolling around in your consciousness.
First, I found these words from Calvin Coolidge the other day:
A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.
Those words tie nicely into my original starting point for this article:
When people die, any debts they have end with them. Secured assets like cars and houses go back to the note holders unless the heirs purchase the house/car or "reaffirm" the debts and continue the payments. Then everything of value that is remaining is sold to pay for any remaining debts (credit cards, student loans, etc.) of those who make claims against the estate. If the deceased’s estate does not have enough assets to pay all of the debts, then those creditors are stuck with the debt. They have no way to get their money back.
Now, imagine we do away with that concept. If your estate does not have sufficient money to pay all of your debts, your creditors can transfer your unpaid debts to your heirs. Would that change how you manage your current financial affairs? Are you okay with leaving your credit card and/or student loan debts to your children?
According to Nerd Wallet, the average US household holds a total of $16,700 of credit card debt and $49,900 of student loans. Be honest with yourself: would you be okay with dumping that debt on your children upon your inevitable demise?
If foisting your excesses upon your children does not sit well with you, why are you okay with the federal government doing it to all of our children?
This needs to be said again, and again, and again until it is hammered home to everybody:
Do not look to Washington to give you money and services, nor to help you whenever you encounter a difficulty in life. Look to your community instead.
Recently, I’m sure you saw the news headlines about President Trump cutting Meals on Wheels out of the budget. Listening to the MSM, you would think Trump shut the entire program down. The truth is a little different. MoW is a private organization and Trump cut off direct federal funding of MoW, which totaled 3% of their entire budget. The rest of the funding comes from donations from state and local governments, corporate sponsors and individual donations.
To be fair, future scheduled cuts of federal block grants to the states can cut up to another 18% from the MoW budget and that will hurt. The good news is, thanks to MSM misrepresentation of the initial facts, private donations to MoW have surged.
You may think that the MoW money is insignificant, however we need to do it to all programs like this, which I will explain why in a minute.
Consider that the US government has $20 Trillion in publicly held debt outstanding. Our “Unfunded Liabilities” (known expenses we will have to pay in the future) total $127 Trillion.
$127,000,000,000,000.00. That’s a lot of zeros. Let me describe it this way to give your head a chance to wrap around it:
A stack of 10,000 $100 bills ($1 Million) takes up a stack 12” by 12.5” by 4.3”, which comes out to 645 cubic inches or just over a third of a cubic foot. Now imagine your average Wal-Mart Supercenter. There is about 250,000 square feet of floor space in that building and it’s about 30 feet to the rafters. That’s 12.96 billion cubic feet.
To visualize $20 Trillion using $100 bills, we could fill that Supercenter from wall to wall and floor to rafters. At that point, there is still enough left to build a block in the parking lot that would measure 100’ wide by 100’ long and 30’ high.
For the unfunded mandates, figure 5 more Supercenters on top of that. That’s the debt we have left our children.
I created this visualization to try and give you an idea of the problem. I am not a Pollyanna who thinks “cutting the budget” alone will fix this problem. We the People have been electing people to Congress for over 50 years that are running the backhoes that are digging this fiscal hole. It will take 100 years of hard, concentrated fiscal discipline to undo what these Congresscritters have done to our children.
But like I said, we could cut the budget to zero, totally disbanding the federal government while still collecting all of these taxes and it would still take decades to get close to catching up.
As Dave Ramsey says, “If you’re in a hole, the first step is to stop digging!” We can’t cut the budget to stop getting farther into debt, we have to grow the economy so the taxes increase as well. You might want to read up on the Laffer Curve so we can create the proper conditions to create and grow businesses that employ more people and thus generate taxes. Then those tax rates should be mindfully and carefully adjusted to maximize growth and taxes in balance.
In the end, this means that Meals on Wheels, NPR, and many other programs must stop receiving federal money because the government is spending our children’s money today. If you want these and other programs and services to survive, donate your time and money to them. That’s a concept known as Freedom. You have the freedom to choose to do it or not, rather than be forced to be socially conscious” at the muzzle of a gun.