Our National Debt and Other Forms of Human Madness: How Did We Get Here?

“Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter.” -  So said Vice President Dick Cheney in a Bush II Cabinet meeting.  This meant that continued deficit spending to justify attacking members of Bush’s declared enemies of the United States, namely Iraq, North Korea, and Iran, did not matter.  Ka-Ching!  Up went the National Debt another $4 Trillion!  Halliburton and many other military contractors got filthy rich.  So what was this new America who saw bogey men behind every bush?  Rather I wish that the American people could have seen the “bugger” man behind the Bush in the White House. 

Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons and other forms of WMDs pointed at American cities?  Bush proclaimed this as fact in his televised state of the union address right before attacking Iraq, remember?  Despite the Brits saying the intelligence reports about Saddam Hussein attempting to buy Uranium from Niger were bogus?  Despite CIA intelligence advising strongly about Bush’s saying nothing of the sort (which Bush disregarded and did anyway).

Fooling your fellow countrymen into believing lies is how it always begins.  This trauma-bonded use of fear begets $500 hammers being sold to the U. S. Government and no one objecting.  Let me explain.  World leaders historically found an enemy.  It is evil posing as essence Hitler found the Jews who found around 7 Million Jews to torture and kill while building up his war machine and empire.  Germans might accept that Jews were as evil as Muslims have become to many Billy Bobs right here today in the land of the free. 

Stalin found his fellow countrymen to be the enemy (all 30 million of them who died in Stalin’s infamous Purge).  Yes, Stalin killed them all.  An enemy is an asset to taking power, wielding it, and maintaining it. An enemy generates the manufacture of guns, arms, militias, planes, tanks, ships, and now missiles and laser-directed smart bombs with which to destroy the enemy.  Enemies beget hatred.  All the citizens in Big Brother’s world were being told that Oceania was the enemy.  Until it became more lucrative to have Oceania become the best ally ever.  Then you get a new enemy. 

All the while when you have an enemy, the cash register is always ringing with BIG expenditures because the people are afraid for their very lives.  Is it any wonder that many of the U.S. military contracts to build arms or provide services have become traditionally NO-BID contracts to bill Uncle Sam for?  I mean, how many contractors could Reagan have hired to build the Star Wars missile defense initiative (which after crossing the palms of many before Star Wars was abandoned)?  After all, weren’t we Americans dedicated to defeating Russia who Reagan branded the Evil Empire?  It sounded a lot like Reagan was doing the work of God Almighty, and it was a great acting job.  It made military industrial complex corporations rich.  Reagan saw to it that Congress borrowed and spent over $3 Trillion which got pasted to our existing National Debt.  How can you argue with someone doing the work of God?  But we weren’t at war during his 8 years, you might say.  The amount spent got tacked onto the National Debt.  Plus all the interest it has caused to be spent since Reagan left office over 24 years ago!

The answer is you can’t allow too many bids because of the technology limitations of the horde of contractors who might want to bid on doing the work.  As a result usually only one contractor gets the job and no further bidding is allowed.  It makes for a closed fraternity of crony capitalists who pay for high status and receive big bucks from key government officials.  And the latter gets hefty campaign contributions to insure their ongoing ability to steal the big money from the United
States Treasury.  In short, the people. 

Quite a brotherhood of back-scratchers, eh?  Further, who in Uncle Sam’s government would dare question such an exalted defense contractor if the contractor charges $500 for a hammer?  I speak figuratively because all and every of the items this NO-BID contractor charges Uncle Sam are so inflated.  And no such exaggeration of prices charged is ever challenged.  Why not?  Well we got to trust the honesty of these military industrial complex corporations who are serving our common good by helping us defeat our nation’s enemies.  First, you got to have an enemy.  Terrorists provided the most hated and greatest enemy the United States ever had.  The graphic and memorable violence of 911 gave us the needed collective mindset to spend much more on protecting our own country and families from death and destruction from those who were different from us.

And it’s okay that we are paying $500 for a single hammer.  Senator William Proxmire who authored the famous “Golden Fleece” Award was as much an aberration as other noted whistle-blowers on government stealing and maleficence, e.g., Ron Paul.  Both men were effectively demonized and put out to the political pasture of being eccentric candidates who would never be elected to high office in Washington.  Trouble is, they knew all too well the rules of the game.  And because they were not willing to play, they were toast, need there be more said?

Is it only a coincidence that in lieu of the plunge and deterioration in housing prices in much of America, that Washington, D.C. real estate values hang tough and continue to rise?

Is it immoral for military contractors to be in cahoots with government to where the people who pay taxes are charged $500 for a toilet seat?  Have we lost our minds?  And when the government runs out of money to buy one should the congressmen who borrowed and spent $500 for a toilet seat by the millions  be directed to the nearest tree with a newspaper and nothing to sit on when the urge hits him?

The world and the United States have borrowed and spent themselves into deep debt that can never be repaid.  Or if Bernanke and the Fed continues to print more dollars out of thin air and bread zooms to $10 a loaf and gas to $14 a gallon the U.S. can surely pay a lot more off its staggering and swelling debt with cheaper dollars that have been falsely and deceptively inflated.   Poor old Greece doesn’t have the ability to print its own money so it will probably just sink into the sea much like Atlantis and dine with Neptune.  Cease to exist.  But the USA can use trickery for a while at least to keep printing new life into its citizens with newly-created Monopoly dollars, right?

American government has become so addicted to borrowing and spending tax dollars that without the loans afforded us by China and Japan and other world countries, we would certainly default on our loans and our obligations such as congressional pay, Social Security, Medicare, and other government outlays of cash payment obligations.  The Military Industrial Complex would have to find a new sucker sovereign country to get in bed with, say, maybe China.  Maybe they need to get themselves some new ships, planes, and laser-guided missiles in case push ever comes to shove in this economic perversion that has become typical of the world.

Bottom line, it is the borrowing and spending and living beyond our means that is the problem.  “Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter.”  What a gem.  So if our country runs out of the money necessary to pay its citizens military retirement benefits or government pensions in general, who will get cut first?  Uncle Edgar on Social Security?  Will all the congressmen and government workers in D.C. pack it in and quit their lucrative jobs and sing ‘Turn out the Light, the Party’s Over?’  Maybe.  When Limbaugh becomes a Democrat and takes the cure for drugs.  Will the Military Industrial Complex indeed move to China and put out their shingles there?  Or maybe in Russia?  Is this an exercise in just how absurd one can conceive it to be or what?

But make no mistake about the cause of our dilemma with the dollar, our millions of underwater houses just walked away from, and the prospect of getting your government Social Security check cut in half, just for openers.  Paul Ryan ain’t going to be the one to get his lifetime retirement cut.  First you got to cut the firemen, the policemen, and the teachers.  You know, the common folk.  The cause of this great study in mass delusions we have come to call modern American economics began with borrowing money you did not have and then trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by paying interest for the money borrowed until the day you die.  Reagan and Bush II racked up a total of $7 Trillion during their terms as presidents.  The present National Debt is $15 Trillion.  Do the math.  Will the big-spenders please stand up?  And tell us why they spent half of all the money owed in our massive National Debt?  Since George Washington first took office?

So what’s America’s problem?

It’s the borrowing, stupid.