What have we gotten for $14 Trillion?

As most of you know, the United States federal government's Executive Branch (that is the President's part, for those of you who have recently graduated from public school) is in a fight with the Republicans in Congress to raise our debt limit ceiling. This is a statutory limit on the amount of money that the government is allowed to borrow... the government equivalent of our credit card's credit limit.

At this date (July 13, 2011) the Republicans are hanging tight in their negotiations to disallow an increase in the debt limit until the President and his allies in the Senate agree to cut spending by a significant amount. Also, as of this date, no one knows how it will end up. This debt ceiling increase requirement is not uncommon, but finally the Right has put their foot down to say "No more."

The howlers on the Left claim that it is just posturing so that the "rich" don't have to pay any more in taxes. Funny, how the TEA party is populated by normal, everyday people, not just rich white guys. Heck, there aren't enough rich white guys around to create any movement beyond a strong lobbying effort.

But, I digress...

My point is, what have we gotten for the $14 Trillion that we are in debt?

As late as the early 1980's we had less than $1 Trillion in national debt. Now, just 30 years later we have 14 times as much debt? The value of the dollar is about 2.5 times less valuable now as it was then, but what do we have to show for it?

As someone who is sneaking up on 60 years of age, other than some technological advances like computers, cell phones, computers in-everything and advances in the fringes of health care, not much has changed for me in 30 years.

My house is the same, highways are virtually unchanged (except they fall apart much more quickly, now), the Space Shuttle program was just getting off the ground 30 years ago. We are flying virtually the same airplanes, cars are just a bit nicer, cities look the same, trains are the same, etc.

Yes, we are mired in a very expensive war and that has cost a lot of money. But other than the war, I don't feel any significant difference from 30 years ago. And most of the significant advances that I enjoy came from the "eeeeeeevil" private sector.

The left will tell us that the middle class has gone nowhere in 30 years. Yes, some rich have gotten richer, but you have to admit there are a LOT more rich people now. I must note that the middle class has a lot more 'toys' per capita than they did 30 years ago. Heck, everyone has a lot more gee-gaws that they don't really need.

My point is that the federal government is the same way. Ask anyone if they have enough money and you will find that 99% are just a few dollars short of having what they really need. Even the super, filthy rich seemed to be compelled to accumulate more. I guess it is just the hoarder in all of us. The government is run by people. And people always want more.

Like the whiney brat at the checkout counter at the local grocery store screaming for a candy bar, the people that give out goodies from the government neeeeeeeeeed everything they have and reeeeeeeeeeally need more.

All in all (including most of the war) it all has been a collossal waste and where has it all gone? We are not that much better off from $13 Trillion of government spending.

Let's ALL suck it up and let the Republicans be the adults in the room, but hold their feet to the fire for the long term. Every time they have done it in the past, the predicted doom and gloom does not come to pass and we enjoy a few years of respite. This time will be no different, but we MUST prevent future Congresses from going back to the same old same old.

I am just tired of all of the whining. If I want to hear whining, I can go to the grocery store...


Craig Hollins said…
OK - two things. The Republicans can claim the moral high ground on spending cuts when they support massive cuts to the defense budget. Cut it by 90% and you'll still be the highest military spending country in the world and the 14 trillion will go in a couple of years.
Second - you can't have something 2.5 times less than something else. If you have 100 then 2.5 times 100 is 250 so 2.5 times less is -150. Did you mean 40%?
The Asterisk said…
Less value by a factor of 2.5. Or 40%. Either way. (Is that eeee-ther or eye-ther?)
Craig Hollins said…
It's not either way. You can say 250 is 2.5 time greater than 100 but you can't say 100 is 2.5 times less than 250. Mathematical nonsense.
But either way can be said either way (and I sometimes use both).
I suppose being in a colony that remained friendly to the mother country has linguistic advantages - we can talk proper! :-)

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