Liberals: Left of Center/National Debt
QUESTION: Mr. Park. I voted for Mr.Obama, but now the question arises about the huge national debt. With the new agreement with the Republicans (which may or may not pass, we'll see) the debt will rise by another 7 trillion, to about 24 trillion. Maybe the press has not been explaining the administration's plans for eventually handling even the current debt, but surely they have to have something in mind. My question to you is, do you have
any idea how the administration expects to cover the debt? Or is it the media who are choosing not to explain the plan Mr. Obama must have in mind to eventually handle the national debt.
ANSWER: Dear Frank
I apologize for my late reply. I've been out for the Holidays and missed this email.
Frank, you're one of many concerned citizens with an extremely interesting question. I'm sorry, but honestly, I don't think there's any plan. At least a short-term plan, because there's not enough money--probably in the world--to pay that amount. Fifteen years ago they used to talk about millions, then billions, and in the last 5 years they talk about trillions like it's chump change! Another thing is that I don't trust long-term plans to fix something either because they require a lot of discipline, and what I see in gov is all of the contrary. For example:
A lot of times when we hear politicians or the government talk about amounts of money that a plan is going to cost or they will spend, all the estimates are grossly understated. For example: During Pres. Obama's first term, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the cost of Health Care Reform was going to be 4 times what it had been estimated! And that was before any implementation had been started. As time progresses, they realize more money is needed. Some details that were left out/unaccounted for expenses, and so on. That's besides the fact that the original cost was most likely "low-balled" in order to sell the plan to the people.
A long-term plan would could be a solution, but even so, the tendency to miscalculate, and the tendency of life to get more and more complicated each day are factors that keep pushing the finish line farther away. For example, at the same time that we've got an astronomical debt, there are activist groups and politicians agressively pushing for open borders. If that hapens, right there you get a new variable that had not been reckoned with when the budgets for the Health Care Reform, Education, etc were put together. Imagine what's going to happen if we open our borders and accept almost everyone who's willing to come here. They're going to compete for resources with everyone of us. Resources range from jobs, a parking space at local mall, a bed in a hospital, government funds, etc. Because I don't think that a couple let's say from Mexico who are already here, and have a kid every year--like a ladder--are going to be denied services at a hospital here in the US, right? Well, materniy, giving birth, all of that is expenive, and then little children get sick a lot, if you get my point: we're already out of money, so those expenses are going to snowball into our debt.
All these years the Treasury has been keeping it quiet, but they're issuing currency, doing all sorts of tricks to make the economic numbers look good, but in the long run will worsen inflation. In the mid of all this, I can't find any indication that they are interested in paying the debt. Every time there's some new plan or push, it's neither to create jobs, to fix the economy nor reduce the debt. The plans I've seen recently are "Cash for Clunkers" "Shovel-Ready Jobs" (that weren't shovel-ready at all) "Same Sex Marriage" "Amnesty And Open Borders" "Health Care Reform". honestly, the fact that with the worst economy in years, from the top of my head--even with all the colorful names they give to their plans--, I can't recall a single concrete plan for the economy and jobs, it's concerning.
I think there's got to be a balance, common sense. We may believe that Government spending may stimulate the economy in some cases, but maybe we don't have a normal economy anymore, but it's obvious it didn't work because we've dumped all the money we could think of with almost no results. We have the strongest economy and system in the world; nobody's going to convince me that it can't be fixed in 5 years. Honestly, I think 2-3 years would be the most it'd take, at least to start seeing some improvement if the focus is the economy and jobs. Why do we have to take in anyone who wants to come? Does Mexico do that? No they don't! No other country does that! So instead of looking to easy the situation on us, the government's looking for more trouble!
And all I hear every few months is Pres. Obama and Sen. Hary Reid asking the Republicans "let's raise the debt ceiling"... I think to myself... if I were deep in debt with all my credit cards topped off, would I be asking my credit lenders to increase my debt limit over and over again? I think I'd be trying to spend less at least temporally, until I see a break in my finances, right? So sincerely, I think this administration's not going to fix the debt, and finally dump it on the next one. Even if one believes in "crises of capitalism," in this case, I don't see the capitalism as the cause of the crises, but the irrational actions of government and politicians.
Well, Frank, I'm sorry for the delay, but you've got my honest answer. If you have more questions, feel free to reply back.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!!
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: This a purely rhetorical question, obviously, but where do "they" think all this is heading? Mr. Obama has already said that he will not negotiate the next-planned increase in the debt ceiling! Surely, any rational person (or administration) can see what the rest of us grunts, untrained in economics as many of us are, can see, that no one can inexorably increase one's debt ad infinitum. There has to be an end-point. Yet, all the "brains" in the White House and Treasure Department and the Federal Reserve, cannot (or will not) admit that the emperor has no clothes!
Or, do "they" plan to bankrupt the country? "They" are either stupid.
or evil. Neither option bodes well for our national survival. But what can we do?
I like your point that "no one can inexorably increase one's debt ad infinitum. There has to be an end-point." I don't know what are they thinking. Many in top positions may have become "yes men" for the administration. Other than that I can't explain why an old, educated guy like Harry Reid keeps doing what he's doing. It's like an addiction for the country.
It's my opinion that people currently in leadership positions in Washington DC fall into 3 categories:
1) Those who advocate for it. They might be "yes men" for the administration, or they may be seeing borrowing as the only way to keep the mess going.
2) Those who are afraid b/c they think they have no leverage, will get the blame if they oppose it, or they'll lose constituency (some Republicans come to mind...).
3) Some are compromised with interests that are not the best for the future of the country (like lobbyists for big government, foreign countries, and sometimes the lobbying firms are in their own family).
4) Some actively oppose getting into more debt but they're not at the top (Fiscal conservatives).
Those at the Fed and Treasury give me the impression that they think they can play whatever magic tricks they want with the economy, and when it doesn't work, they try to fool us with cover-ups. Yes they're a piece of work. Let's remember that they're trying to keep their jobs, their reputation, and trying to get along with the administration demands.
One thing we all can do is to call our representatives or send them letters or faxes, explaining your position, that you know his or her position or voting record on the issue, and how you agree or disagree, and how that may affect your vote in the next election.
I have more information about this. If you're interested, reply and send me your e-mail address.