The stark reality of our national debt

Reams have been written about extending, or not, the Bush tax cuts. Many in Washington claim, now that the election is upon us, that something must be done to reduce the deficit, and, we are presumably led to believe that increasing taxes on the very wealthy is the answer.

In 2009, this country ran a deficit of $1.3 trillion dollars, and another $1.3 trillion is expected to be added for fiscal year 2010.  As of  September 16, 2010, the total debt owed by this country was $13,464,896,653,374.11.  In fact, as I was writing this post, we added another $3 billion in debt… in one day.

Through the first 11 months of this fiscal year we have paid $395,768,649,928.53 in interest on that debt.

Enter, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urging the tax cuts be repealed for individuals making more than $200,000, and families making more than $250,000.  According to Mr. Geithner,

The White House estimates the one-year cost of extension at $35 billion and the 10-year cost at $700 billion.

Of course, letting people keep their own money doesn’t cost the government a nickel, but, I’ll leave that for another day.

Even though the government is notoriously wrong in estimating the effects of tax policy,

typically overestimat[ing] the revenue gain from raising tax rates, and overestimat[ing] revenue losses from tax rate cuts,

raising $700 billion over ten years doesn’t even cover the 2009 budget deficit, much less the anticipated 2010 budget deficit, the debt incurred before 2009 and any future deficits going forward.

These figures are startling, and, no amount of “taxing the rich” is going to make them go away.  In fact,

A tax policy that confiscated 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning over $500,000 in 2006 would only have given Congress an extra $1.3 trillion in revenue.  [and] even taking every taxable “dime” of everyone earning more than $75,000 in 2006 would have barely yielded …$4 trillion.

We can no longer afford to live beyond our means. We must cut our spending and begin to pay off our debt…no more cash for clunkers, or dishwashers, or heating systems, or windows, or honey bee research, or swine odor, or whatever the pet project du jour in Congress is.

Our very future depends upon it.

11 replies
  1. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Amen sister !!!

    One has to ask – If I minimize the amount withheld from my paycheck, will I be labeled uncompassionate, un-American or a hater of those of less means? 

    If I refuse to pay my taxes, will I be thrown in prison or sent to re-education camp until I pay "my fair share"?

    It is indeed stark reality, sister. 

    And what decisions shall resonable folks make of this reality?

    When good folks have been pushed too far? 

  2. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    As the saying goes, Barbara, live life to the fullest because you can't take it with you………….Well, we can't take the debt with us either.

  3. weregettinghosed
    weregettinghosed says:

    The debt the government has gotten We the People into is more than startling, it is the government's signature on America's suicide note. We can not even begin to pay the debt off with any amount of tax, in fact should they take all of our income it would not pay it off. This is administration is either so stupid they should be all be fired due to incompetence or they are deliberately bankrupting the people in order to swoop in  to save us; in other words, take us over. For the latter they all need to be led away in handcuffs.

    No matter what we do the debt will remain or we will have to do some real fast thinking or talking. As Jefferson once said no one generation has the right to strap their debt upon another generation. So what happened, who thought it was fair and right to put our future generations into hock before their grandparents are even born?

  4. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Questions to ponder:


    I wonder if the primary presumption on Mr. "I don't have to pay my taxes, but you do" Geithner is that the "rich" will not use any and every means at their disposal to pay the absolute minimum tax?


    I wonder if companies sending jobs overseas is any better/worse than sending the owners of those companies (or much of their money) overseas?


    Do politicians run their personal households the way they run government, i.e. spend more than one take in?  If not, why not?  They should be required to explain that.


    Weren't they going to go after tax cheats and recover all that money?  What happened to that?

  5. TomL
    TomL says:

    I always like to hope for the best but plan for the worst. I'm wondering if we go any further into debt  and if we come under attack again if we will have money to defend ourselves.

  6. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    The key term is "taxable income". I venture to say that many things that ordinary mortals pay w/ disposable income are paid w/ "deductions", "business expenses" and the like by those who can reach deeper into the tax code.

  7. TomL
    TomL says:

    Imagine a flat tax where everyone pays a fair share. Everyone has skin in the game. Everyone would be concerned (outraged ) when the guberment says were raising the tax fron 15% to 20%. Might just be the way to get rid of the pork.

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