$77 BILLION
IN ONE DAY

By: Ed Henry

No sooner did Congress raise the debt ceiling to almost $9 trillion than the borrowholics added another $77.3 billion to our already horrendous debt.

The following table was snatched directly from the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Public Debt web page:

This means that the national debt has increased $415.5 billion since the start of the government’s fiscal year on October 1, 2005 , less than six months ago.

This also means that George W. Bush has added a record increase of $2.6 trillion to the national debt and raised the debt limit four times since the day he took office a little over five years ago. That’s an average debt increase of more than five hundred billion per year.

Two point six may seem like a relatively small number until you realize that laid end to end a trillion dollars is more than enough to reach the sun (roughly 93 million miles away) and two trillion is more than enough to go to the sun and back. And we would still have enough change left over to cover all of the admitted expenses of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq , all of the money spent on homeland security, and more than enough to rebuild the levees and properties in New Orleans .

What’s more, the simple minded will tell you that this debt translates into about $30,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. But that’s ridiculous and untrue. The real pay-back responsibility falls on the shoulders of taxpayers and there is always less than half of the population in that category. In other words, the figure for taxpayers is more like $60,000 each. Do you think people with a negative savings rate are prepared to come up with that kind of money?

Others will tell you that the rich will take care of it and there should be some truth in that idea. After all, until 1913 and individual income taxes, the rich supported the government entirely and in a way they still do it with money paid lobbyists. But when it comes down to it, I’ll bet they leave the country as fast as they outsourced industry and jobs. They’ll flee to their homes in the Mediterranean , Switzerland , or Dubai where they’ve already stashed gold and much of their wealth.

Look further at the table above. Notice that “Debt Held by the Public” went up $50.9 billion in one day. This is money garnered from the sale of treasuries in more flavors than Baskin Robbins. Securities legitimately contracted on the open market. Politicians will tell you that it comes from people anxious to invest in America , but they are really loans that have become a form of welfare we demand, intimidate, and strong-arm other countries into providing us. These securities are also cashable on demand or at any time these other nations tire of our policies. The very real interest on this part of the debt is hanging around a billion a day.

The second part of the debt, what goes by the Greenspeak moniker of “Intragovernmental Holdings” (IH) is also composed entirely of treasuries, but these are “special” nonmarketable/nonnegotiable chits mostly that the government issued entitlements when those programs produced a surplus; i.e., more money than something like Social Security or Medicare needed to meet their monthly commitments. Last year, the Social Security surplus alone was $86.5 billion. Despite what Starbucks and others try to make sound like welfare, these were payments taxpayers made for goods and services due.

When you drive into McDonalds, place an order, pay at one window and then drive to another, do you feel that the person handing you your hamburgers is providing welfare?

The $26.4 billion added to IH in one day came from surplus entitlement money you provided and the government pretended to “borrow” or “invest.” No interest was due on any entitlements this month so it’s all gravy to the pirates. And you or your children will have to pay it back in the most obvious double taxation scam the world has ever seen.

On top of spending your supplemental retirement money, President Bush just told a news conference that too much of the budget is going towards “mandatory” spending so you might not even get what you paid for if he has his way.

How would you like it if the person at McDonald’s final drive-up window told you that there wasn’t anything for you or that you have to get by with just part of what you paid for?

Have a nice day. Characters welcome.





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Ed Henry is the founder of TUFF, the Taxpayers Union, and a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Ed Henry can be reached at ctzcrank@mindspring.com

Ed's FREE pamphlet-"To The Moon, Alice" the national debt, your Social Security, and the Pay-It-Again Sam scam.

We also invite you to visit his website at www.Uncle-Scam.com

Published in the March 23, 2006 issue of  Ether Zone.
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