The magnitude of the problem.

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Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, Apr. 8, 2011.

As congress and now, at last, the president, haggle over cutting a mere two percent from current fiscal year spending, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, has unveiled a proposed budget for fiscal year 2012. That proposal would cut more than $6 trillion in federal spending over ten years.

Credit Ryan with at least beginning the process of tackling the biggest threat to the survival of America since the Civil War. That is to say, give him credit for at least recognizing in a concrete way that current deficit and debt levels will ultimately lead to the fall of the United States.

The numbers are truly staggering and thus they are hard to absorb and comprehend and thus most of us just don’t deal with them. After all, we’ve heard for decades that federal deficits would lead to ruin and yet we are still here and things appear on the surface at least to be more or less normal, sluggish economy notwithstanding.

Into that vacuum of denial the Democrats have already rushed with the demagoguery that has become their trademark.

It’s the same tired, worn out cliches they’ve been using for decades. You know them. School children will go without lunch. Senior citizens will have to choose between food and medical care. Thousands will be forced out of their homes. The environment will suffer irreparable harm. The poor will be denied food. The unemployed will have no safety net. Thousands will starve. In other words, all of the usual twaddle.

That none of these predictions have ever come true is a fact that stands unchallenged by most of the media. Thus the Democrats are free to keep demagogueing instead of actually addressing what has become an existential threat that surpasses even Islamist terrorism.

Here it is in the starkest possible terms. If you closed every civilian federal agency, from the FBI to the Justice Department to the EPA, the FTC, the SEC, the Department of the Interior and every other civilian agency, and fired every civilian federal employee, the deficit this year would still be $680 billion. If you then shuttered the military and furloughed every member of all the services and shut down every U.S. military installation in the world, and if at the end of this you still had the approximately $1.4 trillion in annual federal revenue, only then would you have enough money to cover Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and interest on the existing debt.

Between profligate borrowing and unsustainable promises in the form of entitlement spending, we have reached the point that we can no longer pay for any of the constitutionally defined functions of government. We can’t even pay what it costs to defend ourselves.

Republicans, particularly the freshman class of Republicans in the House, who more than any should understand why they were elected, cannot allow the Democrats to demagogue any more. This time, Republicans must stand their ground come what may from the Democrats and the media.

And let’s don’t do as we usually do and wrap the argument up in talk of our children and grandchildren.

If we don’t act soon, the inevitable economic cataclysm could very well come while we’re still around.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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8 Responses

  1. Tom Carpenter says:

    If the T letter bothers anyone, try lopping off a few 00s, bringing it down to the little t or even an M–you will still come to the conclusion, if you are truly seeking a solution, that if you spend more than you bring in, you will go broke!!

    I agree that if we don’t do something now and continue doing it, our kids, grand and great grandchildren and perhaps beyond will spitt on our graves.

  2. Linda E. Montrose says:

    Maybe this will put things into perspective for some people. Let’s say that someone wasn’t feeling well for quite sometime, so they go to the doctor. The doctor checks them out and tells the patient that the outlook is not good. You are obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are borderline diabetic, to put it bluntly, you are a walking stroke waiting to happen. The fat you are carrying around is taxing your heart and if you don’t make some drastic lifestyle changes, you will not be around to see your children grow up or hold your grandchildren.

    This is how I see the problem with our budget problems. This didn’t happen over night, just as gaining weight doesn’t happen over night. The symptoms have been there for years, they have just been ignored until they start affecting our lives. Then we go to a professional to see what the problem is. Because of the unhealthy lifestyle we have lived, the prognosis is not good unless we do some drastic lifestyle changes. That means we need to cut out the things that caused the problem to start with. We go on a diet and anyone who has had to lose weight knows this is NOT easy nor will the pounds magically fall off over night. We have to WORK at it everyday until our goal is met. We take stock of our life and make changes that will restore our health. That means we have to cut out the ice cream and cake, cut the fat and calorie intake to a more moderate level. One thing is for sure, we can NOT lose weight by eating the same way that packed the pounds on us to start with. We have a choice here. We can lose weight to help lower our blood pressure, start eating healthier to lower our cholesterol and manage the borderline diabetes. If medication is necessary, we take it. OR we can continue down the same ole path, eating what we please and ignoring all advice, which will lead to either a stroke or a heart attack. If we are lucky, we will survive the stroke or heart attack, but we will never be the same. If we aren’t lucky, then we all know what that means…we die!

  3. chris says:

    first – eliminate cap on SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES – if you earn a $1 you pay ss tax on that $ but if you earn 4 BILLION dollars you pay ss tax on 4 B dollars AND that is all put in the ss fund NOT to be used for other PET PROJECTS of congress/president –

    second – eliminate ALL perks and benefits for congress/president and reduce ALL federallly elected/appointed salaries to minimum wage or less – and demand that they work at least 40 hours a week on the business they were hired for –

    third – drug testing mandatorhy for all benefits received that have not been contributed to by the recipient (food stamps, medicaid, etc) if you do not pass the drug test – all benefits removed for 90 days – if you still cannot pass the drug test, all benefits removed PERMANENTLY – no exceptions –

    fourth – drill baby drill – every where it is possible to drill – on shore/off shore (east coast, west coast, alaska, texas, etc) – this will create jobs in several ways and reduce dependancy on foreign oil and reduce gasoline prices

    fifth – eliminate ALL tax benefits for any company that has oursourced jobs overseas (customer service, etc) and eliminate all tax loopholes for EVERY corporation doing business in AMERICA – no more free rides for anyone (eliminate ALL tax loopholes for earned income tax credit, child credit, etc) it is soooooooooo insulting to hear about the family who made little money but got a $54,000 tax refund due to adoption credit – eliminate all deductions except for 1 personal exemption per tax return –

    just a few suggestions from me, my friends, my family, etc
    chris, katt, jim, katy, jo, lois, judy,
    thank you and keep up the good work
    we really enjoy YOUR comments

  4. L Miles says:

    Paul,

    Another way to describe your explanation of the budget deficit and debt problem is that we are asking the rest of the world to fund the defense of this country (military budget) by borrowing from them. The authorized Constitutional expenditures are entirely on credit and our Supreme Leader Barack Hussein Obama II (aka Barry Soetoro) is willingly adding $4.5 billion in debt per day. Why?

  5. C M Solomon says:

    “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value — zero.”
    Voltaire (1694-1778).

    “We are in danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper, mere paper, representing not gold nor silver; no sir, representing nothing but broken promises, bad faith, bankrupt corporations, cheated creditors and a ruined people.”
    Daniel Webster, speech in the Senate, 1833

    “I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
    Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816

    “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money.”
    Daniel Webster

    “All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.”
    John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

    “With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people.”
    Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) Austrian Economist, Author and 1974 Nobel Prize-Winner for Economics

    “When the Federal government’s currency printing press (creating instruments of debt as legal tender out of thin air) is controlled by Socialists/Marxists who are devoid of any financial discipline, our national (and individual) wealth is in extreme peril of total destruction.”
    C M Solomon

    To be forewarned is to be forearmed!

  6. L Miles says:

    Wow! I’m impressed! House Speaker John Boehner has negotiated a stellar victory in the 2011 budget battle. He has forced the Democrats to reduce deficit spending from $4.5 billion per day to $4.4 billion per day. With his negotiating skills we have nothing to worry about regarding the future 2012 budget battle that begins next month. If Obama increases the projected deficit spending rate to $5.4 billion in 2012 then we can count on good ‘ole tough Mr. Boehner to slash it to $5.28 billion per day. I’m sure the TEA Party folks can relax, now.

  7. Shared Prosperity says:

    I’m amazed how easy it is for the Republicans to pat themselves on the back for “beating President Obama” at the budget deficit game. It’s all over the media this weekend. Boehner is the new “Conservative” hero. What a bunch of fools!

    The FACTS are that our clever President Obama and the Democrat Congress has boosted the average ANNUAL DEFICIT by an additional $1,000 billion dollars (trillion dollars) since they took control of spending. By jacking up the Federal spending level in order to bring about President Obama’s “Shared Prosperity” (Social Justice agenda), the Democrats are quite willing for the Republicans to be overjoyed when they think they have snookered our President into accepting a $38.5 billion reduction in the deficit for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year.

    In spite of all the Republican self congratulations, the 2011 budget DEFICIT is estimated to come in at $1,600 billion. President Obama’s agenda continues to stay on track, as he brings about greater equality and fairness in our society.

  8. Daniel Carrell says:

    The answer to the “children will starve, seniors will be without care” arguments by the democrats is for the conservatives to loudly tout private philanthropy to meet the needs of the vulnerable in our society. That’s the way it should work anyway. Everytime the conservatives promote cutting back on entitlements they should also promote private philanthropy.

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