Tag Archives: US national debt

Many on Social Security Disability can but don’t want to work

Why are we demonized for speaking the truth?

truthH/t FOTM’s Trail Dust

More than a year ago, in May 2012, Lance Roberts wrote that Without government largesse many individuals would literally be living on the street.” As much as 1/5 or 22.5% of the average American’s income is dependent on “government transfers.” 

One of those “government transfers” are Social Security Disability benefits.

There are two types of Social Security Disability benefits:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Earned disability benefits for those who have held jobs for significant periods of time and paid at least partially into Social Security before becoming disabled.
  2. Social Security Disability (SSI): Unearned disability benefits for individuals who have petitioned to be classified as disabled, although many of them have never worked and have never paid into Social Security.

Under Obama, the number of Americans claiming disability has surged to the highest levels on record since the beginning of the last recession. What is most notable, however, is when the surge of disability claims began – exactly two years from the beginning of the financial crisis. This was when the 2 years of extended unemployment insurance began to run out.

Unlike welfare, disability isn’t term-limited, and in some cases it’s become permanent unemployment insurance for the unemployable or those who simply refuse to work.

Today, more than 28 million Americans who are of working age have a disability – a level higher than at any other time in recorded history. There are approximately 11 million SSDI or earned recipients and approximately 7 million SSI or unearned recipients.

But how many of those on disability are actually disabled?

Luke Rosiak reports for the Washington Examiner, July 30, 2013, that a study by the Social Security Administration found some disturbing, but unsurprising, attributes of disability recipients:

  • Recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but cannot or will not find a job.
  • Returning to work is not a goal for 71% of the SSDI recipients, and 60% of the SSI recipients.
  • Most have never received significant medical treatment and not seen a doctor about their condition in the last year, even though medical problems are the official reason they don’t work.
  •  Those who acknowledge they’re on disability because they can’t find a job say they make little effort to find one.
  • Of those who say they’re actually looking for a job, most say they’re looking only for part-time jobs that will allow them to keep their disability benefits.
  • The unearned disability recipients are in less pain than their counterparts who had paid into the system. In other words, they are using SSD as a substitute for welfare. These individuals are typically overweight, uneducated and from broken homes.
  • There are practical barriers to weaning recipients off the disability rolls. The jobs they’d be candidates for often don’t provide health insurance, which is essential for those with medical problems, and they’d rather receive the SSD benefits. Many also say they don’t have transportation to work.
  •  72% of the small number of SSDI recipients who started a job while on disability got cash under the table, as did 70% of the small number of SSI recipients who started a job while on disability.
  • 24% of the SSDI recipients lack even GEDs, as do 43% of the SSI recipients.
  • Only 18% of SSDI and 15% of SSI recipients said, during the past 4 weeks, they could not do social activities with family or friends because of their physical health or emotional problems.
  • As many as 96% of SSDI and 91% of SSD recipients admit whatever physical health or mental problems they have do not hinder or limit them from the kind or amount of work or other daily activities they do. In other words, they are not really so disabled they can’t work.
  • 47% of SSDI and 41% of SSD recipients are obese; 30% of both groups are overweight; only 21% of SSDI and 25% of SSD recipients are of normal weight.
  • 28% of SSD recipients had never worked for pay, i.e., they never had a job!
  • Most SSD recipients don’t bother to educate themselves about or avail themselves of government programs to wean them off disability, such as the Plan for Achieving Self-Support, Earned Income Exclusion, and Continued Medicaid Eligibility after they get off disability benefits.
  • Many disability recipients also receive other government welfare benefits: 28% of SSDI and 81% of SSD recipients are on Medicaid; 80% of SSDI and 42% of SSD recipients are on Medicare; 18% of SSDI and 52% of SSD recipients are on food stamps.
  • The lack of a spouse is a significant factor: 54% of SSDI and 88% of SSD recipients are not married.
  • 11% of SSDI and 21% of SSD recipients have been receiving disability benefits for 20 years or more.

Source: Public use file round 4

America’s national debt now exceeds our GDP and is closing in on $17 trillion. It doesn’t take an Albert Einstein to know that our super-extended welfare state cannot continue as it is. Indeed the danger signs are already visible.

In three years, by 2016, the first of the Social Security funds — Social Security Disability — will be in full collapse.

Brian Faler reports for The Washington Post, May 30, 2012:

The disability program pays benefits averaging $1,111 a month, with the money coming from the Social Security payroll tax. The program cost $132 billion last year, more than the combined annual budgets of the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Commerce, Labor, Interior and Justice. That doesn’t include an additional $80 billion spent because disability beneficiaries become eligible for Medicare, regardless of their age, after a two-year waiting period. The disability program is projected to exhaust its trust fund in 2016, according to a Social Security trustees report released last month. Once it runs through its reserve, incoming payroll-tax revenue will cover only 79% of benefits, according to the trustees. Because the plan is barred from running a deficit, aid would have to be cut to match revenue.”

Lastly, since the American Medical Association recently declared obesity to be a “disease,” expect even more Americans to apply for and receive Social Security Disability benefits.

~Eowyn

Best 1 min. video on U.S. debt

“PowerLineBlog” recently held a competition for $100,000 for whoever could most effectively and creatively dramatize the significance of the federal debt crisis. Several entries have gotten a lot of attention, but the one that has gone most viral so far is ‘The Doorbell.’ If you haven’t yet seen it, you may watch it here. It’s 59 seconds long:

The U.S. national debt is now $16.859 TRILLION, and counting. That debt is more than 106% of our GDP (gross domestic product) and $188,324 per person.

Thus far in 2013, we’d already paid over $2.9 BILLION in interest on that debt. That’s $9,288 per person in interest payment.

H/t FOTM’s Ken L.

~Eowyn

Where did your tax dollar go?

screwthetaxpayer

Yesterday was T-Day – Tax Day.

If you hadn’t already sent in your tax returns, yesterday was the deadline to turn them in to the IRS (except for residents of Boston who’ve been given an extension for filing their taxes because of the horrible bombings at the marathon).

For the 49% of Americans who actually pay income taxes, you should know where and how your taxes are spent.

Romina Boccia and Curtis Dubay write for The Heritage Foundation, April 15, 2013:

TaxdayClick image to enlarge

As the above infographic shows, 45% or almost half of all spending went toward paying for Social Security and health care entitlements. Without reforming these massive and growing programs, Washington will have to borrow increasing amounts of money, piling debt onto younger generations and putting the nation on a dangerous economic course.

Some other things to know about taxes:

  • Not only must we pay confiscatory taxes, we also pay to prepare our tax returns! According to the federal Taxpayer Advocate in its 2012 report, Americans’ cost of complying with today’s complex tax code totaled $168 billion in 2010. That’s almost as large as the impact of the Obama tax hikes in fiscal year 2013, and twice the size of sequestration this year [see chart].
  • It takes taxpayers 6.1 billion hours—or 51 hours per household—to complete all the required filings. That’s more than 6 full 8-hour working days per household!
  • Federal govt spends way more than it takes in. In 2012, Washington collected $20,000 in taxes for every household in America. But Washington spent nearly $30,000 per household.
  • Government overspending, in turn, means an ever-increasing national debt, now $16.629 TRILLION and increasing with every ticking second. That, in turn, means 6% of every tax dollar goes to pay just the interest on our national debt.
  • Americans pay high taxes as it is, and with the 13 tax increases that hit this year, tax revenue is growing beyond its historical average as a share of the economy. But Washington’s deficits continue, because spending keeps going up.

Growing government spending threatens current and future taxpayers with higher taxes. Congress should reduce spending and prevent any more tax increases. Congress also needs to reform the tax code so it is less of a burden on the American people.

Learn more at savingthedream.org.

See also “US taxpayers spent 2422% more on Obama than Brits on the royal family,” Sept. 28, 2012.

~Eowyn

Govt spends $1.5M to study why lesbians are fat

Our national debt is now $16.686 trillion — and increasing by the second. But the POS will not agree with House Republicans on much needed spending cuts, which means “sequestration” — automatic spending cuts to the federal budget will soon kick into effect.

Anticipating painful cuts to the U.S. military budget, Marine Corps Commandant James Amos is urging our Marines to preserve ammunition and gasoline: “Save every round, every gallon of gas.”

At the same time, the POS and the White House behave like they don’t have a care in the world, with 20 WH staffers making the maximum $172,200 a year salary. Underneath them are dozens of “deputy” assistants and “special”  assistants to the president, including “climate change” advisers, who also draw six-figure salaries of $100,000 or more.

Having the White House as a role model, the bureaucracies in the Executive Branch also throw taxpayers’ money around like there is no tomorrow. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) just awarded $1.5 million of taxpayers’ hard earned dollars to a Boston hospital to find out why lesbians are fat.

rosieodonnell$1.5 million to find out why Rosie O’Donnell is fat

Elizabeth Harrington reports for CNSNews, March 11, 2013, that Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, has received two grants administered by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study the biological and social factors for why “three-quarters” of lesbians are obese and why gay males are not.”

The grant reads:

“Obesity is one of the most critical public health issues affecting the U.S. today. Racial and socioeconomic disparities in the determinants, distribution, and consequences of obesity are receiving increasing attention. [H]owever, one area that is only beginning to be recognized is the striking interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities. It is now well-established that women of minority sexual orientation are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic. In stark contrast, among men, heterosexual males have nearly double the risk of obesity compared to gay males.”

The investigators say there has been “almost no” research devoted to this disparity, and they have set out to find the biological, psychological, and social factors behind it. The researchers claim the subject is one of “high public-health significance.”

The project is being led by S. Bryn Austin, Director of Fellowship Research Training in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Austin is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, and an Associate Epidemiologist at BWH.

BWH first received a $778,622 grant for the study in 2011, followed by a $741,378 grant in 2012, totaling $1,520,000. The project has the potential to be a five-year study. The grants list a “project end date” and a “budget end date” of June 30, 2016.

Without a research budget of $1.5 million, I can tell the NIH why lesbians (or anyone) is fat:

They eat too much!!!

~Eowyn

Why do they not see?

3 monkeys

A recent essay by a blogger who calls himself Monty Pelerin struck a chord in me. Monty Pelerin is the pseudonym of a former CFO in the corporate finance field, with a Ph.D. in economics.

Pelerin’s essay “Why Don’t People See?” asks a question I and many of us also have asked: Why is it that so many seem blind to the problems that we see so clearly?

Here’s Pelerin’s essay of Feb. 18, 2013:

I meet people that still believe that the world is fine. They believe things like:

  • The US government has plenty of money.
  • Government cares for its citizens.
  • The economy cannot crash.
  • We are not in a recession (Depression).
  • The lives of their children will be better than their own.
  • The government can continue to print money to fund promises they cannot afford.

Despite these untenable beliefs, these are not stupid people. Many are professionals who do quite well — doctors, lawyers, dentists, college professors, etc. They are not  zombies, our walking dead, who have no idea about what is happening around them no less  the way things work in an economy, society or the world. It is our educated who should care yet seem to be oblivious to what lies ahead.

The ignorance and/or lack of concern of this group is perplexing and maddening. They are certainly capable of understanding. It is also in their interests to comprehend, as they are the ones who will lose the most. How doe one open their eyes? What can they be shown to arouse them from their ignorance?

Sadly, I don’t have answers to these frustrating questions. It is not that others have not presented the information as much as these people refuse to acknowledge the implications. Are they all too busy? Are they idiot savants who are geniuses in their fields but not very smart away from it? Warnings come from many sources and from many different perspectives, yet they do not seem to penetrate the minds of those most capable of effecting change.

From a self-interest standpoint, this productive group should be the most concerned. After all, they are ground zero for the Socialist schemes that are destroying society. They are the ones that will be crushed in the redistribution dreams of our political class. Will they awaken too late? Or, will many of them just withdraw their productivity by retiring early, emigrating, etc.?

I don’t have answers to these questions, but I do know that this professional class is about to become prey for our predatory State. And, when that happens, they will hurt be but not nearly as much as the rest of us.

Indeed, why are so many oblivious to and in denial about America’s stark economic realities? — those of:

The only difference between Pelerin and me is his question is narrower in scope than mine. Pelerin’s concerns are mainly about America’s economic problems, whereas in my view, our country’s problems transcend the economic to include the political and especially the cultural.

Politically, the federal government under Obama has become one where, instead of a division of powers among three branches, the Executive is dominant, with Obama ruling by executive orders, like kings and emperors once ruled through edicts.

Congress, the legislative branch, seems unable to address our economic problems but only exacerbates them with the passage of Obamacare (that leads to higher insurance premiums, fewer doctors, death panels, and a greater burden for small businesses) and the reprehensible National Defense Authorization Act (that authorizes the arrest without charge and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens).

The Supreme Court is also adrift, too timid to even hear cases that concern Obama’s eligibility and his strange Connecticut-issued Social Security number. That is, assuming the Supreme Court justices even saw the documents concerning those cases to begin with.

Did you know that clerks of the Supreme Court never forwarded to the justices the pleadings and documents submitted by plaintiffs and attorneys? The faceless clerks also removed cases from the electronic docket, as well as reported conferences of justices which never took place.

French philosopher and statesman Count Joseph Marie Maistre (1763-1821) once said, “Every nation has the government it deserves.” Subtending the economy and government is America’s culture, now thoroughly corrupted from decades of moral relativism do-as-you-will narcissistic amorality. Patriotism has become a dirty word: As many as 33% in a 2010 poll said they wanted the American flag banned.

John Adams wrote that “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.” By that yardstick, the American family is in trouble.

Although every evidence we have points to marriage being good for not just the married, but for children and society as well, the percentage of married Americans is at a lowest recorded level. Between 2000 and 2009, the share of young adults ages 25 to 34 who are married dropped 10 percentage points, from 55% to 45%.

There is an epidemic of fatherless children — 30% of U.S. children live apart from their fathers. That 30% will account for 63% of teen suicides, 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71% of high-school dropouts, 75% of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80% of rapists, 85% of youths in prison, 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders, and 90% of homeless and runaway children.

So, how do we account for the blindness of so many? Why do they not see what you and I so clearly see?

Is it willful ignorance? Have they been brainwashed by the Establishment Media? (but how do we account for the media’s blindness?) Is it stupidity? Is it a narrow and short-sighted selfishness? Or is it the terrible darkness of spiritual blindness?

“…you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” -Ezekiel 12:2

“…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” -2 Thessalonians 2:10b-11

~Eowyn

U.S. Budget Cuts For Dummies

toilet paper (2)

Here’s a simple but brilliant explanation to bring home how deceptive are the fiscal cliff deal and all talk by the Obama regime of cutting  government deficit.

Lesson #1:

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $16,428,000,000,000 (and increasing by each second)
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $164,280
* Total budget cuts so far: $385

Got It ?????

Lesson #2:

Here’s another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:

Let’s say, you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood, and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do?

Raise the ceilings, or remove the shit?

H/t FOTM’s Stephanie O.

~Eowyn

Take the Fiscal Cliff Deal survey

forward

On January 1, 2013, after much faux brouhaha, Congress passed the fiscal cliff bill, H.R. 8: “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.”

Here’s why it was a “faux brouhaha”:

  • Members of the U.S. Senate had only 3 minutes to read the 154-page bill before they voted 89-8 to approve the bill. Senators received the bill at approximately 1:36 AM on Jan. 1, 2013 – a mere three minutes before they voted to approve it at 1:39 AM. I’ve taken longer to read the instructions for my new cell phone.
  • House Republicans also violated their pledge to allow three days for the public to read the legislation before they would vote on a bill. This was a promise the GOP made to voters before the 2010 elections.

Even worse is the fact the the fiscal cliff bill not only does NOTHING toward reducing our enormous yearly government deficit, even less America’s even more gargantuan national debt, it will make the problems worse. Here’s why:

  • The bill’s proposed spending cuts of $15 billion are less than 2% of the federal government’s annual deficit.
  • The bill’s tax increases will raise $620 billion over the next ten years — roughly $62 billion in new tax revenue per year.
  • $62 billion in new tax revenue per year is less than 6% of the $1+ trillion deficit the Obama regime has incurred every year for the past four years.
  • According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the fiscal cliff bill will cause the national debt to be $4 trillion higher by 2022 than if all of the cliff’s tax increases and spending cuts had been allowed to take effect.

Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who voted against the bill, said the fiscal cliff deal actually adds $330,000,000,000 to the national debt with new spending programs.

Tea Party Patriots has a survey asking what you think of the farce of a Fiscal Cliff deal. To take the survey, click here.

~Eowyn

Obama’s 7 all-time economic achievements

Bush's fault

Wynton Hall writes for Breitbart.com, Dec. 31, 2012:

America is entering a new economic normal, a reality where almost everything that should be going up is going down, and everything that should be going down is going up.

The United States begins 2013 in uncharted economic waters; America has never been here before.

Consider, for example, these seven “firsts” for the U.S. economy:

1. All-time record annual average gas price: In 2012, the average cost of a gallon of gas eclipsed the previous record by nine cents, bringing the annual average to $3.60.

2. All-time record food stamp participation: As of last month, for the first time in American history, 47,710,324 individuals — roughly one out of every seven people living in the United States — now receive food stamps.

3. All-time high youth unemployment: In the last four years, average youth unemployment eclipsed the previous record rising to 17.5% – the highest ever in recorded U.S. history.

4. All-time high number of Americans no longer in the labor force: Never before in U.S. history have so many been sidelined from the workforce. Today, a record 88,921,000 Americans are no longer a part of the U.S. labor force.

5. All-time record number of Americans collecting disability: Medical advancements and technological innovations have increased life expectancy and made workplaces safer. Still, the number of Americans collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has skyrocketed in the last four years. Today, a record 8,827,795 individuals collect a disability check averaging $1,130.34 a month.

6. All-time record number of Americans living in poverty: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a record 46.2 million people in America are living in poverty, the highest number in the 53 years that the Census Bureau has collected the figure.

7. All-time record U.S. debt: The last four years have exploded the U.S. debt to levels never seen before in American history. Presently, the United States is $16,400,000,000,000 in debt.

Bush

To the dopes who voted for this POS in 2008 and reelected him in 2012, I hope you’re happy.

~Eowyn

DoD wastes $100,000 on workshop if Jesus died also for Klingons

America’s national debt is now over $16.3 TRILLION, but the Department of Defense (DoD) is oblivious and behaving like the gravy train is still choo-chooing along.

A workshop funded by the DoD’s Defense Advances Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to the tune of nearly $100,000, included a session on the earthshaking problem of whether Jesus had died for Klingons.

Yes, Klingons.

The wholly fictitious species who inhabit the wholly fictitious TV program “Star Trek” and its spinoffs.

Star Trek's Klingon Lt. Commander Worf

Star Trek’s Klingon Lt. Commander Worf

Jaci Greggs reports for Breitbart.com, Dec. 5, 2012, that Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) latest report on spending by the Department of Defense shows, among other things, defense spending used for a lecture series last year involving fictional alien species, called “Did Jesus Die for Klingons too?”

The Klingon session was one of the sessions at a recent workshop funded by DARPA — a strategy planning workshop on the 100 Year Starship project. The session featured philosophy professor Christian Weidemann of Germany’s Ruhr-Univeristy Bochum. Weidemann pondered the theological conflict to Christianity if intelligent life was found on other planets. (See page 17 of Sen. Coburn’s report.)

At another DoD-funded gathering, the brainstorming sessions covered topics such as how to make deep space travel most efficient, how scientists would go about creating a “warp bubble,” and whether or not humans would need to wear clothing during space travel. This event even featured actors from the famous “Star Trek” TV series as special guests.

This was in conjunction with the 100 Year Starship project, the goal of which is to “foster a rebirth of a sense of wonder” to “make interstellar space travel practicable and feasible.” So far, the 100 Year Project has consumed more than $1 million.

H/t California Political News and Views.

~Eowyn

Paul Ryan’s speech at 2012 RNC

I watched Congressman Ryan’s speech last night and thought it to be very well done: clear and clear-eyed, well-delivered, determined, and effective.

He did not take cheap shots at Obama but emphasized, citing evidence, that Obama failed to do what he said he’d do, which is to fix the economy. More than that, Obama has made things worse, adding $5 trillion to our national debt since he came to office — more than all other presidents in U.S. history. Ryan’s message to Obama is that the latter can no longer keep blaming the Bush administration of 4 years ago and that it’d be stupid to give a failed Obama administration 4 more years to do more of the same.

Ryan noted that he and Mitt Romney are of “different faiths,” but drew our attention to what really matters, which is that he and Romney share the same moral principles and commitments. Without mentioning Romney’s Mormonism, Ryan reminds us that what matters is that Romney is a good decent man.

Like Gov. Chris Christie a day ago, Paul Ryan delivered sober warnings about the present condition of the U.S. economy — our $16 trillion national debt, unemployment, the continuing housing slump, Medicare, the burden of Obamacare. Like Christie, Ryan ended on an optimistic note — but only if we roll our sleeves up and get to work. Ryan’s last words:

“Let’s get it done!”

If you didn’t see Ryan’s speech, here’s your chance!

Ryan budget does reverse debt spiral

By Rick Manning, Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government, Aug. 30, 2012

The economic news continues its grim march toward a reality that many believe may not be in the fixable category.

Preppers, who store foodstuffs and buy hard metal assets, have become mainstream as even Costco offers a wide variety of buckets filled with bulk food that are guaranteed to last for 20-25 years.

Gun sales are at record levels as people who never would have dreamed of getting a firearm are considering their needs in a society where the police might not be there to protect your family.

The Los Angeles Times features links to article on their websites “rest of the web” section featuring economists declaring that we are already in an “economic death spiral.”

The facts are indeed scary:

  • Our nation’s official $16 trillion national debt is now larger than our entire economy, putting America in a debt spiral that threatens to bankrupt the country.
  • Our nation will run a trillion dollar deficit once again this year.
  • Gross interest payments on the national debt are approaching half a trillion dollars every year.
  • The employment situation is only slightly better than during the last half of the Great Depression.
  • The European economy appears to be in near meltdown due to excessive government borrowing and a debt spiral that virtually ensures that multiple countries will actually go bankrupt.

But are these truths so devastating that our nation’s economy cannot recover, and Americans should just accept ever dwindling expectations and lifestyles?

Not if we choose to get control over our budget now.

If Representative Paul Ryan’s budget was followed for the next decade, the debt to GDP ratio would fall to 88 percent within ten years, and this is with relatively modest economic growth projections.

Obama’s rejected budget would also purportedly get us back to where we are today, just over 100 percent debt to GDP by 2022. Obama relies upon more aggressive economic growth assumptions than Ryan to make his numbers work.

Of course, for Obama’s budget to succeed, you would have to believe that the economy will grow at twice its current rate over the next ten years. This growth must occur in spite of massive tax increases imposed through Obamacare and on the personal incomes of those very small business job creators who are the nation’s economic engine. Hardly a likely scenario.

The bottom line is that the federal budget has continued spending around $3.6 trillion a year since Obama became president. Before he became president spending was just under $3 trillion. The increased spending is in large part locked in due to systemic cost changes created by the Pelosi-Reid Congress that lowered eligibility standards for safety net programs opening them up to many more people. As a result, annual spending will rise to $6 trillion by 2022.

This built-in spending has to be tackled in order for America to return to prosperity. Today, it is government spending itself that is sucking the life out of the economy. It is the constantly increasing hundreds of billions of dollars sent to China, Japan and financial institutions who purchased our debt each year that gnaws at our nation’s future viability.

And, finally, some economists are beginning to come to the somewhat obvious conclusion that the bloated federal budget actually chokes out the very growth needed to increase the total revenue collections needed to feed it.

For those who worry that our nation’s financial system might fail, the only adult choice is to support budget cuts now. While the Ryan budget is too tepid for my tastes (it doesn’t get to balance for forty years), it does drive the percentage of debt to GDP down below the 100 percent level in five years, crowding government out and re-tooling the tax code to encourage job creation and growth.

Many families have to make hard economic decisions in their own lives. Each of us knows that if each month, our credit card balance grows by four dollars for every ten dollars we spend, we are headed for real financial trouble.

Each of us knows that when we pay only the interest on a mortgage, we never own our home.

When faced with too much credit card debt, we cut back on our spending, eat at home more often, delay a vacation or new car purchase, and start paying more than the minimum payment due. Eventually, with hard work and time, the debt is paid, and we are no longer slaves to stuff we purchased long ago.

America needs to do the same by setting spending priorities and sticking to them.

Can America still afford public broadcasting? If not, it should be eliminated. Can America still afford to have around 2 million federal employees? Can America still afford to promise the current, expensive Medicare system to future generations of seniors, or does it need to be changed to make it more affordable in the future? Can America still afford to have military bases located throughout the world, or should some of these be shut down?

These are just a few of the thousands of spending priority decisions that Congress needs to tackle.

The gloom from the specter of an ever increasing debt burden that eventually collapses the entire U.S. economy need not be prophetic. The spending decisions over the past six years, need not destroy more than 200 years of economic liberty.

But only if America chooses to face the problem and make some tough decisions now, before prepping becomes the only rational choice.

H/t my friend Robert Wilcox.

~Eowyn