"Our national debt is our biggest national security threat." --Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"We cannot sustain this level of deficit financing and debt without losing our influence, without being constrained in the tough decisions we have to make." --Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State
Buidling bomb shelters, starting crisis gardens, and hoarding food and ammunition....these all seem like good ideas, don't they ?
No, my Official Glenn Beck Tinfoil that I got from Insider Extreme isn't too tight. I, unlike the 2+2=5 Progressivevik Junta that calls itself Congress, am simply using my head for more than a hat rack.
A quick perusal of www.usdebtclock.org will show you that Armageddeon is indeed around the corner. The funny thing is, We The People did this to ourselves. The largest expenditure on the debt clock, if you'll note, is entitlements, the sacred cows of all politicians that don't have the surnames of "Paul" or "Bachmann". More than 10% of the US national debt comes from government giveaways like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and bloated federal pensions. Often, we accuse politicians of acting like pigs at the trough, yet, aren't We The People acting the same way when it comes to our entitlements ?
I know this isn't going to make me a whole lot of friends, but what the hell ? If I need a friend, I'll adopt another cat. (I hate dogs.) Here's some of my ideas for taming the Entitlement Beast:
•Raise the retirement age from 65 to 70. When Franklin Dictator Roosevelt imposed Social(ist) Security on the American people, the average person rarely lived past his or her 60th birthday. Nowadays, despite the plots of evil insurance and drug companies, your average, everyday person can now reasonably expect to live to about 77 and people living well into their 80's and 90's is not as unheard of as it once was. With people living longer, it is not unreasonable to expect them to work longer. Last time I checked, no one has ever turned into a pumpkin the moment they turn 65.
•Privatize Social(ist) Security. Call me crazy and off my meds, but couldn't the private sector do a better job of managing retirement funds than the Big Mommy Regime ? The private sector would keep costs down, reduce fraud, and modernize the system. This would also help cut down the ridiculously large and really expensive federal workforce and their bloated pensions. (It's like killing two socialist birds with one stone.) Not only that, a privatized Social(ist) Security system can offer individualized plans that can meet the individual's needs. A whole array of investment options would arise and it would not be impossible for a low wage earner to actually enjoy his retirement rather than be a ward of the state.
•Raise the eligibilty requirements for Medicare to age 70. The reasons for this are the same ones I used for raising the retirement age.
•Enact actual health care reforms such as granting the ability to buy health insurance across state lines and tort reform to lower health care costs. (We've beaten this death for the last year, folks. If you don't know what I'm talking about, close your eyes and pretend it's 2009.) This way everyone can afford their own insurance and thus, Medicare and Medicaid would no longer needed, except in dire circumstances. Now, that does not mean we would simply kick those who truly need assistance to the curb. (Wounded war veterans, the actually disabled, etc.) It means no more free health care and free goodies for the "Bad Backs" and "Clinically Depresseds" of the world. If individual states want to run their own Medicare or Medicaid systems, more power to them.
•Convert the pensions of all federal employees with less than 10 years of service into a 401k. Unless you've risked life and limb in the military, there's no reason for a federal worker drone to be set for life at taxpayer's expense. Additionally, tax incentives could be used to convince federal worker drones to voluntarily convert their pensions into a 401k if they have more than 10 years' service.
Now, there's other things that could be done to reduce the debt, like killing the Department of No Energy, The Department of Indoctrination...er,uh... Education, the EPA, and countless other useless federal bureaucracies. That would certainly help (and not to mention, bring us closer to the Consitutional Republic our Founders envisioned.) However, even slaying those behemoths won't even scratch the suface of the debt.
Back the quotes I opened with. The national debt is a national security concern. If the country goes broke, we'll have no national security. If 9/11 taught us anything, it taught us that the world is an evil and ugly place and yes, we are vulnerable. If some sort of fiscal sanity isn't brought to Washington, all we'll be able to do is sit in our bomb shelters and repeatedly say--
"God help us all."