While it seems like only yesterday our leaders in Washington were negotiating the last increase, I see the federal debt ceiling is back in the news.
The official federal debt is now $16.7 trillion and according to the powers that be an increase in the debt ceiling must be approved within the month to avoid a government shutdown!
In other words, the government spends more than it takes in and must continually borrow to both fund it’s operations, and roll over it’s existing debt.
Back in 2006, when the federal debt was only $8.6 trillion, then Senator Obama had this to say about increasing the federal debt:
“I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills.”
“It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past five years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers.”
And here’s our now President Obama in 2013, taking on the other side of the debt ceiling debate:
“This is the United States of America, we’re not some banana republic. This is not a deadbeat nation. We don’t run out on our tab. We’re the world’s bedrock investment, the entire world looks to us to make sure the world economy is stable. We can’t just not pay our bills.”
Oh what a difference seven years can make. About eight trillion dollars by my reckoning!
But I don’t necessarily blame him, not any more than I blame any of the other figureheads that came before. Ever expanding debt is simply the nature of our debt-backed federal reserve note based monetary system. The amusing part is that otherwise rational people pretend any of it will ever be repaid. It’s all so unreal, in every sense of the word.
Up and up and up she goes, where she stops, nobody knows.