Most people think that U.S. debt is about $17.5 trillion. Unfortunately, however, this number is achieved by way of accounting gimmicks. Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff, an expert on the national debt, calculates that U.S. debt including unfunded liabilities is actually now over $222 TRILLION!
It is a well-known historical axiom that "the borrower is the slave to the lender". Doing nothing to counteract this is immoral, as it sells our children and grandchildren into debt slavery. Further down the road, when those children and grandchildren ask you "why did you let this generational theft happen", what will you say? The very least I am going to be able to say is that "I tried to dream up some tactics to counteract this abomination." That in mind, here are a few ideas to consider once sane people take over the U.S. Congress again:
1) Pass Mark Levin's Liberty Amendments. If Congress won't do it, the states must.
2) Add the following, by "hook or by crook":
- Repeal Obamacare -- which is an illegal farce anyway, as what is being "enforced" is not the law that was actually passed -- and replace it with premium support for the poor. Allow insurance companies to insure across state lines, as long as they meet some reasonable standards. If I can borrow ten million dollars for a mortgage loan from a lender in Maine whom I've never met in person, why shouldn't I be able to agree on an insurance contract that involves a vastly smaller risk?
- If we make U.S. Foreign Aid (including the line of credit to the International Money Fund) for other countries conditional upon supporting our votes at the UN 95% of the time, we can save up to about $150 billion each year. If we apply that savings to paying down principal on our outstanding debt, we will make substantial headway towards fiscal solvency. We will generally lose nothing from this, as a great deal of nations we shower support upon currently vote against the U.S. chronically, not to mention curse us, burn our flag, and attack our citizens.
- If we create a maximum Federal spending ceiling at 18% of actual Federal revenue (WITH NO ACCOUNTING GIMMICKS), then index Congressional salaries such that they are each penalized $100,000 (pro-rated) for every $1 trillion spent that is over the 18% of revenue cap, we'll see the deficit shrink faster than Harry Reid at the Polar Bear Plunge. If it's half a trillion over the cap, they get docked $50,000; a quarter of a trillion over, the get docked $25,000, etc. Folks that are making a base salary of $174,000 + perks will survive just fine in the interim, but their natural self-interest will be such that it will automate the reduction of spending.
- Make it necessary that for every law passed, five must be repealed. In a nation that has been overrun with idiotic laws, such that no human being could ever hope to count them (Much less obey them), we need an incentive for continuous repeals. Finding dumb laws to repeal is easy...prioritizing it is less easy, but this rule would automate it.
- Another tactic that might be useful is a small bonus ($5,000 for the sponsors to divide?) to those who sponsor these repeals independently of passing new laws. If you don't think we need this, consider Obamacare -- if you were to stack the law itself, plus all the regulations it has generated, that stack of paper is now seven feet high and growing! A similar malignancy is taking place with Dodd-Frank, and myriads of other hellish concatenations of shyster-spawn. Unless you enjoy reading the attached fine-print gobbledygook that most of us typically ignore when we buy a product, times about fifty trillion, you should support this effort. And even if you do enjoy reading shyster-speak, there simply aren't enough hours in the day to digest it all, so really nobody should be against this.
- In addition to all this, we need to nullify unconstitutional laws by voting "not guilty" if we are ever on a jury that is trying someone for breaking these "laws" (that's right, I said it!). Per Marbury v. Madison (and confirmed many times since), unconstitutional laws are null and void from the get-go (as opposed to "null and void after the court says so"). Since we can insist on a jury trial in most cases when we are charged with a crime, and generally all we need is one "not guilty" to result in a hung jury, this is an effective tactic to dissuade goons from attempting to enforce bogus laws. If you were on a jury, and you knew that the defendant committed the action in question, but that the "law" in question was unconstitutional, would you be willing to vote "guilty"? I didn't think so.
Nullification is what Lincoln did when he freed the slaves (slavery was considered "lawful", but was obviously unconstitutional) -- we shouldn't be so scared of this concept. Fear of Nullification is what keeps the Feds from charging medical marijuana users with a crime (marijuana's legality or illegality is rightly a state's prerogative, but the Feds still have pot laws on the books, and have no exception for medical use). Bigger and greater things can be done (and undone) with this tactic. Of course, Establishment jackasses will jump and bray -- ignore them. Establishment jackasses were jumping and braying against Lincoln when he freed the slaves, too.
Steve J. Williams is the author of The Skeptics' Guide to Eternal Bliss and What Your Atheist Professor Doesn't Know (But Should)