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Opinion: When the $17,000,000,000,000 Debt Hits Home

At the equator, 17 trillion stacked $1 bills (lying on their edges) would circle the earth about 46 times. Approximately 310,000,000 men, women and children in our country owe $17,000,000,000,000. We no longer expect to pay off our debt in one generation. Many generations will be burdened with our debt.

“This is the new normal,” we’re told. “Get used to it,” we’re told. “Debt isn’t a bad thing,” we’re told.

What we aren’t told is that our wealth is being transferred everyday to other countries and our national security is not secure because our debt is too high.

We’re losing our freedom through no one’s fault but our own. No foreign enemy invaded and looted our treasury. We voted into governmental positions too many people who are progressives/socialists. This is a deliberate attempt to shift wealth from the developed countries to the poorer countries. Read the UN resolutions on this subject. Read President Obama‘s own words in his books. Their plan is working. We are becoming poorer. Our citizens are becoming less free and less self-sufficient.

Americans have rightfully taken pride in our country’s generosity when there’s help needed anywhere in the world. We help friends and enemies alike, most of whom cannot reciprocate. Through our taxes and through our contributions to charitable organizations and individual donations, we have given aid to people affected by earthquakes, floods, epidemics, genocide, and more.

What will the world be like when (not if) the United States is unable to help in times of disaster? Our irresponsible spending will cause a serious lack of response to international and national emergencies.

To be able to continue to be the country we’re proud of, conservatives want to apply the same logic to our national debt that we apply to our own personal debt. It’s simple — we need to drastically rein in spending. We also have to stop looking for more revenue through borrowing or collecting more money from our citizens.

Just as in personal debt, the national debt has nothing to do with how much revenue we can bring in but with how much money we spend.

In a family, it takes only one person to say, “No. We cannot afford it.” If there isn’t one person to stop the out of control spending, the family will own nothing by losing everything.

With the Federal government, it takes the U.S. House to say “no” to spending money we don’t have. They have to say “no” to raising taxes. Right now, the “party of no” is the Republican Party. I realize that both parties have been and are capable of being the “party of yes.” However, today, thank God for the “party of no.” I can’t even imagine the damage that would have been done to our economy if there were no congressmen who understood that this is not the time to spend! There is never a time to overspend but this is surely not the time to spend any more than is absolutely necessary.

Congressman Dan Benishek (R-MI-01) has a huge sign in his Washington, D.C. office. It reads, “If you’re here to ask for more money, you’re in the wrong office!” I love that sign. Dan, and others like him, are not career politicians, so they have the freedom and the integrity to stay the course of conservative fiscal policies. It’s important to keep our fiscal house in order.


One of the reasons there are investigations into the NSA, the IRS, the Department of Justice and more, is that there are people making damaging and wasteful decisions on how our money is spent. I don’t believe for a minute that the Congressional Committees are working for political reasons only.

Politics, however, do play an important role. Our political system self-corrects through these investigations. We have opposing parties with opposing views, and we have separation of powers. Dictatorships and one-party nations never rout out the “bad guys.” Eventually, we vote them out. We can’t do that unless we know who the “bad guys” are. Someone has to expose the decisions and philosophies with which we disagree; regardless of their party affiliation.

When we are unable to fulfill our commitments, the lending country, company, or individuals could pressure our lawmakers into making compromises that would probably not be in the best interest of America. In other words, out-of-control debt makes us less secure. Default means they own us.

The effects of this overwhelming debt are closer to “home” than you might think. The states are receiving less money from the federal government for infrastructure projects and may not receive the promised funding for the Medicaid expansion program. Obviously, the states will have to increase taxes or fees to make up the difference.

That’s when $17,000,000,000,000 “hits home.”

Top photo: National Debt Clock in NYC.

Nancy Sarowski

Nancy Sarowski is the president of the Emmet County Republican Women.

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