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Showing posts from August, 2017

Who pays for all this?

By the time you read this, the total debt of the federal government may have reached 20 trillion dollars. Add in all of the estimated state and local government debts and America owes somebody nearly $25 trillion. But that's not enough; Congress is coming back into session in September and will probably raise its self-imposed debt limit in order to borrow some more. They always have before. There's no question who gets the bill for the interest on that debt every year: we all do. Who's paying down that debt? Nobody at all. No president or Congress has lowered the national debt for more than half a century... The cost of nearly 17 years of American military operations in Afghanistan is hard to calculate, but it's more than one trillion dollars. That amount will keep growing every day, because there's no real change coming in our overseas commitments. There's plenty of room to argue over what we're doing in a land long known as the Graveyard of Empires – maybe w…

The People Are The Problem

Most of the time I don't really care who the American president is, and neither should you. It's always been an important job, but its occupant was never meant to be Captain America or Leader Of The Free World. Our president is not supposed to create new policies except in an emergency; the task of setting the national agenda belongs to Congress. Presidential power was originally restricted to running the government and serving as Commander-in-Chief during times of war. Our first president, rest his soul, didn't enjoy his time in office and is probably appalled at how the American people have turned the presidency into a personality-driven media show. George Washington rejected the hero worship shown to him during his days as a living legend, and he warned of the danger that comes from giving too much power and having too much faith in any one person. And that's what we've done. We've surrendered power in a creeping process that started early and has grown steadi…