American Parser

Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived

Federal Debt Chicken: Swell or Buckle? (Part 1/2)

Uncle Sam with empty treasury, 1920, by James ...

Image via Wikipedia

So, here we are again, within weeks of critical mass regarding the national debt ceiling. On June 6th, USA Today ran a story called “Government’s Mountain Of Debt.” Actually reading the breakdown of the nation’s current and unfunded future liabilities, listed in this article, is staggeringly nightmarish. That’s why it’s worth reading.

Today, the same newspaper ran another story today, June 16th, headlined “Debate Over U.S. Debt Limit Going Down To The Wire.” Mind you, fellow citizens, this isn’t the Heritage FoundationFox News, or Glenn Beck. This is USA Today, a regularly left-of-center daily since its first issue hit the streets almost thirty years ago. The story has a smothering gravitas about it, no matter the side of the issue on which the reader lands.

One thing should be made clear, though. If the federal government temporarily shuts down, everybody still getting milk from Uncle Sam‘s teat will remain well fed. No single mothers, children, or old people receiving entitlement benefits will die as a result, guaranteed. Their checks will continue like clockwork.

Police will still police. Teachers will teach. Mail will be delivered. Planes will fly. Courts will remain open. Emergency responders will still respond. However, if you need a National Park ranger or a Washington Monument tour guide, you’ll have to reschedule, according to’s page on the history of federal government shutdowns.

Some folks will feel the pinch, for sure. The ones for whom I feel the most sympathy are our men and women in military service. If we can pay FBI agents during a shutdown, we can do the same for our soldiers, swabbies, flyboys, and leathernecks. To be sure, they’ll get their pay after the shutdown ends, but they shouldn’t have to wait. After all, they don’t stop defending our freedom when their homes aren’t in order.

I hate it for other federal workers with families, but then again, when you stand in line for a job that has better benefits, better pay, and far and away more job security than any comparable position in the private sector, you shouldn’t play the victim when the hard times that have hit everyone else in the country finally come knocking on your door. Welcome to the world of finite resources.

So who’s to blame, the Democrats or the Republicans? Blame neither. The power of those constructs belongs to us. We the People are to blame. We put them there and have given them every inch of rope with which to hang us. If the vigilance of freedom dominated our hearts, so would it dominate theirs.

Most of us have believed the lies: that wealth can be created and sustained indefinitely, apart from production; that all wealth above an arbitrarily movable threshold rightfully belongs to the collective; that centralized control guarantees justice and equality; that under the U.S. Constitution, citizens are ultimately subjects of the federal government; and that basic rights are not simply recognized, but both given and taken away by the same. So be it. “According to your faith, it shall be done.”

We have, to the horror of the spirit of our founding fathers, as James the brother of Jesus said, become those who would look in the mirror, turn around, and immediately forget who we are.

The most effective form of persuasion convinces the prospects that everything was their idea anyway. Those who would enslave us have been patiently and systematically working to that end for well over 100 years, and they are very close to complete success. In fact, we have them right where they want us, or, as singer Don Henley so aptly put it:

“And the barons in the balcony are pointing to the pit

They say, ‘Look, they’ve grown accustomed to the smell

The people LOVE that shit, and we’re workin’ it.'”

But is it really that bad? Could a federal government shutdown be inevitable, and if it is, why? Tomorrow here,  we’ll poke this monster and see if it’s real. I hope you’ll join me.
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2 comments on “Federal Debt Chicken: Swell or Buckle? (Part 1/2)

  1. brewerar
    June 17, 2011

    Can’t wait to follow this one!!


  2. Pingback: Federal Debt Chicken: Swell or Buckle? (Part 2/2) « American Parser

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