Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Action Item: The borrowing stops now!

Facebook group ... check!

Sample letter (as transmitted to US Representative Lacy Clay and US Senators Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill via their web contact forms -- go thou and do likewise!):

Dear (Congressman Clay, Senator Bond, Senator McCaskill),

Last week, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to "top lawmakers" on Capitol Hill, requesting that Congress raise the federal government's "debt ceiling." Federal deficit spending is on track to bust that current "ceiling" of $12.1 trillion in October.

Congress's reply to Mr. Geithner's request should be an unequivocal "no."

Over the years I've heard a lot of guff out of Washington about "balancing the budget" and "reining in spending." The way you all carry on about it, you'd think it's rocket science or something.

It isn't. I can explain how to "balance the budget" and "rein in spending" to you in one sentence: Stop spending more money than you're taking in.

At this point, the ability of the federal government to continue taking its debt service out of my hide -- or my children's or grandchildren's hides -- is very much in question and will eventually be exposed as fantasy. Yet that is precisely the basis upon which you approach your would-be creditors, although you attempt to avoid the unpleasantness of the boast with euphemism ("the full faith and credit of the United States").

At some point in the not too distant future, you will face a choice: To repudiate the "national debt," or to pay it off yourselves. I'm not going to pay it off for you. Neither are my children or grandchildren. You took out the loans. They're your problem.

In preparation for that coming day of reckoning, the best piece of advice I can give you is the advice I'd give to a man in a hole who wants to get out: Stop digging. Tell Mr. Geithner that $12.1 trillion in debt is more than enough and that the borrowing stops now.

Best regards,
Thomas L. Knapp

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