William Hamilton: The best Chinese Navy our money can buy
April 13, 2011
According to CNS News, during the week preceding the recent federal budget deal to cut $38.5 billion dollars from this fiscal year’s federal budget, our federal debt increased $54.1 billion dollars. Yikes!
We still lost $15.6 billion dollars, which is reminiscent of “I Love Lucy,” when Lucy and Ethyl were producing home-made mayonnaise at a loss but Lucy said, “We’ll make it up on volume!”
Yes, during the week or so that our elected officials in Washington, D.C., were dickering over a relatively measly $38.5 billion dollars, our federal debt rose from $14.2101 trillion dollars to $14.2642 trillion dollars.
Bottom line: Our federal government is spending eight times more money than it is taking in. For those who just wrote whopping checks to the IRS (in addition to making quarterly estimated tax payments), that hardly seems possible. Oh yes, the federal government can spend money faster than taxpayers can write checks to cover its expenses.
To cover expenses, the federal government borrows billions from the Red Chinese. Each day, according to Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R), we pay the CHICOMs (Chinese Communists) so much interest that they could afford to buy one of our $207-million-dollar Joint Strike Fighters (F-35) every other day.
The New York Times reports the Ukrainian aircraft carrier the CHICOMs bought in 1998 to convert to a floating casino will, instead, sail later this year (at a cost of $762 million dollars), as a completely reconditioned aircraft carrier carrying super-sonic, MiG 29K fighter-bombers. Using Congressman Hensarling’s figures, we will have bought the CHICOMs an aircraft carrier in just over a week of interest payments. The world watches as we – looking like Lucy and Ethyl – pay for Red China’s burgeoning blue-water navy.
Prior to 1933, we backed the U.S. Dollar with gold bullion. Now, the value of the dollar is simply what the world thinks the dollar is worth. What if the other nations of the world decide we are stuck on stupid? Maybe they have already.
Some readers may recall traveling around the world where taxi drivers, bartenders, and hotel maids much preferred a tip in American money rather than the local currency. Now, all too often one hears, “Thanks for the tip; however, could I please have my tip in our local currency?”
During the talk of a federal government slow-down, federal bureaucrats were trying to decide which government workers were essential and which ones were not essential. Hold the phone. Why do we have non-essential government workers?
The U.S. Constitution clearly states that the essential functions of the national government are to provide for the common defense and to keep us safe in our persons and in our property. So why, for example, does the federal government spend millions to study the mating habits of the snail darter?
This suggests that there are essential government functions, non-essential government functions and nice-to-have government functions. There are some government activities to which some taxpayers object quite strongly – the use of federal tax dollars for abortions being a case in point.
Unfortunately, what is an essential government service to one federal taxpayer is not necessarily essential to some other federal taxpayer. Deciding such questions is why those we send to Washington get the big bucks and the big perks. But since they spend eight times more than they are taking in, they probably need to seek another line of work. That is why we have elections.
Actually, half of the people in this country do not pay a dime in federal income tax. As a result, that half has little incentive to worry as to how the federal government is spending someone else’s tax dollars. That is why it is so difficult to un-elect the big spenders. The ones who are busy helping the CHICOMs re-condition aircraft carriers.
– Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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