Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Dead Broke...And Loving It!
I just received some good news about my personal finances! No, I didn't win the lottery, and if I had to come up with the money for a new set of tires, I'd be hard pressed to find it. No, what I learned yesterday is that, though I'm dead broke, my net worth is 550, 000% higher than that of the U.S. government.
It seems that one of those Wall Street gurus and some government economic experts reported yesterday that the best thing Uncle Sam could do is just declare bankruptcy. After they finished auditing all the government debt they found that our "debt ceiling" is not $16.4 trillion but closer to $100 trillion!
Holy smokes! Bet you guys didn't know that! But after running a few fact checks, and poring through a bunch of Wikipedia data, that $100 trillion government debt seems to be true! They call them "unfunded liabilities".
How the hell did our favorite "Uncle" run up that much debt? Well, it seems back in the 60's a President named Lyndon Johnson needed to finance a whole bunch of Great Society programs while at the same time fund a big war in Vietnam.
Well, there clearly wasn't enough money in the government till to do both so Johnson and his Democratic pals in Congress came up with a brilliant idea! It seems there are two big pots of money being managed by Uncle Sam. One pot is all the taxes and fees we pay; that's called the General Fund. But there was a second pot of money available to politicians. It was a much larger pot and it was called the Social Security Trust Fund. And the Social Security Fund was huge! It had trillions of dollars in it, thanks to working Americans who had been paying into it for decades. By law, the funds were never to be touched by politicians. But laws can be changed.
So Congress changed the law and began tapping that Social Security fund money to pay for bridges to nowhere and water parks and rat preserves and foreign wars. Every time Uncle Sam took money out of the Social Security Trust fund they just put an I.O.U. in there, to be paid back at a later date.
Sadly, Uncle Sam never got around to paying any of that money back and just kept taking more and more out and putting it into the General Fund. And every President since Lyndon Johnson since then has continued to spend that Social Security money. Then, last year we learned that all of those tens of trillions of dollars American workers paid into it are all gone....the only thing left are I.O.U.'s.
So now Uncle Sam is saying "we just can't afford to pay Social Security retirement to all these people! We need to reform the system! We need to raise the age of eligibility to 70 years old so that alot of those old folks will die before we ever have to pay out a cent in Social Security.
But now the Wall Street geniuses and the government economic geniuses are saying that $100 trillion can never be repaid, that what the U.S. government needs to do is just declare bankruptcy, because under any economic scenario they can't see how Uncle Sam could ever pay off that much debt!
Guess that would leave a hundred million seniors out in the cold...but what can you do? "Shit happens", right? How the hell else are we going to give billions in foreign aid to Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan if we don't tell these old people to go to hell? How else are we going to afford to pay $6 million dollars for our President's round trip to Hawaii unless we tell old people to start eating Alpo? How else are we going to afford putting out $70 billion dollars to rebuild homes for people stupid enough to build on the water, or in the Mississippi delta, or in New Orleans, a thousand feet below sea level, unless we keep raising the age of Social Security retirement so high that all the old fogies will be long dead before they ever draw a cent of Social Security money?
Whew! I'm dead broke and loving it! My net worth makes Uncle Sam look like a pauper..and he is!