As the government shut down debate rages inside the Washington, D.C. beltway over the continuing resolution, as there has been no budget for five years, and the debt ceiling, Floridians and Americans in general are seeing the true nature of a dysfunctional federal government. Many are concerned that Congress is exceeding the ability of taxpayers to pay for government.
As Thomas Jefferson, who faced huge personal debt throughout his lifetime, wrote in a June 1807 letter to John Norvell, “I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”
When Congress fails to place economy as the first virtue, the economy suffers.
Terence P. Jeffrey from CNS News reported, “The U.S. Treasury needed to pay off a record of approximately $7,546,726,000,000 in maturing Treasury securities in fiscal 2013, which ended last Monday, according to Treasury’s official accounting. During the same period, the Treasury turned around and issued another $8,323,949,000,000 in new Treasury securities. The spread between the old debt held by the public that matured and was paid off during the fiscal year and the new debt that was sold to cover government spending over and above tax revenues, increased the net federal government debt held by the public by $777.223 billion during the fiscal year.”
This act by the US Treasury is the equivalent of paying off a credit card with a credit card. But how can Congress and the Executive Branch do this?
Simple according to Joseph J. Dioguardi, former member of Congress from New York and Certified Public Accountant. Dioguardi in his book “Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn’t Add Up” writes, “Now what if you had a charge card with no credit limit, one that sends you only one statement a year – and a confused one at that. And suppose that your weren’t required to pay the balance: you could postpone payment into next year or event to the next century. What would you say?”
Dioguardi had one of these cards and so do 435 other Americans. It is a member of Congress’ voting card.
Dioguardi wrote, “And the best part of it: Once you’re a member of Congress, you never get the bill, and they don’t deduct the amount of your congressional spending votes from your paycheck…[I]ts the closest thing to financial Easy Street there is in America today.”
“There is one small annoyance with The Most Expensive Credit Card in the World. It’s called the debt limit or, more specifically, the Second Liberty Bond Act,” notes Dioguardi.
According to Dioguardi when the Congress, “borrows to finance the deficit, it never worries about paying it back. When its bond, notes and bills come due, the Treasury simply issues more bonds, notes and bills and uses the proceeds to redeem the old ones. This is the fiscal equivalent of what Ponce de Leon was looking for in the jungles of Florida – the Fountain of Youth.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, “Total debt of the federal government can increase in two ways. First, debt increases when the government sells debt to the public to finance budget deficits and acquire the financial resources needed to meet its obligations. This increases debt held by the public. Second, debt increases when the federal government issues debt to certain government accounts, such as the Social Security, Medicare, and Transportation trust funds, in exchange for their reported surpluses. This increases debt held by government accounts. The sum of debt held by the public and debt held by government accounts is the total federal debt.”
The public and the government are one in the same. The federal debt is held by every US citizen. According to the US Debt Clock that is $53,556 per citizen or $148,227 per taxpayer. This does not include the $1,100,984 per taxpayer for all unfunded liabilities incurred by Congress for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Dioguardi calls Congress a “House of Ill Repute.” It is difficult for WDW – FL to disagree with a CPA.
The waste, fraud and abuse in the Social Security administered disability program is highlighted in this CBS News 60 Minutes special investigative report: