October 25th, 2016

The National Debt

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

These beautiful words penned 239 years ago by Thomas Jefferson continue to illuminate the promise that is the United States of America. Forty years later, in 1816, Jefferson left us a warning as to how these rights might be threatened.

“I sincerely believe… that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816.

Not much is said these days about President Jefferson or the national debt. The wisdom of Jefferson and his contemporaries is lost on the majority of present day politicians. The U.S. national debt is a whopping $18 trillion dollars and growing. That is almost $57,000 for every man, woman and child and $154,000 for each taxpayer. Having had significant personal debt, like many of my fellow Americans, I have firsthand knowledge of how debt robs one’s family of futurity. The same rules apply to the larger American family regardless of the government’s printing press.

I equate the national debt to a Texas size asteroid of our own making hurtling toward the world economy. The asteroid is made of unrealistic campaign promises, payoffs to special interests, government grants, and every form of pork and waste a career politician can imagine.

This asteroid will deprive us of our liberty and hinder our pursuit of happiness as much as one made of iron would deprive us of life. Moving from outer space and back to the ground in Vermont, I ask “What does the voting record of our congressional delegation tell us about how these three career politicians have dealt with the national debt?”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government.

This organization gives the Vermont congressional delegation of Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Peter Welch a rating of HOSTILE in addressing wasteful government spending. Bernie Sanders has the dubious distinction of being rated as the most hostile member of the Congress towards reigning in the destructive spending appetite of our government. In January 2013, Peter Welch, was awarded Porker of the Month for violating his constitutional oath in attempting to circumvent legal authority to raise the debt ceiling which rests solely with the Congress. He distributed a petition to members of congress suggesting that President Obama be given a blank check to raise the debt ceiling at his own discretion. Say goodbye to separation of powers and hello to dictatorship. This begs the question,

“Why do good Vermonters continue to elect these three men that willfully mortgage the future liberty and happiness of our children and grandchildren?”

Stuart Lindberg
Cavendish, VT

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