Cut Up the Credit Card

“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

By Alden L. Benton

According to a Heritage Foundation report, Congress has an opportunity to do what all debtors should do — cut up the credit card and prioritize debt payments.

House Resolution 807 will do just that.  The bill, according to Heritage Action, “… would require the Treasury Secretary to pay the principal and interest on America’s debt obligations and make Social Security payments before any other payments in the event the debt ceiling is reached.  In effect, the bill begins the process of prioritizing federal spending.”

Under this bill, political pressure to raise the debt ceiling would separate the spendthrifts from the frugal and expose the lies and distortions that fly every time we approach the debt ceiling.

If we as a nation are ever going to lower, or eliminate, the national debt we must begin to live with our means.  If the essentials are paid first, then there should be a greater emphasis on eliminating unnecessary spending and waste in the programs that remain. 

In fact, this new enforced frugality could signal a dramatic change in the size and scope of government.  When it comes to government, the government that governs best governs least least — and costs a whole lot less.

However, there is peril in this approach.  The spenders in Congress could easily succumb to the urge to “enhance revenue” to make certain their pork and pet projects survive.  Translated into plain language, that means more taxes for the same old nonsense.

Despite this problem, HR 807 is an important first step towards fiscal responsibility.  In the end, we must make hard choices — choices made in the best interests of the country as a whole, not in the interest of politicians and special interests.

The first hard choice is to stop borrowing.  The second hard choice is to change the tax code to a simple flat tax structure where all but the truly poor pay.  The rate should be capped and changes constrained by a Constitutional amendment.

The answer is simple: stop borrowing, cap spending, and reduce taxes.  This is the only answer that will ensure the economic future of the United States, or any country.

Unfortunately, there are far too few men and women of courage and integrity in the halls of government, at any level, who have the will to what is necessary. 

It is up to us to replace the weak and corrupt with honest and courageous individuals of integrity.  The time to start is now.  All of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate, plus myriad state and local offices, are up for election in 2014.

Make 2014 a year of change that matters, a year where We, the people take back our government, and our future, from the corrupt, self-serving political elite who are destroying our lives, our liberty, and our happiness.

“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”  ~Thomas Jefferson

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2 responses to “Cut Up the Credit Card

  1. I’m going to need to remember that Ben Franklin quote. Very nice blog.

  2. It’s really so simple. The first rule of success with stability is being responsible. Without responsibility, the result (of anything) can only be disaster.
    The rule is the same for governments and individuals. Strengthening your chance for a strong and independent future is the best assurance for positive results you will ever have in this world. Honest work and marriage (and family) increase your chances immensely.
    The main rule only magnifies with added endeavors, especially financial ones. A little self-denial and delayed gratification now will always put one in a stronger position now and for the future.
    No pain, no gain.
    Eyes too big for your stomach will give you a stomach ache. And you won’t much sympathy or love for your gluttonous ways — except by those who will use your excesses to their advantage.
    Relying on chance and debt will mean a lower standard of life, more uncertainty for the future, and as a direct result, greater stress on the mind and body. Nobody escapes that formula, and those who think they do can fool themselves for a while, then later they are just fools.
    Using money as a drug to avoid pain leads to addiction and greater pain down the road.
    It’s hard for many people to understand that a nation isn’t really any different from an individual (and a family) when it comes to finances. It’s harder still for even more folks to put the principle into effect. That’s really the main problem: making some temporary, manageable debt into a permanent habit and lifestyle.
    It’s not irresponsibility in itself — intentionally or otherwise — it’s the simple reality of it.
    The U.S. government — and all the states, especially California — must do precisely what many people have had to do: cut the bad habit of debt and wholesale spending. A lot of people will be more uncomfortable as a result (and that’s ultimately the fault of the individuals and the government bodies), but a greater disaster will be averted.
    Americans will adjust. It’s in their DNA. And perhaps a more responsible and more moral way of life will result through a greater reliance on private (personal) charity.
    Love thy neighbor as thyself. You can’t do any better than that.

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