Thursday, July 14, 2011


-By Bob Ward

From the beginning of the debate over raising the debt limit, Democrats and the media have been warning us that not raising the limit means the U.S. defaults on its debt for the first time in our history. With few exceptions, the Republicans have failed to refute this claim.

In recent days, Obama has upped the ante by suggesting that there may not be enough money to make Social Security payments if the limit is not raised. The claim is not believable on its face. The President does not have to cut off payments to the elderly and the disabled. He would only do it if he hopes to blame the cut-off on the Republicans. With the help of the media it is entirely possible he could pull it off.

Terence P. Jeffrey, writing for CNSNews, reports that according to the Treasury Dept, since Federal borrowing reached the legal limit on May 16, tax revenue will more than cover the cost of interest payments, Medicare,Medicaid, Social Security, the Veterans Affairs department and federal workers wages and insurance benefits including wages and insurance benefits for military personnel.

Jeffrey notes that between May 16 and July 7, the Federal government took in a total of $296.176 billion in new tax revenue. In that same time period, total interest payments on the national debt equaled $14.632 billion. So the Federal government took in enough money between May 16 and July 7 to pay the interest on the debt 20 times over.

The combined expenditures for interest payments, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Veterans Affairs Department and Federal workers wages and insurance benefits equaled $270.151 billion. So government would have met all those expenses, paid the interest on the debt and still have $26.025 billion left over. By claiming that the government may lack the funds to pay Social Security recipients Obama is making Bill Clinton look like Honest Abe. If the government fails to send out Social Security checks it will be because Obama wants it that way for political, not economic, reasons.

If there really was a money squeeze he could take a bite out of the Education Dept, or, better yet, ask Congress to abolish it. Every state in the union operates a public school system. The Federal department is an expensive redundancy.

Or he could agree to shut down the Public Broadcasting System. There are hundreds of TV channels available on cable so there is no need for this unconstitutional haven for artists who couldn’t cut it in the private sector. And National Public Radio could go too. Americans should get their news from real journalists, not from government flaks masquerading as reporters.

Also a suitable target for abolition is the National Endowment for the Arts. Before the government was in the business of supporting art, we got composers like George Gershwin, Aaron Copeland, Rodgers & Hart, and Cole Porter, playwrights Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, novelists Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis and Theodore Dreiser. With government money we get a photograph of a crucifix dipped in urine.

And if things really got desperate he could stop funding Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills or even cut off Obama's pals at ACORN. Imagine that!