Monday, May 16, 2011

Congratulations, We're Officially Broke

So we officially hit the debt ceiling this afternoon, and are now officially not allowed to borrow any more.  I went to the debt clock to see if the numbers had stopped rolling up, but they haven't. 

So where does the leviathan get the money to keep spending?  Expect to see more headlines like "Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government".  This is the Federal Government Employees pension funds they're raiding, and they pinky-promise they're going to pay it back.  Actually, if there's one group you're sure they will pay it's themselves, so, yeah, I believe that.  That WaPo article has a great graphic showing the history of the debt ceilings and the national debt.  Golly, it sure has been effective at keeping the debt down, hasn't it?
As Beck likes to say, "In a totally unrelated story".... the acting Solicitor General for the US, Neal Kumar Katyal, said that the Federal government has absolutely no limits to its power.  If the Indiana "no right to resist illegal arrest" case destroys the 4th amendment, then Katyal destroys the rest of the nine enumerated rights.  In particular, in defending the government's "right" to force you to buy health insurance, he said they could force you to buy anything. 

The court asked if the mandate to buy insurance would apply to anything...
"You think if the court had required people to buy wheat, it would have turned out the same?'
Katyal didn't want to answer the question, so the court pushed him.  He said,
"Could they possibly require the purchase of wheat?" he said. "The answer is yes."
[opposition lawyer] Staver explained, for example, that everyone eats, so the precedent could allow the government to require consumers to purchase certain foods or ban them from purchasing others. Or, it could make them pay whether they eat those products or not. [emphasis added - GB]
Obviously a government like that, a government that can require you to do anything, buy anything, eat (or not eat) anything; a government without limits requires a budget without limits.  They can just make up money out of thin air to spend and it will have no drawbacks at all.

(h/t Improved Clinch


  1. I worked for 8.5 years at the VA as an R.N. During that time, I saved every penny I was allowed to by the IRS in my TSP (401k) account. I am living off of that now. I don't get a penny in retirement from the VA because I quit before I was eligible to get retirement.

    My wife was a medical technologist for forty years, the last six at the same VA hospital. We depend upon money we get from _her_ TSP account as well.

    I wouldn't mind them taking from the retirement account I will never get, although I paid some into that as well, but the money I saved myself should not be touched by those bastards.

    My RN license has lapsed because I haven't worked the number of hours necessary to maintain it, although I have been paying the $100+ (now $145) a year for renewal. So going back to work at my last occupation is no good. I'm too old for law enforcement - and I'm not sure I'd want to work with all the shaved-head neo-Nazis I've seen strutting around since I left the business back in 1995. And there aren't too many jobs available flipping burgers out there, either.

    If the Feds default on the money they steal from our two 401k accounts, and California defaults on the piddly $350 a month I get from working for CHP for 10.5 years, We are well and truly screwed. Makes me wonder if there are any clock towers in Timothy's neighborhood.

  2. Oops. I jumped the gun on that one, reading "pensions" where it said "retirements". Timmy is going after retirements first, but I don't expect federal 401k accounts to be too far behind in his desire to tap whatever funds he can. Especially seeing as how they have supposedly started doing that in several European countries.

    Anyway, since our TSP accounts are both 100% "G-funds", they probably are already worth next to nothing as it is. Although they spend like "real" money right now (as little as that is worth.)

  3. The way I read this, he's going after government retirement accounts because he can. It's harder to seize private sector funds, like a privately held IRA or 401k.

    Not that I think that could never happen. I expect this to lead to wider seizures. You don't take crack away from an addict and you don't take meat away from a junkyard dog. That's the analogy to asking this bunch to stop spending so much.