Rise Up, Teenagers of America! Cast off your chains! Escape from Debtor’s Prison! Break off the iron band of debt your government is clasping around your necks. Young men and women of America, wake up! Your federal government is at war with you. They are sacrificing your future to pay for their selfish political goals. Your generation will be crushed under a huge national debt because the federal government is ever increasing that debt with no practical plan for paying it off.
Right now the federal government is in debt over $15,000,000,000,000.[i] (That’s fifteen trillion dollars!) At the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour you (and your friends) would have to work over two trillion hours at McDonald’s to pay it off. The national debt has increased $4 trillion dollars in the last three years under President Obama so the debt is not going up slowly—it’s skyrocketing![ii] How much of it do you owe? If you divide the national debt by the total population of the United States each person—every man, woman, child, illegal immigrant, etc.—would have to come up with over $48,500 to pay it off.[iii] The real number is far worse—the amount the federal government has promised to pay but doesn’t have the money for (unfunded liabilities) is over $1,000,000 per person.[iv]
Why is the federal government so much in debt? It is because the federal government spends far more money than it takes in. In fact, of every dollar the government spends, 43 cents is borrowed.[v] Why haven’t you heard about this? It is because many of your government leaders are deceiving you. First and foremost, they do it by silence. Every day you will hear them anguishing over some emergency or tragedy unless the huge federal government spending level is continued—or increased. But they rarely speak about the elephant in the room—the national debt. It is amazing how little it is discussed by politicians seeking re-election. All they talk about is how some group won’t get federal (your) money if they aren’t re-elected. It is a constant chorus of how they need to spend money, but rarely a whisper about the fact that the government doesn’t have any. Everyone admits the country is heading for a Debt Wreck but few are doing anything to prevent it. [vi]
How can the federal government keep borrowing so much money? It is because people who lend the money to the government trust the government. But governments gets almost all of its money by taxing. It really means lenders expect you to pay it off. Nothing is more obvious than that the President and Senators who make these bad decisions cannot restrain spending. It is like a drug habit for them. They are buying votes with your money and your future. This is not hyperbole. If the time came when the government couldn’t pay its debts, if others refused to constantly be loaning it money, all federal programs—including tuition grants, Medicare, Social Security, even the defense that protects us from tyrants—would be crippled. It would be a disaster.
The government borrows money by selling bonds. Someone with money loans it to the government and gets a bond—which is a promise to pay back what is loaned plus interest. The largest lender to the U.S. is the government of China.[vii] Obviously the Chinese and others wouldn’t loan money to the federal government, the debt wouldn’t keep increasing, unless the Chinese expected to get their money back in the future. The federal government is doing nothing to even pretend they are going to come up with the money to pay it back now. Instead they just keep borrowing more to pay off past debts when they become due, but never decreasing the amount owed. That means one thing: all of that debt will either have to be repaid by you or you will witness national bankruptcy first hand! Yes, all of the foolhardy expenditures of the federal government are going to end up in your lap. How can they get away with it? It’s easy. YOU DON’T VOTE. They buy votes by giving money and benefits to people who do vote and then dump the requirement of paying off the national debt on the next generation, who can’t vote yet. It is Taxation without Representation in its worst form. This generation of voters is setting you up to pay huge taxes you never agreed to. Remember the Patriots revolted because of such unfairness.
Here is what you can do. First, make it clear to your parents that you are upset that they are being so careless about your future! It really is outrageous. It would be like them giving you a credit card as you went off to college, and then discovering in your first monthly statement from the bank that your parents had charged $48,500 to your account before giving you the card! Second, demand in school that you learn about this very real threat to your future—the national debt. They teach in school about how to respond to natural disasters: tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes. You hold fire drills so you can safely escape from burning buildings. But is anyone teaching you about the impending fiscal disaster and the total absence of any plan to save you from it? Every State school board should require even elementary school classes to be taught about the foolhardiness of federal spending and how it will impact you when you become adults. You’re being set up to be blindsided!
There is something real that your generation can do. Repudiate the debt! Refuse to pay it! Use your cell phones and social media to agree among yourselves, even now in your youth, that you will not pay off the huge national debt incurred by your parents. Sign pledges firmly committing that when you reach voting age you will elect only representatives and vote only for a president who will repudiate the repayment of any debt incurred before you could vote. Publicize that intention so that the Chinese and everyone else will stop lending money you are expected to pay off. Anyone foolish enough to loan to our government knowing that all young voters are planning to repudiate all federal loans once they reach voting age will get what they deserve—nothing. That gives the government 18 years to pay off the national debt.
If there is any political fact that is undeniable, it is that our federal government cannot restrain itself from spending your money. There is no reasonable hope that this administration will change. They will keep borrowing until the country goes bankrupt—at which point all debts will be repudiated. You need to stop it. Voters of this generation have failed you by electing and re-electing leaders who care little for your country’s fiscal future. Let everyone know that you will not be responsible for any debts agreed to by a Congress you did not elect. Repudiate now! Save yourselves and save the country!
[vi] The Congressional Budget Office recently reported: “Without significant changes in government policy, those factors will boost federal outlays sharply relative to GDP in coming decades under any plausible assumptions about future trends in the economy, demographics, and health care costs.” http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/122xx/doc12212/2011_06_22_summary.pdf
[vii] http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatters/ss/How-Much-US-Debt-Does-China-Own.htm. The government pretends that Social Security and the Federal Reserve are the largest debt holders—but that is really money it owes to itself and doesn’t have money to repay.