Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tea Party Redux

The TEA Party, named after the Boston Tea Party, the forerunner to the American Revolution that began in 1773, is nothing less than a Citizen rebellion against a government felt to be dictatorial and unfair.
That first revolution began on December 16th 1773, and soon spawned all out war against government that did not end until 1783 when the Treaty of Paris recognized the sovereignty of the United States. 
But make no mistake, the revolution was war against the citizen’s own government - -  British citizens, “Colonists,” living in British America, against a British government, a government that had grown ever more hungry for tax revenue and ever less responsive to citizens. Thus the famous phrase: No Taxation Without Representation.
Today we have a similar struggle: The Government has grown ever more hungry for citizens' wealth and ever less responsive to those paying taxes. Taxes for unpopular wars; for bloated and needless bureaucracies; for overpaid government employees; for unpopular entitlements; for outrageous government employee pensions; etc., etc. When taxes could not be raised to fund these unpopular adventures and entitlements, the money was simply “borrowed.” Borrowed without the approval of the citizenry and expended primarily for constituents’ of powerful lobbies, in return for political support -- i.e. the sale and purchase of votes.
When the Constitution was originally conceived, the House of Representatives was designed to allow for a single Representative to “represent” 30,000 citizens - a population, in today’s terms, of a small American town.
Over the years the number of citizens represented by each Representative has grown from that reasonable figure of 30,000, to now 750,000+ folks. How does a Representative represent nearly a million people (750,000+/-)? Well they don’t. They represent a few special interests. This huge number of 750,000+ citizens has turned Representatives into a kind of “short-term” Senator, but free of State accountability. Members of the House have grown very powerful, commandeering huge entourages, enjoying foreign junkets, and even providing some with private government-paid-for jetliners, wherein they travel like kings and queens!
Article. I.
Section 2.
Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (See Note 2) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, ………”

Perhaps it’s time to return to the original concept of “representation” as spelled-out in the Constitution. With modern technology there is no need for Representatives to congregate in D.C., a computer at a home town office will do just fine. With electronic conferencing and voting and with direct input to and from constituents a more perfect union could be had.

Here’s the problem with the current Representative arrangement:
1) Anonymity. A small town Mayor or a County Sherriff has much greater accountability to the voters. They are widely known as are their views, and they nearly always reflect the character and political position of their electorate. Representatives, having an electorate of 750,000+ souls can take just about any position they chose!
2) Arrogance. Representatives somehow feel that they are elected to exercise their own views, totally contrary to the actual reason for their existence, which is to represent the political views, within the framework of the Constitution, of their immediate electorate. They are not elected to represent a position that they think is best, the arrogant elitist position – “I know what’s best for …you!” No, this is not their job. And lastly,
3) Corruption. When Representatives vote for positions paid for by lobbyists they have become corrupt. When they “trade” votes to satisfy a fellow Representative, in return for who knows what, they are corrupt. Their job, their only job, is to vote the will of their immediate electorate -- again, within the framework of the Constitution.

In 2012 there will be another TEA Party “wave.” As a matter of fact there may be a succession “waves” until Representatives “get it.” I fear they will never get it until the system is fixed. The best way to largely fix all of the above is to:
1) Cap the number of constituents within a congressional district to 30,000. Representatives will then have to answer to a small group and will be out the first time they fail to represent the views of their constituents. In this past cycle, Representatives voted in direct opposition to the wishes of the majority of voters, from deficit spending to entitlement broadening to health care. They ignored the voter’s wishes to effect tort reform which would reduce the cost of virtually everything, change health insurance company operating rules, thus making their product more competitive, and eliminating State Mandates that force  insurance companies to cover idiocy like sex change, and a plethora of other issues.
2) Remain in their home districts. They do not have to be in DC. If there are hearings held, Committees can be assembled to hear testimony. Interested house members and the public can view them via TV or on the Net.
3) Term limits. Serving is an honor… not a career. Serve, do you job and get out of the way.

I think we should go back to the original percentage of Representatives spelled-out in the Constitution --one per 30,000. No assembly in Washington; the new Representative, one of 10,000, would vote with computers from Representatives’ home offices. Then a citizen will truly have representation. Representatives should never have become potentates. Today, just as in 1773, there is once again Taxtation Without Representation. One Representative per 750,000+ people is no representation at all, and allows Representatives to act capriciously without care of citizens' wants. Not good. Let them be locals, and answer directly to their hometown constituents.

Cheers, Mel

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Melting Down

We are witnessing historic American Political times. The 1st non-white President. The 1st American President attempting to mollify long-time historic enemies (since the Jefferson Presidency) with bows and American deprecation. The most serious economy crises since the Great Depression. And now the first major breakdown of one of our major parties.

Founded in 1854, when The Whig Party lost touch with the American public and the Democrats continued to support slavery, the GOP is at it's end. Are we seeing the demise of a party that too has lost contact with its prime supporters? The Republican Party, for some time, and especially so since the Bush 41 administration, has steadily drifted to the left and has finally joined-up with the Elite Power Structure, the Political-Media /Government-Union Complex. The Complex, consisting of - starting at the bottom, SEIU (and all big unions), ACORN, Government employees, the Mainstream Media (including it's propaganda arm - Hollywood) and at the very top Elected Officials (both Dem and GOP), is our ruling class.

All of these folks have become fat and happy living off the wealth of America, created largely since the end of WWII. Today, Union and Government employees earn incomes nearly double that of the "civilian" population, enjoy broad job security and generous early retirements. They are our Greece! Those that pay for these excesses have finally had it. That 15% of the population living below the poverty line, have decided that they'll not take it anymore either. 

All the moves coming out of Washington, for decades, have steadily increased the cost of living, made life more difficult, more complex; have created the fallout of the Nanny State; have created the Entitlement Mentality.... well known in Europe, newer to our shores.

And the trend may well have continued until, like the frog immersed for cooking in a cool pot of water, when finally feeling the heat discovers he's too "cooked" to jump free, the U.S. was so deep in the paradigm it was all but too late to climb-out. But then Candidate and then President, Mr. Obama promised Fundamental Change. Little did he, or The Complex, imagine the story now unfolding. 

The Change is less "Change You Can Believe In" and more; Obama, The Agent of Change. Change is happening, and the off-hand remark of Rick Santelli on CNBC, that recent outrageous government actions begged for "a new (Boston) Tea Party," was Change the public really did believe in!  Rick, you got one. The Ruling Class is on the run, Change is a comin', but it ain't Obama style and it ain't Establishment style.

Below is a picture of just a tiny corner of the coming meltdown.....

Cheers, Mel

Is Karl Rove the Architect of His Own Political Demise?
Power Elites have been exposed as never before, the Far Left came out of the closet like defiant gay extroverts, and RINOs are stampeding
By Jim O'Neill on Thursday for CFP; September 16, 2010
Last night I watched Karl Rove drive the final nails into his political coffin, as he double-downed his attacks against Christine O’Donnell, on Greta Van Susteren’s show “On The Record
.”  It may be awhile before the “funeral” takes place, but the coffin is finished, no doubt.
The night before I had watched as Rove began his public self-immolation, on The Sean Hannity Show.  Hannity, to his credit, defended O’Donnell against Rove’s surprising (to me, at least) and graceless attack, after her win against Power Elite insider, Mike Castle, in the Delaware Republican primary.  (Link)
(Kudos to Sean Hannity for standing up to Rove, however, I hope he won’t mind a bit of friendly advice: lose the UN-blue power tie.  It’s a bit of sartorial style that was first popularized by “the anointed one” himself, Obama—besides, well…it’s UN-blue).  (Link)
Response to Rove’s rant by true conservatives was immediate
, and almost unanimously, negative.
Rush Limbaugh said
, ““Everyone I know that saw this was just—they were perplexed and said, ‘What’s going on?”
Michelle Malkin noted
that, “Rove came across as an effete sore loser instead of the supposedly brilliant and grounded GOP strategist that he’s supposed to be.”
Last night when Van Susteren had Rove on her show, I fully expected to see some fancy damage-control back-pedaling.  Nope. 
Figuratively speaking, Rove took out hammer and nails, and went about sealing his political coffin, with a will.  If you’ll permit me to mix metaphors, his aim was unerring, when it came to shooting himself in the foot.  His performance was stunningly tone deaf, arrogant, and elitist. 
When Greta responded to some derogatory comments about O’Donnell’s student loans, by saying that perhaps a lot of people, in this economy, could relate to her troubles, Rove failed to take the hint, and carried on with his tirade.
Has Rove never heard the old saying “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging?”  Apparently not. 
There’s one thing “we the people” can thank Obama for—a lot of previously well-disguised “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” have been shown for who they are.  The Lame Stream Media has been irredeemably discredited as a source of unbiased news, Power Elites have been exposed as never before, the Far Left came out of the closet like defiant gay extroverts, and RINOs are stampeding. 
All of which is, in its way, good news for “we the people,” as it has given us a much clearer view of the “lay of the land.”  It may be an unsettling view, but as we wake up and get our bearings, it’s a much needed view, nonetheless. 
The Republicans have strayed too far away from their conservative roots, and the Democrats have wandered off to…only God and George Soros
know where—Lenin Land, or another planet, it would seem.             
As for Karl Rove
—he’ll be moving on to greener pastures, with the rest of the RINO herd.  Well, maybe the pastures won’t be greener, but he and the herd will definitely be moving on.

Laus Deo.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Health Care Cost Reduction? NOT!

It's not a matter of NEEDING health care. We all need health care. The problem with health care is its cost!  With the Obamacare Bill, Congress has not done a single thing to lower the cost of health care.... which is the public's number 1 "health care" concern. As a matter of fact, they have just raised that cost!

Think about it for a minute, without emotion, but with common sense. The Administration claimed that this new law will cover 31 million Americans, heretofore uninsured. The US Census Bureau estimated that in 2006 there were 116 million households in the US. Each household has approximately 2.6 members. That means the uninsured represents about 12 million households. Subtracting those 12 million uninsured from the total of 116 million leaves 104 million insured households to pay for all those uninsured. Simply speaking, if 104 million households picks up the tab for 12 million uninsured ones, the 104 million will have to pay at least 11.5% more in insurance costs every year!

Now some will say, "No, business will pay!" Or, "No, the government will pay!" Or, "No, insurance companies will have to pay!" Of course, but getting back to the emotion free state of logic, we all know that in the first instance businesses will simply raise the price of their goods or services to cover those new taxes/expenses, which means that the end user will pay... that's us. In the second instance, we know that the government has no money, other than that collected in taxes from... us. In the third instance, the insurance companies, if not permitted to raise premiums will simply go out of business.... they can't run on air! That leaves... us! In other words a single-payer system funded by.... us!

So no matter how one slices and dices it, raw insurance premiums will have to go up by at least 11.5%. As they say on TV commercials, "But wait, there's more!" There's more here too because now the government will have to hire tens of thousands of folks to administer the program. The Bill calls for 16,000 new IRS "inforcer/collectors" immediately. That's right now, while the private insurance companies are still in business. As they fold their tents and vanish, more and more government workers, like those at the DMV or the Post Office, will be required to do the underwriting/administrating those insurance companies had been doing, competitively I might add.

All that may not sound so bad until you figure that, hey, those private insurance companies used to make money and pay taxes and their newly out of work employees will be in the unemployment lines.... pulling even more money out of the system! What will all these unintended consequences cost... us? Another 10%? Or more? One last note about expenses.... you can just forget about the "fraud and abuse savings." Those savings will never be found... as a matter of fact they will only increase. Costing another 10%!

There are solutions to many of the problems that have increased the cost of care and the cost of insurance, but none of these have even been considered by the elected officials currently running the show. Here's a few:
  • Insurance should be 100% portable. When we moved from CA to HA we could not take our California Blue Cross policy with us. The same thing happened again when we moved abroad, yet again when we moved to Washington. Moving abroad we discovered that outside the US there are Insurance Companies that sell policies good anywhere in the world!
  • State mandates put upon insurance companies should be eliminated. Why should one have to buy an insurance policy that provides for sex-change operations? Or plastic surgery? Or, or, or? My family wanted and needed only major medical insurance. We were middle aged, had no intention of having children or a sex change!
  • State lines for the purchase of Health Insurance should be erased. Some States allow a variety of policies to be issued; some at far cheaper premiums than others, but neither you nor I can shop across State lines to buy them - this should be changed.
  • Employees should own their own policies. If it's a job-perk, fine... the employer could simply give the employee a cash credit to purchase their own policy, fully portable. If the job is lost, or the individual changes career, or whatever the reason for change... the policy travels with the "owner."
  • Tort reform for everything!.... would bring down  - way down - the costs of everything. From food to fuel to especially medical care, drugs, and expensive items like Auto Insurance! We've lived where it's happened, in both New Zealand and Australia. But Congress, where too many are lawyers, won't do it. Billions of dollars are wasted on high insurance premiums and cover-your-ass expenses in every industry, all of which are passed on to the final consumer..... us!
  • Mandatory Physical Education and mandatory nutrition courses, K thru College 4 - with mandatory weigh-ins! When we were kids we rode a bike or walked to school. Once in school we were required to exercise - in Physical Education class - every school day! My high school graduation class had nearly 800 seniors in it; I can't remember a single fatso let alone a third of the class being "two-ton-tubbies!" 
These are the issues that have driven-up health care, none - NONE - of which have been addressed by Obamacare. Your family's health care costs will continue to rise, as will all American's until these problems are fixed. By then private medical insurance companies will be out of business, we will have "single payer," your doctor may well be foreign born, you will go to a "clinic" for services, you will wait all day to see.... not a doctor but a Physician Assistant. There will be no other choice. Payment for the government plan will be mandatory. If you want private services you'll have to pay extra for them yourself. Better health services may well be found in Costa Rica. This, by the way, will further us down the road to the two-class system. The privileged and the rest of..... us.  

Body parts: knees, shoulders, hips, etc., will be denied unless you are young enough to "pay-back" the cost through future taxes. Your option? Go get them on your own in Brazil or Switzerland, or wherever. That's a fact. In New Zealand and Australia they have a simple age cut-off, re-determined each year, that sets eligibility based upon cash in the system. Oldsters either come here to the US for those parts, or go to Asia, or stay home... use a cane, a walker or sit in a wheelchair. 

My argument does not oppose health care for all.... all already get it. For example, a couple (unrelated) friends of ours were stricken with breast cancer.... neither had insurance. They had money for the latest and greatest Apple computers, cell phones, tattoos, one even enjoyed Cuban Cigars (really! - $10 each!) and to drive new cars but nary a dime to spare for insurance!  Although never a dime was paid, they both were guided to a California community "program" that paid for all their needs. Not only paid for everything including surgery, all meds and follow-up therapy but also for "reconstructive" surgery; new breasts to match and lipo to go with them! Another acquaintance, a middle aged gentleman, not a citizen but living in Washington, suffered from a massive heart attack. Likewise, not insured. His bypass surgery, all follow-up and post surgery meds (some of which will be needed the rest of his life) were/are all paid for by...... us!

We've all seen off-ramp-beggar's with signs saying they needed money for food (although I've never seen one that looked starved), but I've never seen a sign that said.... Need Money for Surgery (or even medicine).

With Obamacare, everyone (that has two cents to rub together) will have to pay more for health insurance. An ARMY of public employees will be hired to administer the soon to be National Health Care Agency (or some such) in a - I guarantee you! - half-ass manner. If you don't think that costs will skyrocket beyond our atmosphere and into the stratosphere then you're living on the Moon. It has to go way up. Health care will become the biggest expense this country has ever seen. To cover the costs the US will have to change the Pentagon from a defense military organization into an international police force. A Standing Army, Air Force, and Navy will not be affordable.... without sucking every dollar out of the atmosphere. And speaking of atmostphere.... no more NASA exploration either, every farthing will be sucked-into the giant government maw, just to accommodate "health care" expenses.

Welcome to the Fundamentally Changed America!

Cheers, Mel

Monday, March 15, 2010


Bernie Madoff might just be emblematic of a worldwide meltdown as the Ponzi scheme of all Ponzis raises it's ugly head..... that of the US Social Security end game! And yet our "leaders" continue to spend as if there's no tomorrow..... but tomorrow is now on the horizon.

One would think that a little saving would be in order, but no. Every Governmental Agency, be it local school boards, County Councils, City and State officials, all the way up to the White House, just keeps on creating "programs," spending money on virtually every imaginable ridiculous scheme from robot-bees to bridges to nowhere; from Nancy Palousi's coast to coast 767 flights, to Obama's travel in our 747..... even when the distance is as short as 150 miles! 

Now I know this is all waved away as "just peanuts" when the problem is as huge as it is, but we have to start somewhere, there are no trillion dollar items we can just slash.... it all consists of the billion here and the billion there  Senator Everett Dirkson spoke of.

Someone has to say enough! It's not, obviously, going to come from our elected leaders.... we citizens that care are going to have to get more active and more vocal than ever before.... and say loud and clear...  "NO MORE SPENDING - START CUTTING! We're mad as hell and we won't take it anymore!!!" 

With virtually every municipality, county, State and even the Federal Government economically upside down, and now SS on the brink, can you imagine the taxes we are facing? RE Taxes will have to go up... in spite of the fact values are going down! Payroll taxes,  sales taxes, much higher gas taxes, a new energy tax, new excise taxes, soda taxes, sin taxes, Internet login taxes, Internet sales taxes, Texting taxes, higher income taxes on city, state, and Federal levels, watch for Net Worth Taxes.... and the granddaddy of all....a National Sales Tax of anywhere from 10 to 20% on every purchase.... all on top of every tax already in place!

Who's going to pay all these taxes?  Where does the money come from? The 15 million undocumented aliens? Coming Amnesty will legalize and thus bring those folks into the Scheme, and their 30 to 50 million immediate family members! These folks will all want entitlements too, in spite of the fact that they come without portfolio! 

We are in a crises unlike anything since the 1930s, but no true Jobs are being created! The TARP money went to the already rich, the stimulus money is nothing more than a political slush fund. Ask yourself this, what happened to all those "shovel-ready projects" that were all around the country? Remember the Interstates in deplorable condition? Bridges, over and under passes falling down? Reservoirs on the brink of failing? The list of horror stories went on, yet I don't see the money flowing into these projects. If they ever existed....  Money is going to the States however, where it's spent on: maintaining government payrolls and rich union and government pensions, i.e. on the privileged class. 

What happens when these funds are gone? What has set America apart from every other country on earth has been the willingness of its citizens to work hard, to take risks and thereby fulfill that burning desire to succeed - on one's own! What has helped fuel these dreams has been an abundant source of cheap energy, from our forests to our coal to our oil. 

Energy is the key to all human advancement. Without it it's back to the caves......

If this Administration was really interested in creating jobs and getting America moving again they would be issuing "sue proof" permits to build nuclear reactors from coast to coast.... one in everyone's backyard. They'd be letting leases on offshore drilling. The Fed would be offering tax credits for the conversion of auto and truck engines to run on CNG and putting up the cash to build-out CNG filling stations coast to coast. This makes way more sense than offering "cash for clunkers,"  or "cash for caulking," and it would mean millions of good jobs! 

Plentiful cheap energy puts the US back in the game. With jobs vanishing to robotization, costs of living is reduced to the cost of energy. With cheap energy we can compete with anyone including the Chinese.

But what are our elected folks doing? Spending all their energy and all our futures on yet another huge entitlement program.... the biggest entitlement of all... "Free Medical Care for Everyone!"

The Ponzi is close to the end, as all Ponzis eventually come to. We've found every last "investor" on earth when we've found the Chinese. There are no more "investors!" As the attempt to collect ever more taxes fails, watch for the Federal Government to require everyone with an IRA or a 401K to become an "investor." A significant part of those savings, in order to continue their special tax status, will be required to purchase US Bonds.... to be paid back not in a lump sum, but as an annuity. It's coming... the confiscation of money. Madoff was just a trailer of coming attractions.

Social Security to start cashing Uncle Sam's IOUs

Susan ChapmanAP – FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2005 file photo, Susan Chapman, director of the Division of Federal Investments, …
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to theSocial Security Administration.
It's time to start cashing them in.
For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money inpayroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year.
Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.
Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg's municipal offices.
Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn't be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.
Social Security's shortfall will not affect current benefits. As long as the IOUs last, benefits will keep flowing. But experts say it is a warning sign that the program's finances are deteriorating. Social Security is projected to drain its trust funds by 2037 unless Congress acts, and there's concern that the looming crisis will lead to reduced benefits.
"This is not just a wake-up call, this is it. We're here," said Mary Johnson, a policy analyst with The Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group. "We are not going to be able to put it off any more."
For more than two decades, regardless of which political party was in power, Congress has been accused of raiding the Social Security trust funds to pay for other programs, masking the size of the budget deficit.
Remember Al Gore's "lockbox," the one he was going to use to protect Social Security? The former vice president talked about it so much during the 2000 presidential campaign that he was parodied on "Saturday Night Live."
Gore lost the election and never got his lockbox. But to illustrate the government's commitment to repaying Social Security, the Treasury Department has been issuing special bonds that earn interest for the retirement program. The bonds are unique because they are actually printed on paper, while othergovernment bonds exist only in electronic form.
They are stored in a three-ring binder, locked in the bottom drawer of a white metal filing cabinet in the Parkersburg offices of Bureau of Public Debt. The agency, which is part of the Treasury Department, opened offices in Parkersburg in the 1950s as part of a plan to locate important government functions away from Washington, D.C., in case of an attack during the Cold War.
One bond is worth a little more than $15.1 billion and another is valued at just under $10.7 billion. In all, the agency has about $2.5 trillion in bonds, all backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. But don't bother trying to steal them; they're nonnegotiable, which means they are worthless on the open market.
More than 52 million people receive old age or disability benefits from Social Security. The average benefit for retirees is a little under $1,200 a month. Disabled workers get an average of $1,100 a month.
Social Security is financed by payroll taxes — employers and employees must each pay a 6.2 percent tax on workers' earnings up to $106,800. Retirees can start getting early, reduced benefits at age 62. They get full benefits if they wait until they turn 66. Those born after 1960 will have to wait until they turn 67.
Social Security's financial problems have been looming for years as the nation's 78 million baby boomersapproached retirement age. The oldest are already there. As that huge group of people starts collecting benefits — and stops paying payroll taxes — Social Security's trust funds will shrink, running out of money by 2037, according to the latest projection from the trustees who oversee the program.
The recession is making things worse, at least in the short term. Tax receipts are down from the loss of more than 8 million jobs, and applications for early retirement benefits have spiked from older workers who were laid off and forced to retire.
Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, says the crisis has been years in the making. "If this helps get people to look more seriously at that in the nearer term, that's probably a good thing. But it's only really a punctuation mark on the fact that we have longer-term financial issues that need to be addressed."
In the short term, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security will continue to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes for the next three years. It is projected to post small surpluses of $6 billion each in 2014 and 2015, before returning to indefinite deficits in 2016.
For the budget year that ends in September, Social Security is projected to collect $677 million in taxes and spend $706 million on benefits and expenses.
Social Security will also collect about $120 billion in interest on the trust funds, according to the CBO projections, meaning its overall balance sheet will continue to grow. The interest, however, is paid by the government, adding even more to the budget deficit.
While Congress must shore up the program, action is unlikely this year, said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., who just took over last week as chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees Social Security.
"The issues required to address the long-term solvency needs of Social Security can be done in a careful, thoughtful and orderly way and they don't need to be done in the next few months," Pomeroy said.
The national debt — the amount of money the government owes its creditors — is about $12.5 trillion, or nearly $42,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. About $8 trillion has been borrowed in publicdebt markets, much of it from foreign creditors. The rest came from various government trust funds, including retirement funds for civil servants and the military. About $2.5 trillion is owed to Social Security.
Good luck to the politician who reneges on that debt, said Barbara Kennelly, a former Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut who is now president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
"Those bonds are protected by the full faith and credit of the United States of America," Kennelly said. "They're as solid as what we owe China and Japan."