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Our fake Congress

November 29, 2017
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

At the present time, we have 435 legislators in the House of Representatives and 100 more in the Senate, a total of 535 legislators, of which approximately 50 percent possess a law degree.

One of them was recently quoted stating this somewhat devious statement in a group discussing criminal behavior in general. "It is strange that men should take up criminal activity when there are so many legal ways to be dishonest." Now this is serious food for thought, straight from the mouth of a legislator.

It is small wonder a 2017 Gallup poll reported a mere 11 percent approval rating for Congress this year. It is also only 2 percent higher than the all-time low of 9 percent in Nov., 2013, right after the Government shut down. We appear to have both a fake news system and a fake Congress.

I was amazed to notice the complete lack of attention by both Congress and the White House to our $20,474 trillion national debt when pushing the budget for fiscal 2018 thru the approval process in September. The entire D.C. crowd acted as though our national debt did not exist.

Most people are not aware of the fact that $14,822 trillion of the debt is held by the public and $5.652 trillion of the debt is a result of our "brilliant" legislators "borrowing" intergovernmental holdings. Surplus funds held and collected by Uncle Sam to fund Social Security, pensions, insurance premiums, Medicare, etc. are summarily replaced with treasury notes and the cash is spent. Our government "borrows money" from itself. I guess this is one of the ways to be both legal and dishonest simultaneously. Somewhat like a Ponzi Scheme. These "borrowed" funds then become part of our national debt. Added together, these two items become a $20.475 trillion national debt. No wonder the Social Security fund is bankrupt. Uncle Sam owes it in the area of $3 trillion.

Another little tidbit. We currently have absolutely no plans to pay down or eliminate our gargantuan national debt. The very small group of congressional reps. that continue to raise the national debt issue are constantly criticized and denounced on a truly regular basis by the rest of Congress.

In addition to our tremendously large national debt, we have a very long list of states and municipalities on the verge of financial disasters, primarily as a result of negotiating unfunded pension liabilities, excessive wages for schools, services, and Medicaid. There is no popular way to raise taxes and/or revenue to cover these liabilities. The aforementioned acts of excessive spending were made because of politician's political views, desires to be reelected, or both. Neither is a worthy or honorable reason to commit future generations to serious financial problems. This is just not ethical!

Here is a little additional food for thought. In the USA we have increased wages, benefits and taxes to a point we have priced our products out of the world market. This has created the movement of a large portion of our industrial base to other countries having lower overall manufacturing costs. In spite of the popular political rhetoric to "bring back our jobs" I would like to know where we are going to find large corporations that are willing to make major investments in a country that is on the verge of bankruptcy and unwilling to recognize that fact.

I would like to leave you with this thought. One trillion seconds is equal to 31,546 years. The national debt is $20 trillion. This is $20 with 12 trailing zeroes. Let us put this debt in a simple & understandable perspective using fifth grade math.

If we stopped deficit spending today and proceeded to pay down the national debt at the rate of $1 per second, how long would it take us to pay it off?

60 seconds times 60 minutes times 24 hours = 86,400. 86,400 seconds per day times 365 days per year = 31,536,000 times $1= $31,536,000 pay down per year. One trillion divided by 31,536,000 equals a mere 31,688 years for only one trillion of debt payoff; 31,688 years times $20 trillion debt equals 633,760 years.

Yes, at the rate of $1 per second, we could (not will) have most of our national debt paid off in 633,760 years. Doing nothing, which seems to be the Congressional plan, is totally brainless. Unless we want to live in a third world situation, we all need to get out our pens, envelopes, computers and telephones and jar Congress into the real world. The time for ignoring this state of affairs is long overdue.

Wake up, Americans!

Robert E. Workman

Cape Coral



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