"Are you telling me you're going to completely eliminate all police protection for the people of this city between midnight and 8 a.m. every day – so that criminals will have a free hand to rob, rape and steal every night?"
That was the question posed by incredulous citizens to the city council at a packed meeting many years ago in the town I then called home. The city fathers had determined the best way to force voters to approve a new tax base was to threaten them with death. Should the tax measure fail, they would simply "save money" by eliminating all law enforcement patrols within the city limits between midnight and 8 a.m., so criminals working graveyard could do their jobs with no unwelcome interference from the police. This demented scheme was concocted by the city manager and the (notice the irony here) "public safety director."
Though it was decades ago, I have never forgotten my first real-life lesson in naked extortion.
It's how local governments work; when voters won't give you the tax increases you demand, retaliate by threatening to withhold the few legitimate government services they actually desire and need.
This is what we are seeing now on a cosmic scale with the debt-ceiling crisis in Washington, D.C.
Barack Obama and his administration's propaganda ministry (formerly known as the "mainstream media") constantly repeat the mantra that failure to raise the debt ceiling will result in "default." It's no longer a question to them; "default" is presented as a given in their dishonest little universe. As the Washington Post leads off in its latest story, "Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, moving to head off a potentially disastrous U.S. default" blah blah blah.
There is no default. It's a lie.
Let's break it down one more time.
In his Marketwatch blog today, investment guru Kurt Brouwer explains what all honest economists readily concede – "The U.S. Treasury will not default" – and he does so in a way that makes the ongoing deception crystal clear to any 8-year-old:
Q: What is a default?
A: In this case, a default would be the failure by the U.S. Treasury to make payments of principal or interest on its debt in a timely manner.
Q: In a given month how much does the Treasury owe as interest on its debt?
A: Roughly about $15-20 billion.
Q: How much revenue does the Treasury take in on average in a month?
A: Roughly about $200 billion.
Q: Are you saying the Treasury could pay interest on its debt 10 times over (or more) from monthly income?
A: Yes. Therefore the likelihood of not paying interest on its debt is zero.
Let's sum up so far: If you are telling people the U.S. government will automatically "default" if the debt ceiling isn't raised, you ARE lying.
Now upping the ante, Obama is threatening to withhold old people's Social Security checks if he doesn't get his way in the current extortion – I mean, negotiation. Believe me, if he could threaten to eliminate police protection throughout America, and get away with it, he would probably do that too.
Ask yourself, what government expenditures do Americans consider most important? To most people, paying our current Social Security recipients, just like paying our troops, would be pretty darn near the top of the list, right? Well above, say, some of the "economic stimulus" projects like the "eco-passage" in Florida to protect turtles from being run over by cars, or the skylights in Montana's state-run liquor warehouse, or the removal of crickets in Utah, or the removal of tattoos from gang members in Southern California, or the very important "swine odor research" in Iowa.
Let's take away the money old people need to live on. But let's not talk about cutting funding from the "Project Gunrunner" program – you know, the taxpayer-funded welfare program benefiting Mexican drug lords, whereby federal stimulus dollars pay to transfer AK-47s into the hands of murderous criminal kingpins so they can murder U.S. Border Patrol cops like Brian Terry. Can't cut that – we need that.
Indeed, Obama won't talk about cutting anything from the galaxy of wasteful, corrupt, malignant, cancerous and otherwise flat-out unconstitutional expenditures of taxpayers' hard-earned money.
"But wait," you say. "Obama said he'd cut trillions of dollars from entitlements if the Republicans would just agree to a measly trillion dollars in new taxes."
No, like the experienced Chicago politician he is, Obama sort of said he'd be willing to make trillions of dollars of cuts, but has never been specific – never written it down – and he never will. Because he doesn't mean it. It's just a cynical ploy to trick Republicans into agreeing to raise new taxes, thereby 1) giving Obama exactly what he wants, an expanded socialist state based on draining the lifeblood out of the productive class, and 2) destroying Republicans' credibility in the next election for betraying their sacred promises to voters, thereby allowing Obama a second term so he can complete his destructive "transformation" of America.
Now that the Republicans are clearly saying "No new taxes," Obama is threatening America's seniors.
"I cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue," Obama told CBS Evening News, "because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it."
Oh, but there is enough money. There's just not enough money to pay our rightful obligations and maintain an insanely large, cancerous government.
Obama is a hard-core leftist Chicago politician for whom winning elections and expanding power and amassing wealth and rewarding friends and punishing enemies is everything. He is exploiting the current crisis – one of his own making – by cynically leveraging the power of the presidency and the Democrat Senate and his obedient propaganda ministry (media) to further expand government, even if it ends up destroying America.
So, where do we go from here?
OK, then stop playing the game.
Reality time: Republicans in the House of Representatives are looking at a historic opportunity. They are literally holding all of the cards. If they just had a little bit of real courage, they could SINGLE-HANDEDLY stop the cancerous growth of government in its tracks simply by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, which requires the assent of the House. There would be no need for default. There would, however, be the blessed necessity of dramatically cutting the size of government.
Unfortunately, to Democrats that is tantamount to taking heroin away from an addict. So they will scream, they will lie, they will plead, they will promise – but most of all, they will threaten.
By the way, about that citizens-versus-city council showdown I mentioned: The voters called their bluff and didn't approve their stupid tax increase. And the police continued to patrol the city at night.