Just after midnight this past Thursday, President Barack Obama signed a bill to end the government shutdown. His signature raised the debt limit through February 7, 2014 while funding the government through January 15, 2014.
The result of the signature was an instant jump in our national debt by a record $328 billion. The increase shattered the previous record of two years ago, which was $238 billion. It also put the U.S. debt over $17 trillion for the first time in our nation’s history.
So how does our government respond after getting its charge card back? Instead of moving forward in a way to balance its books, the government just keeps piling on more debt.
In the bill that was passed, Congress had no problems putting pork in it. One big attachment was a $2.2 billion investment into a Kentucky dam project, which happens to be the home state of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Of course, his aides say he didn’t push for the project. Well, somebody did.
Senator Dick Durbin (Ill.) has also been linked to the bill as the dam goes over the Ohio River, which flows water through Illinois and Kentucky.
One report shows Senators Lamar Alexander (R) and Diane Feinstein (D), the leaders of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees water projects, being the ones who requested the provision.
Senator Harry Reid was quoted in saying “this is not an earmark.”
The dollar total nearly triples the $775 million originally slated for the project.
The bill also included giving a one year salary of $174,000 to the widow of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg. He died in June. Ironically enough, Lautenberg was reportedly worth more than $59 million as of 2011, this according to The Hill.
This past weekend, the Obama administration, according to the Associated Press, decided to release more than $1.6 billion in aid to Pakistan.
Aid to the country had been on hold after a breakdown in relations between the U.S. and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Usama Bin Laden raid on his compound.
Relations were hurt a little more after the U.S. military killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers in what was deemed as an accident.
At some point, our politicians need to start taking our debt seriously.
If you or I had run up this debt in our personal lives, we’d be in prison right now for not paying our bills.
Here’s a link to a YouTube video explaining the current debt limit crisis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE
The satirical video depicts a man meeting with his bank wishing to increase his personal debt limit.
The man’s debt is more than $140,000. He said he wants his limit raised so he can take a trip to Australia and plans to leave the next day. He also just purchased a flat screen television.
The banker asks the man if he has any new income. The man says no and admits to making just $21,000 annually. He also admits to spending $38,000 a year and the banker makes a point to say the man is adding $17,000 each year to his debt.
The man admits to only cutting $380 out of his annual budget. He said the cuts were “brutal.”
The banker suggests the man should look for a way to raise more income.
The banker says the man’s credit rating will plummet during the recession.
At the end of the video, the man brings in his kid and the banker allows her to sign a written document that approved a personal raise to the man’s debt limit.
The two final screens show this man and the government are both only cutting 1% of expenses from their budget.
It’s time for the American people to stop being blinded by party politics. Taxpayers need to demand congressional leaders and the president begin taking serious action when it comes to our national debt.
I just had a baby this year. I can’t even begin to imagine what this country will look like when she’s my age. I encourage our readers to contact our state and local legislators to let them know your feelings in relation to the nation’s debt crisis.