Most of us get a few days off at the holidays. We don’t get a long Christmas break like members of Congress. We don’t get a trip to Hawaii like the president, but most of us don’t have jobs, salaries, and publicly-funded perks that provide that kind of indulgence. We don’t enjoy the benefits that go along with pretending to represent taxpayers on Capitol Hill or in the White House. We pay the bills. Does that mean we deserve to be the losers in America?
Who are America’s losers? We are.
2014 is ending in a confusing mix of racial unrest, government spending woes, and international crises. President Obama took credit in his Christmas address for bringing the war in Afghanistan to a close. In 2011 he took credit for making good on a promise to end the war in Iraq. Now we are starting a new year wondering where the fight against the Islamic State will take us and why we thought it was a good idea to turn Iraq into a haven and breeding ground for the worst kind of Muslim extremism.
America has nothing to bow about on the world stage. Obama’s global leadership isn’t getting better. It is getting worse (see: Nationalism Comes From Patriots, Not Liberal Traitors). How are things going on the domestic front?
American losers overwhelmed by debt
Because the representatives you pay to look after your interests spend too much money you own a growing piece of America’s $12.8 trillion public debt.1 Unlucky Americans now own more debt than at any time in our history except during World War II. As a percentage of America’s gross domestic product the debt we own is twice what it was during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency,2 but that’s only part of the story.
Depending on the state you live in, you may have even more debt that lays claim to your income. If you live in Illinois, for instance, you have $111 billion in unfunded pension liability to worry about and a good chance that attempts at pension reform will be struck down by the state supreme court. Whether through property or income taxes, you are responsible for paying off government debt accumulated by your municipality, your state, and the Federal Government. One way or the other, it is coming out of your hide.
Your retirement program is running dry!
59 million Social Security recipients should pay attention to this news:
CBO projects that under current law, the DI trust fund will be exhausted in fiscal year 2017, and the OASI trust fund will be exhausted in 2032. If a trust fund’s balance fell to zero and current revenues were insufficient to cover the benefits specified in law, the Social Security Administration would no longer have legal authority to pay full benefits when they were due.3
Fortunately for those pinning their hopes on Social Security, Democrats believe that the fund will never be so broke that it can’t hand out more money, including payments to illegal immigrants (see: Public Trust Stolen Again, Along With Your Money).
What’s the solution? You probably don’t get a government pension, so the best you can do is throw more money at your 401(k) and investments. The problem is you may have less money to invest. Efforts to rein in spending on entitlements have been blocked by liberal congressional stupidity as an attack on the American people. Not only do lawmakers not want to spend less, the incoming ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee thinks we need to raise benefits:
At a time when poverty among seniors is increasing, and millions of elderly Americans lack sufficient income to buy the medicine or food they need, it would be a moral outrage for Congress to cut Social Security. In fact, instead of cutting Social Security benefits, we should be expanding them.” [Senator Bernie] Sanders said.4
What does that mean? It means you would pay more in addition to the Social Security tax hike you paid beginning in January 2013. That makes you a loser.
Your government keeps attacking your paycheck
We didn’t have a middle class tax hike this year like we had in 2013, but just because Congress hasn’t agreed to tweak the tax code doesn’t mean your paycheck isn’t under siege. This year your government had its hands all over your finances. Where did your money go? It went to Obamacare subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. It will be spent on a fine in 2015 if you don’t have health insurance. It went to public services for illegal immigrants including education, health care, fire and police protection, resident tuition breaks, and the cost of administering immigrant-friendly programs.
Your money will also go to minimum wage increases thanks to states and cities paying too much attention to liberal harangues about living wages. Did you think employers were footing the bill? Think again. They pay more for labor so you will, too.
Your money went to help countries with people who hate us but love our money like Egypt and Syria. It went to countries like Mexico and Honduras that can’t keep their citizens away from our border.
Your money also went to financing the public debt. That bill goes up every year. As long as Congress keeps spending that tab is going to keep going up:
CBO’s baseline shows net interest payments more than tripling under current law, climbing from $231 billion in 2014, or 1.3 percent of GDP, to $799 billion in 2024, or 3.0 percent of GDP—the highest ratio since 1996.5
Do you still have money left? We have a disastrous situation in the Middle East and reports that Congress is gearing up for war against ISIS, something we might have avoided had we not been so eager to bail from Iraq to fulfill a campaign promise?
Your party made you one of America’s losers
It doesn’t matter whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. You have been duped and deceived. Don’t think for a moment that you matter. You don’t.
Did you think your political party of choice would never betray you? If you are a Democrat, ask yourself why your party and president are so concerned with the plight of illegal immigrants when they have spent six years bemoaning the travails of low income Americans? If you are a Republican, ask yourself why the party leadership sold us out on the CRomnibus bill, deferring action against Obama until next year? The answer to both questions is the same: they already have the vote of the party faithful. If that includes you, Republican or Democrat, they have turned you into one of America’s losers.