The Daily Star
---- — A terrible thing happened the other day. The U.S. Debt Clock was spinning on full “rock ‘n’ roll” at 16,200 rpm. There were reports of smoke and a peculiar metal-on-metal sound, and suddenly, the U.S. Debt Clock came to a screeching halt.
In 2004, the original U.S. Debt Clock bearings were designed to last for 90 years, but Jan. 20, 2008, an inspection was made, and they were found to be in “like-new” condition. However, the technicians had no idea what was in store.
Because of excessive heat and friction from ratcheting up debt of $4 billion per day, the 2-inch Triple-Lip Sealed Timken Marine-Class bearings seized and galled themselves onto the main rotor.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the stress of going from 16,200 rpm to zero in 3/16th of a second stripped the main 2-inch chrome molybdenum 45-spline drive shaft. This trauma sent shrapnel and debris throughout the mechanism, causing instant shutdown.
Chris Matthews of MSNBC immediately reported that “Due to unprecedented efforts and skillful governance, President Obama and the Democratic Party have cut spending dramatically, stopped the growth of debt, and a balanced budget is sure to follow.”
In the real world, have you ever visited the website www.usdebtclock.org? Take a stiff drink (you will need it) and surf to that website. With our national debt at $16.2 trillion, each taxpayer owes more than $141,000 and climbing. That’s today, not next week or next month, and it’s only principal, not interest.
At the federal level, we are spending $3.7 trillion per year, and that’s $1.3 trillion more than we are taking in; but don’t worry, China is making up the difference.
States and local levels of government are spending slightly less than $3 trillion per year, additionally. Only God knows their shortfall.
Therefore, total federal, state and local spending is at $6.4 trillion, or almost 42 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, which is the total of all good and services bought and sold in the USA each year. I believe most countries in the European Economic Union have a lower ratio.
On the U.S. Debt Clock, there is another ominous figure that reads “U.S. Unfunded Liabilities,” which is defined as debt including Social Security, Medicare, etc … and it totals an astounding $120 trillion.
Food stamps are now being given to 47 million Americans, and student loans total almost $1 trillion. Bankruptcies total more than 1.3 million, and foreclosures are at 880,000. Are we insane?
This mess did not start with President Obama, but he sure has kicked spending into “passing gear,” and he seems unwilling or unable to control its growth. He has had his chance. If a man cannot do the job, there comes a time to let him go.
It is time for a change, and I believe Romney-Ryan will begin the slow turn toward reduced spending, balanced budgets, true economic growth and renewed American respect abroad.
Note 1: At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at River Valley New Holland, we are having a town hall meeting with Republican candidate for the Assembly, Levi Spires. He is running against Democratic Assemblyman Bill Magee in our 111th district.
Levi was a captain in the U.S. Air Force and is a small-business owner with a MBA and MPA. He is a family man with three children and pledges to cut state spending and mandates. He will simplify current laws and improve the efficiency of government.
We are located at 3910 State Highway 7 in Otego, and we can be reached at 432-8180. Please stop by Tuesday night, meet Levi, and ask him any and all questions.
Note 2: On Saturday and Sunday, the American Artillery Association is having its fall 500-yard Ponderosa Challenge Civil War Cannon Shoot. It starts about noon Saturday and ends Sunday afternoon.
Cannons, mortars, 500-yard targets, fireworks, Civil War dress, 1st Tennessee Light Artillery, and blowing up a car! It doesn’t get any better! The location is 699 County Highway 39 (South Hill Road) in Worcester. Any questions, call 432-8180 or 435-3358. All are welcome.
Note 3: Thank you, Claudette. For our fallen Ambassador Chris Stevens, from “Eve of St. Agnes.”
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen
Fallen from his great estate
And weltering in his blood
Deserted in his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed
Exposed on the earth he lies
Without a friend to close his eyes.
Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board.