- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 15, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Congress is about to vote to extend America’s indebtedness above $12,000,000,000,000 - that’s 12 trillion! Our national debt grew last year by more than $1.4 trillion and will grow this year by $1.4 trillion. According to the Obama White House estimates, the national debt will continue to grow by more than $1 trillion for the next nine years. Except it won’t … because it can’t.

For years we’ve heard about the immorality of putting this debt on our grandchildren. Forget the grandchildren, our economy is at grave risk of collapse right now!

The dollar is in free-fall. The Ponzi scheme Congress calls Social Security is about to collapse. Foreigners are beginning to balk at loaning the U.S. government more money. That grave economic turmoil our debt and deficit will cause in the future - it’s now here.

Beyond threatening our economic security, our national debt is imperiling our national independence. We now owe foreign entities $3.448 trillion - 28.2 percent more than just 12 months ago!

Three of the five largest holders of U.S. debt should cause you sleepless nights. We owe China the most, $797 billion - 38.9 percent more than we did just 12 months ago. We owe Oil Exporting Countries $189.2 billion - 11.5 percent more than just 12 months ago. And we owe Caribbean Banking Centers (thought to hold billions in narco-terrorist money) $180.2 billion - 35.5 percent more than just 12 months ago. Japan and the United Kingdom round out the top five foreign debt holders, with our debt to the U.K. increasing an astonishing 173 percent in just the last 12 months.

Can we really expect China to increase its lending to the United States by nearly 40 percent next year and each of the next nine years? Even if it wanted to, the United Kingdom doesn’t have the cash to increase its lending to the United States by another 173 percent next year.

Any one of these debt holders could put the U.S. economy in collapse overnight by selling or even just threatening to sell off their U.S. debt holdings.

We owe them … they own us! Clearly, our national independence is in grave risk.

The federal government also owes Social Security and Medicare $4.5 trillion. With the economic downturn, Social Security doled out more money than it took from employees’ paychecks for the first time this year. By 2016 - just seven years from now - according to the Social Security Trustees report, Social Security will move from surplus to permanent deficit as the baby boomers retire. (That “lockbox” presidential candidates like to talk about has never existed. The Social Security Ponzi scheme makes Bernard Madoff look like a wayward kid shoplifting a pack of gum.)

If we do not balance the budget by the time Social Security moves to permanent deficit in 2016, we almost assuredly will not without a cataclysmic economic crisis.

What’s the solution? A balanced budget constitutional amendment. History has shown Congress simply won’t act responsibly unless the voters force them to balance the budget. With great voter pressure, Congress came within 1 Senate vote of passage of the balanced budget amendment in 1996 - and the Congress passed balanced budgets each of the next four years.

When support for the balanced budget amendment waned, Congress spent like crazy.

A balanced budget amendment is the only cure to a Congress unwilling to control spending. In fact, Germany passed such a law just last year.

That’s why we launch this week DeficitFree.com - a national push for a Balanced Budget Amendment by July 4, 2013, and a balanced federal budget by July 4, 2016. These would be the two best birthday gifts we could give our country!

Our first and immediate goal is to bring together 5 million Balanced Budget Amendment supporters by July 4, 2010, with a minimum of 5,000 from each congressional district. You can join the movement. This nonpartisan movement is being launched by some of America’s most successful grass roots activists - not Washington politicians.

We need 5 million voters to work together to ensure the Balanced Budget Amendment becomes the most prominent issue in the 2010 congressional races and in the 2012 presidential contest.

If we don’t, it won’t be our grandchildren who will suffer the economic collapse of our country and our loss of national independence. It will be us!

Tim Mooney is a nationally recognized grass-roots political consultant and national coordinator of DeficitFree.com.

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