A Grandpa’s Tears

August 6, 2014

With the world aflame and our southern border under full blown invasion, you could be forgiven for not noticing that the Obama administration achieved one of its most significant milestones last week.

Don’t feel bad though.  When ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times et al. all decide a story isn’t worth covering, you’re in the dark with the best of the best.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I too missed the historic happening.  (Having two granddaughters in for an all too short vacation has a tendency to distract even the most devoted of the politically devoted.)

But alas, all good things still come to an end and with their perpetual energy and boundless curiosity returned safely to their Dad, I returned to the reality determining their future.

A reality that with the very first story reminded me just how much more uncertain and daunting their future than the “anything is possible” moon shot era that shaped mine.

So just what pray tell was this event that took me from grandpa proud to “what the hell have we done” in one headline?

It was the single fact that last Thursday, July 31st, 2014; the amount of new debt added to this nation’s balance sheet since Barack Obama took his Presidential oath of office officially surpassed the $7 trillion dollar mark.

Stop, breathe, absorb.

In just five and a half years, one President, one administration, has managed to add 70% again in NEW debt to the already destructive $10 trillion starting point.

Or to put it another way, over 40% of the total $17 trillion of America’s debt has been accumulated before a child born in 2009 even enters the first grade.

To pay off just $1 trillion of that debt a household making $50,000 a year would need a loan term of 20 million years.

At a population of 315 million, the $7 trillion in new debt is enough to give each and every American over $22,000 dollars.

For those who prefer astronomical references, a stack of $17 trillion one dollar bills would stretch to the moon and back more than twice.

And what did we get?

Over three-quarters of a trillion dollars in political payback wrapped in the name of “stimulus”.

A “Cash for clunkers” debacle that disproportionately helped wealthier buyers while making used cars more expensive for the poor that actually needed them.

A tax payer funded General Motors bailout that protected union allies while kicking bondholders and dealerships to the curb.

The Dodd/Frank banking behemoth that hurts community banks the most while leaving “too big to fail” conglomerate banks basically untouched.

An “Affordable Care Act” that without taking money from some to subsidize others is anything but affordable, is actually decreasing access to care, is sending the cost curve up instead of down, and is draining more from the national treasury than was ever promised by its self-serving architects.

A Federal Reserve rewarding Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, the lowest labor participation rate since the 70’s, part-time jobs replacing full time careers and an anti-economic agenda that has food and energy costs the highest in our history.

And as a bonus we got a perpetually expanding and ever more expensive administrative/regulatory complex laser focused on intruding into every aspect of life for every single American.

This is one time I’m thankful I wasn’t fully up to date on the news of the day.

Because quite honestly, I don’t have a clue how I would have answered those two innocent faces asking me:  “Grandpa, why are you crying?”

PUBLISHER’s Note:  A version of this column first appeared in the August 6, 2014 edition of the Joplin Globe.

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