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Grassroots for Gore is a team blog of volunteer bloggers. The blog is neither authorized by Mr. Gore nor is affiliated with any of the organizations that he is a part of. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual authors and commenters.

Sunday, December 18

EXPOSE'? National Debt Ceiling to be breached again

An observation: the run away Bush National Debt. which stood at $8.1 trillion on 12/15 will soon hit the National Debt Ceiling that was raised in November of 2004 to $8.18 Trillion (yes, after the election).

A simple estimation shows that the Federal Government will default on its payments, effectively a bankruptcy, from around the 12th of January, if not earlier, unless the Congress plays along with thisgrotesque mismanagement by Bush, Cheney & Co and raises the debt ceiling again.

Being X-posted across: Daily Kos, My Left Wing, Booman Tribune, myDD, political Cortex. Volunteers for posting this at Democratic Underground (I can't post a new topic there yet) are welcome.

Key Words: National Debt, Debt Ceiling, Patriot Act, Legislative Activism, Activism

  1. Statutory National Debt Ceiling: $8,180 Billion
  2. Current National Debt (12/15) $8,099 Billion
  3. Rate of increase in debt: $2.83 Billion per day
  4. Number of days to max out: 28
  5. Est. date of Federal Bankruptcy: 1/12/06



In fact, it may be worse. link at the moment of this writings claims that The Outstanding Public Debt as of 18 Dec 2005 at 10:24:49 PM GMT is $8,156,993,192,732.62. Interestingly, there was a precipitous drop in the BOPD figures on 12/15 compared to 12/14. If we work with Brillig's numbers, we get:

  1. Current National Debt (12/18) $8,156 Billion
  2. Number of days to max out: 8.5
  3. Est. date of Federal Bankruptcy: 12/26/05
(Merry Christmas! Just a little something special from uncles Chimpy and Darthy.)


The politics

I am a bit surprised that this apparently hasn't been observed by the Democrats nor has it been reported on the media. A quick google news search at the time of writing gave these headlines:

Wilder floats spending plan
Richmond Times Dispatch, VA - Dec 17, 2005

Saudi Arabia's 2006 Budget,
Saudi Arabia United States Relations, D.C. - 2 hours ago

CHELSEA New hope for school fix-up
Kennebec Journal, ME - Dec 15, 2005

(hmm, interesting. Didn't know that Saudi Arabia actually puts out a budget plan.)

My guess is that as before, BushCo was hoping to sneak it through after the Congress votes on the Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy (i.e, tax cuts for buddies), some of which are apparently due to expire.

Now that we know, what can be done to thwart these biblical levels of incompetence, mismanagement, and corruption?

In most other democratic nations, the government would be brought down and either new leaders would be elected by the parliament or fresh elections would be called for.

In our case, with impeachment being the only constitutionally available option (other than resignations; and that option being ruled out since the tooth fairy apparently doesn't really exist), and with the presidential line of succession being stacked with none too comforting choices, I have no idea what can and should be done. Any opinions?

A few more figures and thoughts:

  • BushCo assumed a national debt of $5.7 Trillion on 1/21/01 following their SCOTUS-assisted coup in 2000.

  • the projected budget surplus then was $5.6 Trillion over a ten year period

  • the current debt of $8.1 Trillion is a 2.4 Trillion dollar bump up in just under 5 years, which is about $480 Billion per year.

  • each citizen's share of the national debt is $27,371.51

  • the Debt Ceiling was raised a few times in the last five years, with the last one having been on Nov. 17, 2004, after successfully hiding it from the public through the election. See these articles: 10/14/04, 11/04/04, 11/08/04, and 11/17/04. Given that Treasury Sec. Snow was "pleading" days before the election as reported in that 10/14 article, why didn't Kerry's economic team expose this before the election?


How can you help?

You should call your Members of Congress (MoC) and talk to them about this and the also critical patriot act (Friday's vote was just the beginning of the struggle to fix the act)

Here are two key links for contacting your congresspersons and senators:

  2. EFF's detailed help page

Visit both the pages, equip yourself with the contact info, and call/write/fax your MoCs. Here are suggested talking points:

  1. tell them not to raise the debt ceiling again

  2. suggest that they explore possible options to oust this incompetent and corrupt administration from power

  3. on the PATRIOT Act, thank your house representative if he/she voted against the conference report version of the bill H.R. 3199, and express your utter dismay and strong disappointment if they voted for it (don't let the 44 democrats that voted for it get away with it)

  4. thank your senators if they voted against "invoking cloture" in the senate (and anger, dismay etc otherwise)

  5. as I have written earlier, ask them to co-sponsor/vote for Leahy/Sununu's S. 2082 bill in the Senate that extends the debate by 3 months, and Conyers' H.R. 4506 in the house. Read the justification for this bill by Leahy/Sununu here. It is important for you to know that even the Senate version that was unanimously approved (without a public debate) in July is only compromise (and issues such as the NSLs and spygate that have surfaced since that version was written, as well as other possible administrative excesses, should be thoroughly scrutinized), and most provisions will become permanent even with that version. Please ask your MoCs to make way for and hold open floor debates, and ask for a 2 year sunset on the entire Act which would allow for a periodic review of the Act.


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