Any increase in the Debt Ceiling should reflect "paying off" our PAST DEBTS.
Consider this everyday illustration:
Take the example of a family who has run up $150,000 in credit card debt. The credit card Company tells the family they are maxed out and no more credit will be extended (i.e. they have reached their "debt ceiling"). The credit card company tells the family you have to pay off a portion of the debt, which has come due - say $50,000, before they can add one NEW dime on credit.
The family decides to tell the Credit card Company that their solution is that instead of adding their current $5000 a month in new credit card debt, they will bring it down to $3,000 a mo. in new credit - a $2,000 lessening of spending (i.e. spending cuts). Of course, they have not addressed the problem. They can't add the $3,000 a mo. (in fact, they can't add $1) in new debt, until they pay off the $50,000.
So, the family realizes they really have a "revenue" problem. The family will have to decide to find increased revenues to pay off the $50,000. So, for example, the husband will have to work two jobs, if he currently has one job. The wife would have to get a job, if she is currently a stay at home housewife. The grown son, who has returned home, and is living in his parents' finished basement, must be required to go get a job, and pay rent. Then the family can start to pay off the minimum debt of $50,000, before they can add one new dime on their credit card.
WE HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM AND A SPENDING PROBLEM WHEN WE REACH OUR DEBT LIMIT.
This is true for the family, the State (MN), and The Federal Government. (Of course, the federal government is its own credit card company. They can just decide to increase the debt limit. However, the problem is the same, as that of the family: Cutting spending will reduce future debt, only increasing revenues can pay off past debt.)
Please copy this Chart or download one of the versions below and put it up on your website or print out copies and pass them around! Email copies to your friends! Or best, get together with your friends and put a copy of this chart in an ad in your local newspaper! You don't have to attribute it to anyone, the important thing is to show every American how the Republicans are bankrupting America (while cutting every program they can get away with) and passing their debts to your children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren!
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To see the levels of the National Debt from
17911953 to the present, click Historical Information. (Sorry, they've moved to a new page on "TreasuryDirect" that only shows the Historical Debt from 1953 to the present. You can still view the old "Historical Debt" page on the " Internet Archive Wayback Machine" by clicking here -- choose Feb 08, 2007 or earlier and click on the appropriate date range under "Historical Debt Outstanding - Annual" to see the older data.)