Dem Senator: $19-trillion national debt not a threat to the country

Democratic senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts said during a Foreign Relations Committee hearing that our $19-trillion national debt is "not actually right now" a threat to the country.

After chairman Senator Bob Corker retrieved his jaw from the floor, he told Markey that was a "crackpot" idea.

Washington Examiner:

"A realistic discussion about it, and accepting expert opinion that this debt that we have is not actually right now a threat to our country, is I think a more realistic and honorable way of talking to the American people about it," Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday.

That surprised committee chairman Bob Corker, who concluded the hearing by describing such views as "crackpot," and repeatedly said he expected the panel to demonstrate consensus about the need to limit the debt. Markey also insisted that Republicans drop their interest in changing entitlement programs as they try to mitigate the projected federal debt.

Budget hawks long have warned about a brewing debt crisis, a concern that gained currency in military circles in recent years. "I've said many times that I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt, so I also believe we have every responsibility to help eliminate that threat," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in 2011.

Markey suggested that nuclear weapons represent one of the top targets for such debt reduction. "There's a proposal to [spend] $1 trillion of new nuclear weapon systems in our country over the next 20 years," he said. "That's a crazy number from my perspective."

Former Ambassador Richard Hass countered that such spending cuts would have a minor impact on federal debt. "To use your number: If we're talking about spending $1 trillion over 20 years on nuclear systems, we're talking in 10 years about spending over $1 trillion a year on Medicare. The spending that's driving the debt will not be defense. It's going to be entitlements. Let's not kid ourselves."

But kidding themselves is what Democrats do best.  I guess Markey's comments prove the notion that you can get used to anything if you live with it long enough.  This also explains why there isn't much concern in Washington over the nearly $8-trillion in debt we will add over the next decade.  The debt doesn't register very high on the list of voters' concerns, so politicians feel perfectly safe in ignoring it.

How long can that continue?  When the economy melts down, the government will be able to pay off most of that debt in devalued greenbacks.  We may wake up one day to the announcement that the $10 bill in your pocket is only worth $5.  Why not?  It's happened in other countries.  It's called a "haircut," although some of us may prefer slitting our throats if that happens.

Unless the next president can work with Congress to start bringing down the debt, the burden will eventually crush the economy and bring us to ruin. 

Democratic senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts said during a Foreign Relations Committee hearing that our $19-trillion national debt is "not actually right now" a threat to the country.

After chairman Senator Bob Corker retrieved his jaw from the floor, he told Markey that was a "crackpot" idea.

Washington Examiner:

"A realistic discussion about it, and accepting expert opinion that this debt that we have is not actually right now a threat to our country, is I think a more realistic and honorable way of talking to the American people about it," Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday.

That surprised committee chairman Bob Corker, who concluded the hearing by describing such views as "crackpot," and repeatedly said he expected the panel to demonstrate consensus about the need to limit the debt. Markey also insisted that Republicans drop their interest in changing entitlement programs as they try to mitigate the projected federal debt.

Budget hawks long have warned about a brewing debt crisis, a concern that gained currency in military circles in recent years. "I've said many times that I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt, so I also believe we have every responsibility to help eliminate that threat," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in 2011.

Markey suggested that nuclear weapons represent one of the top targets for such debt reduction. "There's a proposal to [spend] $1 trillion of new nuclear weapon systems in our country over the next 20 years," he said. "That's a crazy number from my perspective."

Former Ambassador Richard Hass countered that such spending cuts would have a minor impact on federal debt. "To use your number: If we're talking about spending $1 trillion over 20 years on nuclear systems, we're talking in 10 years about spending over $1 trillion a year on Medicare. The spending that's driving the debt will not be defense. It's going to be entitlements. Let's not kid ourselves."

But kidding themselves is what Democrats do best.  I guess Markey's comments prove the notion that you can get used to anything if you live with it long enough.  This also explains why there isn't much concern in Washington over the nearly $8-trillion in debt we will add over the next decade.  The debt doesn't register very high on the list of voters' concerns, so politicians feel perfectly safe in ignoring it.

How long can that continue?  When the economy melts down, the government will be able to pay off most of that debt in devalued greenbacks.  We may wake up one day to the announcement that the $10 bill in your pocket is only worth $5.  Why not?  It's happened in other countries.  It's called a "haircut," although some of us may prefer slitting our throats if that happens.

Unless the next president can work with Congress to start bringing down the debt, the burden will eventually crush the economy and bring us to ruin.