The Red Sea

With the national debt topping out over $12,020,717,005,598 the Ship of State is now sailing in a sea of red ink. But is this foreign or domestic ink? According to the U.S. Treasury Department 25% of the debt is owed to foreign interests. With your share of the debt at close to $40,000 you owe foreign governments like Japan and China more than $10,000. Yes you owe them that. You see Washington views your paycheck as collateral that it can put on the market at any time it wants to and then you get stuck with the bill.

The Treasury Department breaks down the foreign ownership share of the debt in the following way: 22% of the foreign debt is owed to China, 19% is held by Japan the remaining 59% is held by private foreign interests and individuals and other nations like Saudi Arabia.

David walker, the U.S. Comptroller General said "More and more of our debt is held by foreign countries - some of which are our allies and some are not."

Does this sound like a good thing? In Federalist Paper #7 Alexander Hamilton called for the "extinguishment of all debt." We can only live on credit for so long because at some point creditors will start banging on our door (and cut off our money supply). What will we do then?

The words of Lewis Carroll come to mind from his book Through the Looking Glass, "The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things." The time has come to talk about a balanced budget amendment. In an ideal world the Federal Government should not be able to pass an unbalanced budget unless two thirds of both Houses (House and Senate) were to vote for it. Right now it only takes a simple majority to pass a budget, balanced or not. Additionally, the President should not be able to submit an unbalanced budget unless he declares a national emergency. These two simple requirements would prevent the ship of state from sinking in a sea of red ink.

If drastic measures are not taken soon our national debt will be a burden owed to foreign interests for every future generation for the rest of the twenty-first century. Our grandchildren will quote Shakespeare and cry out to congress and say "A pox on both your houses!"