After all the furor in the last week about raising the debt ceiling, lets get some numbers straight before I tell you about my visit to the Mc Kaskill Kitchen Table Talk meeting in my home town.
14 trillion in debt now
2.4 trillion added by new debt ceiling
10 trillion added to debt over next 10 years due to base line budgeting
26.4 trillion total debt in 10 years
-2.1 trillion negotiated cuts over next 10 years
24.3 trillion is the projected total debt in 10 years according to this new debt ceiling deal.
Senator Mc Kaskill must be a very busy person. I thought at first she would be there so I was disappointed to find out it was just a staffer there to run the meeting.
There were about 12 people in attendance. I was the youngest person there (I'm 47) by at least 20 years for the first half of the meeting. Then a man that looked younger than I arrived late.
The staff person went around the room to ask if anyone had concerns. I was encouraged when the first person began complaining about the debt ceiling deal. But I'm afraid my jaw dropped when the complaint was fully stated. She was angry that the republicans got everything they wanted and Obama was just letting everyone have whatever they wanted and he just went along. "He has to stand for something at some point," she said disgusted. She knew that Senator Mc Kaskill and the president were close allies so could she please hold the president to account? The staffer said he would make her aware of this concern.
The next person wanted to know why the people who are making more money than they need are allowed to get social security. Why couldn't the cap be put in place to keep the rich from drawing social security when the don't need it?
Then the third person (who I think was the spouse of the second person) made a good point I thought about social security. He wanted to know "Why the $@&% do they call social security an entitlement? I've paid into it all my life. That's my money I paid in." The small group liked this. I thought he pretty well answered his wife's question myself.
The next guy was a hoot. He was a story teller I could tell. He started by complaining about all these adds against Claire Mc Kaskill and no one has answered them. With dramatic flare he asked, "You know where all the money for these adds is coming from don't you? Texas! There are groups out of Texas funding this add campaign." Then dramatically, like a lawyer pressing the jury to convict, he announced, "And Carl Rove is the one organizing them." He looked around the room to see the looks of horror on the faces of those present. He then went into a lecture on how the rich need to pay more taxes because they can afford it. The president should raise taxes on these people to help pay the deficit. I began to feel a little overwhelmed at the magnitude of the challenge to help people like this understand how big a problem we are facing. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY8LKII_MNA ) The story teller then swerved into the fact that the first trillion dollar deficit, "was run by none other than..." pausing for dramatic effect... "Ronald Reagan!" he exclaimed dramatically. To the staffer's credit he interrupted the mini-lecture to move the meeting along.
Summarizing the rest...One was concerned about veteran's benefits. Another voiced concern over the small arms treaty Hillary Clinton was involved with (which I still know nothing of and neither did the staffer.) The person that came after me wanted to know how the debt ceiling deal would affect the state of Missouri. (The staffer said this was not understood until the cuts were determined.)
For my turn I presented the above numbers and ask the staffer if Senator Mc Kaskill was involved with or knew of any plan to get our debt problem under control. He said in essence, other that the cuts that were agreed upon in the debt ceiling deal he knew of no other plan for cuts.
I explained to the best of of my ability that the debt problem will make all the other concerns everyone in the room had, pale in comparison. The destruction of the dollar would make pension and social security checks worthless. We DO NOT HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM! WE HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM. (I directed this statement toward the story teller. To his credit he nodded in agreement. ) Raising taxes would only discourage the very thing we need, economic growth. The staffer assured me he would make Senator Mc Kaskill aware of my concern.
There you have it. Don't get your knickers in a knot. It's all under control friends. No worries.