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October 2004

National Dept = Upward Flow of Capital

Reuters just ran this piece alerting us that Congress will likely raise the National Dept "ceiling"...essentially permitting the Bush Administration to "stay the course" with its disasterous fiscal policy. 

Every American taxpayer should be appalled by this.  High budget deficits are no mistake.  To the contrary, paying back a budget deficit requires the taxation of the middle class and the funneling of that money to the rich on a systematic and risk-free basis.  In paying back the national debt, the American people are being asked to pay high taxes and are seeing nothing in return.

When a government operates on a deficit, it raises the money it needs not directly through taxes, but by selling bonds (US Treasury Bills).  Those bonds are purchased by wealthy investors around the world who, of course, are rewarded in the future with interest on their money (returns).  As the deficit climbs, more bonds are sold and the "investment opportunity" expands.  This is an attractive prospect for investors because, as opposed to their other investment options, US Treasury Bonds are considered relatively risk-free.  In other words, the US legal system forces the American tax-payer to repay the loan.  The IRS essentially "secures" the investment.

Today, each American citizen's share of the debt is $25,184.43.  If the debt is ever to be repaid, that means $25,184.43 per person which does nothing to help us...no schools, no roads, nothing.  That's a large chunk of money however you look at it, and as the debt continues to grow, the perceived risk of US Treasury Bills increases.  As with any investment, as the perceived risk increases, the required rate of return also increases.  In other words, it will keep getting more expensive to fund our government's reckless spending.

When one thinks about the fact that this debt is being created to fund military exploits (using taxpayer money to secure oil-fields for corporations and buy all kinds of weapons and services from corporations), it becomes quite clear that what we are witnessing is a vicious cycle of funneling money from hard-working American taxpayers to the rich.  Any true Conservative would be outraged.  Any thinking American should be outraged.

When political policies enrich the rich at the expense of the poor, those policies are no accident.  Let's remember that it is the rich who have the greatest influence over our politicians and their policies.

Posted by Mark Manney.