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Kent Conwell: A Way Out of This Mess


Last updated 9/21/2011 at Noon

No one disputes the chilling fact that our country is $14 trillion plus in debt. No one can dispute that when Clinton left office, we had a surplus. No one can dispute the debt started under Bush and escalated under Obama.

Today, we stand here like dummies staring at a stack of thousand dollar bills 945 miles (miles, not feet) high. Nine hundred and forty five. That’s a greater distance than from Orange, Texas to El Paso.

Even such a simple explanation of the enormity of the debt is still almost too confounding for me.

Nine hundred and forty-five! Why that’s almost as many miles as your teenager puts on his car over the weekend, right?

Fourteen trillion, and now the administration wants one and half trillion to do the same thing all over again.

Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity- doing the same thing and expecting different results.

How did this all happen?

Most of us know exactly how it came about because unfortunately, the same thing has happened to many of us. We’re rocking along, holding our own, and than bingo, we’re broke.


Well, it’s a lot of little things we overlook.

But then someone shouts. Hold on! We’ve been fighting wars for ten years now. Them wars ain’t little things.

And he’s right. The Iraq and Afghan wars aren’t little things.

So, let’s talk about them. How much have we spent?

No one really knows.

Believe that? You should. We’re talking about Congress here, folks, not forthright, plain-speaking Americans.

You see, Congress has allotted the Defense Department $1.3 trillion for the wars through this fiscal year. President Obama said the wars cost about $1 trillion.

But those numbers are incomplete. In addition to that which Congress appropriated, the Pentagon spent an additional unknown amount from its $5.2 trillion base budget over the same period. According to a recent Brown University study, the wars and their ripple effects has cost the U.S. $3.7 trillion--over $12,000 bucks per person, even for the newest little guy or gal to pop into this world.

Other reports put it over $5 trillion, others a tad under, but I figure if we set the monetary cost at $4 trillion, we’d probably be in the ballpark.

I was no math whiz in school, but even I can subtract, and $4 trillion from $14 trillion still leaves $10 big T’s.

Though many disagree with the war, everyone can see where those funds went. What about the others? The $10 trillion?

There are the entitlements, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and others, all of which were designed to support those citizens who had fallen on hard times.

What about those who discovered the loopholes in the system? The illegals? How much do they cost us?

How about $340.000,000,000.00 a year? If you’re like me and all those zeroes confuse you, the figure is three hundred and forty billion a year. A year!

Cut that out, and in three years, we’d have a trillion cut off the debt.

Don’t believe the figures?

According to FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a national, nonprofit, public-interest organization that believes our nation’s immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest stated that every year up to $22 billion is spent on welfare for illegal aliens. Another $22 billion is spent on assistance programs such as WIC, free school breakfast and lunches, and food stamps.

Two and a half billion is spent on Medicaid while $12 billion is spent on public schools for illegals who cannot speak a word of English.

Seventeen billion is spent annually on the education of anchor babies, the children of illegals.

Three million a DAY is spent incarcerating illegal aliens who comprise 30% of all federal inmates.

American taxpayers spend ninety billion annually on social services for illegal aliens.

Two hundred billion a year in suppressed American wages are the result of illegal aliens, and to add insult to injury, $45 billion a year is remitted to their countries of origin.

And every day, every year, our Congress sits on its thumbs seeing who can one-up each other.

It’s time for term limits on those jokers.

Right now, the Democrats and Republicans are playing footsie with each other--business as usual while trying to make it look as if they’re governing.

Ask any individual who has pulled himself out of bankruptcy or overwhelming debt, and he will admit he had to make some tough decisions.

It is time for Congress to do the same thing.


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