Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, April 02, 2005

We Are A Debtor Nation

Democrats are trying to turn our huge foreign debt into a campaign issue. Trouble is, anything related to finance is such a boring, dry subject, how are they going to rally the voters? What slogan or buzzword could get people all fired up over our deficit? Republicans just have to yell out “Gay Marriage!” or “Family Values!” and millions of worker bees will snap to attention, ready to Fight The Enemy. But what buzzword could you use for our foreign debt that wouldn’t just put everyone to sleep?

I posted on this subject last December. This was before I joined Blog Explosion, so with all due respect to the four people who have already read this, I’m running it again:

Of all the looming catastrophes and “what-ifs” facing this country, perhaps the most serious long-range crisis (and the one that gets the least headlines) will be our huge foreign debt. The combination of being perceived as the world’s 800 pound gorilla, and being in debt up to our eyeballs, is going to create some major problems down the road.

If you fall behind on your car payments and/or mortgage payments, your car gets repossessed; your home gets foreclosed. So if our foreign debt keeps snowballing and careening out of control, will our country get repossessed? Don’t laugh – our foreign debt is in the trillions. And most of our creditors don’t like us.

We could always just ignore the foreign debt, stop payments, say “what’re you gonna do about it?” (In other words, what we already do with the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.) However, with over 200 military bases in foreign countries, this wouldn’t be a smart move. Countries that have American military bases could isolate those bases: American military personnel would be unable to leave the base, and local businesses would be unable to sell supplies to them. Japan, South Korea and Germany (among others) are already “in-between” about whether they even want to continue having an American military presence.

If one of our major creditors (Japan, for example) decided to seize American assets, they would have the support of other creditor nations. The combination of having American assets seized by our creditors, having American military bases isolated by their host nations and not being able to use the airspace of these countries for any military operations – what would happen to our empire?!?

Would the usual “patriotic” chest-pounders and xenophobes still be “rah-rah-rah”-ing for the president to threaten and invade anyone who looks cross-eyed at us if our entire economy has collapsed? Would other countries start calling our bluff if they knew we were about to be foreclosed? Would we still be able to start wars and stage pre-emptive attacks if our country has been repossessed? Or, would our creditor nations have the ability (and the nerve!) to foreclose on us if American tanks and missiles are zeroing in on them? Stalemate! Gridlock!


Blogger dotbar said...

I think the problem is that there are so many crises(sp?--you know, lots and lots of crisises) that its hard to pick your favorite. Personally, family values is a biggie with me for sure...bigger than the money issue. Of course, I'm from Canada so we have our own money problems for me to ignore.

April 2, 2005 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Not only are we a debtor nation... I'm pretty sure we are the BIGGEST and the BEST at being a debtor nation!

April 2, 2005 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dotbar: I always assume Canada has fewer/smaller problems than the U.S. I live close to Victoria, B.C., and everyone there seems so much less uptight, more natural, than Americans (that's a generalization, of course). So I'm just guessing it's a less stressful place to live. Plus, like you say, when there're too many crises and what-ifs, they all just kind of blur together and it's easier to tune everything out.

Snave: Of course we're the Biggest and the Best debtor nation. We're always Number One -- in the good and bad things.

April 3, 2005 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

Nothing like having a credit line free credit card that the middle class will be making interest payments on for the rest of their working lives...and their kids lives...and their kids' kids lives... and so on...

April 3, 2005 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Drew: Yup, nothing like it. No wonder those tax cuts were so important. Why should the top donors and VIPs worry about these payments; the working stiffs can handle it.

April 3, 2005 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I paid more in taxes this year than ever, and we didn't even get into the next highest tax bracket. I'm not rich by any means, I'm in what I'd call the middle class group. So much for tax relief! And next year, when we can no longer claim our two kids (they'll both be 17 and older) we'll pay even more! Thanks, Dubya.

As for Victoria, B.C. I live about 8-10 hours from there. I used to live right across the Strait in Port Angeles, WA. What a great city Victoria is! You're right, thhofpa22, about how relaxed it is there. For some time now, I have thought that if more Americans spent more time in Canada, we might see things differently down here.

April 4, 2005 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: That sounds about right. Everything is of, by and for the top donors.

Port Angeles is where I live. I love this place; we moved here 7 months ago.

April 4, 2005 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Jefferson Davis Bedford said...

Walmart, good for the Pensioner, bad for the working man. Our country is like on big walmart with a military. We borrow money from China to buy Computers and televisions from China. Good for China, bad for USA.

April 4, 2005 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jefferson Davis Bedford: WalMart is a good example of our national predicament. All the goods are cheap and all the salespeople and cashiers are polite. And when millions of people shop there, Mom and Pop lose their livelihoods. In the short term it feels good, but in the long term, you don't even want to think about it.

April 5, 2005 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I lived there from 1/83 to 7/89, and only moved because my folks were (still are) in La Grande, OR where I grew up. PA is a great town. I miss the sound of the foghorns, day trips to Cape Flattery, Sol Duc Falls, Tongue Point, Hurricane Ridge, Port Townsend, etc. I also miss First Street Haven restaurant breakfasts and browsing in Port Book and News!

April 5, 2005 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: PA, and this whole area, is really great. I love Cape Flattery, Ruby Beach and some of the small towns in that Northwest corner of the state (Neah Bay, Sekiu, La Push). Port News in PA is great; also Odessey Books. Lots of great cafes.

April 5, 2005 at 12:17 PM  

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