Are you against raising the debt ceiling? If so, according to former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill you are actually part of al-Qaeda. Yes, seriously. During an interview on Bloomberg TV the other day, O'Neill actually made the following statement: "The people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al-Qaeda terrorists. Really. They're really putting our whole society at risk by threatening to round up 50 percent of the members of the Congress, who are looney, who would put our credit at risk." For a high ranking Bush administration official to equate Tea Party activists with al-Qaeda is extremely frightening. Just remember what the Bush administration did to anyone supposedly associated with al-Qaeda. They shipped them off to Guantanamo Bay and waterboarded them into oblivion. It also shows how out of touch the Bush administration really was with the conservative base of the Republican Party. The Bush administration ran up record setting deficit after record setting deficit and now any conservatives that dare to want some assurances that we are actually going to do something about our rampant debt problem are labeled as "al-Qaeda terrorists". Of course the Obama administration is essentially doing the exact same thing. The current Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, has been running around frothing at the mouth and declaring that we are going to experience financial armageddon if the debt ceiling is not raised. This whole episode is yet another example that shows what a fraud the false left/right political paradigm in this country really is.
The debt ceiling is one of the only points of leverage that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has available. If the Republicans want to make a stand on the national debt, they need to do it somewhere. John Boehner already caved badly when it came to the 2011 budget. The Republicans are running out of opportunities to make a statement before the 2012 election.
Not that Boehner and the rest of the "establishment Republicans" are much interested in seriously cutting the budget. If they were, they would have done it during the Bush years.
But there are millions of Americans (and a few members of Congress) associated with the Tea Party movement that are deeply troubled by our soaring budget deficits and that desperately want something done before it is too late.
If the U.S. government keeps running up debt like it is right now, it is going to completely destroy our economy. America has a debt problem unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world. If left unchecked, it is going to destroy the economic future of our children and our grandchildren.
Something needs to be done.
Yes, if the debt ceiling is not raised, the financial world will throw a fit. There may even be a bit of a panic. But you can't really blame those associated with the Tea Party for wanting some assurances about getting the debt under control before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling yet again.
Our national debt is a horrific national crisis. It threatens to destroy everything that our forefathers built.
But members of the political establishment such as former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill don't have much patience for those that want to question the status quo.
Look, when any member of the Bush administration uses the words "al-Qaeda" in relation to a group of people you need to pay careful attention.
Do you remember how the Bush administration treated anyone that was accused of being part of al-Qaeda? The following are some of the kinder things that they would do to them according to official U.S. government memos....
*"Walling", which is slamming a prisoner into a wall
*"Cramped confinement" which means "placement of the individual in a confined space"
*Stinging insects placed inside "a confinement box"
*Waterboarding - one of the memos actually admits that "the use of waterboarding constitutes a threat of imminent death"
*Sleep deprivation for several days
*Sleep deprivation while wearing a diaper
*The use of "stress positions" to cause "muscle fatigue"
*Facial and abdominal slapping
There are a lot worse things that they would do to "members of al-Qaeda" but they cannot be printed in this space.
So when Paul O'Neill says that you are part of al-Qaeda, let's just say that he does not plan to invite you out for a Sunday picnic.
This is yet another example of how dirty politics in America is becoming. Liberals hate conservatives and conservatives hate liberals. They both hate libertarians and libertarians hate them. America is a deeply, deeply divided nation and hatred and bitterness are growing at a staggering pace.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government is absolutely drowning in debt and the plans put forward by both the Democrats and the Republicans are total jokes. Nobody seems to have any idea how to get out of this mess.
We have accumulated the largest mountain of debt in the history of the world and we expect our children and our grandchildren to pay it off.
What we have done to future generations is absolutely inexcusable.
In a previous article on U.S. government finances, I detailed some absolutely horrifying statistics about U.S. government debt....
#1 If you divide the national debt up equally among all U.S. households, each one owes a staggering $125,475.18.
#2 The federal government has borrowed 29,660 more dollars per household since Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus law two years ago.
#3 During Barack Obama's first two years in office, the U.S. government added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.
#4 In the new budget that the Obama administration has proposed, the U.S. government would spend 3.7 trillion dollars in 2012 and by 2021 the U.S. government would be spending a whopping 5.6 trillion dollars per year.
#5 The U.S. government currently has to borrow approximately 41 cents of every single dollar that it spends.
#6 The total compensation that the federal government workforce earned last year came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars.
#7 The U.S. national debt is currently rising by well over 4 billion dollars every single day.
#8 The U.S. government is borrowing over 2 million more dollars every single minute.