The national debt all my life, older people said, “It’s gonna end up ruining the country.” Other people said, “No, we owe it to ourselves, it never has to be paid back, so therefore it really isn’t real,” and all through my life hearing about how horrible the national debt was, all I saw was prosperity and a standard of living increase. Everybody, every level of income that we qualify in this country, even poverty, is a different standard of living in this country than it is in other parts of the world where there is real poverty — and yet national debt’s out there.

So I’m asking myself, “Why all of a sudden now when I have turned 60 have I done a 180? Why all of a sudden is this national debt thing is huge? Why am I starting to sound like my father and my grandfather?” and there are a number of obvious answers. One of them is Obama. We’ve gotten to a point where there is no concern for it. There’s not even a pretense at balancing the budget. In fact, it’s just the opposite. But the hard, cold reality that hit me — and this is one of these things that should have hit me years ago (I was slow on the uptake). When you add in consumer credit card debt and our government’s national debt, and all the other debt that’s there, you realize that the US standard of living, according to real dollars — the real money supply — isn’t that high.

Without massive debt that people can barely afford, they wouldn’t have the cars that they have, and they wouldn’t have the homes that they have. This country can’t afford what we’re spending on education. This country can’t afford what we spent on the space program. We can’t really afford what we’re spending on defense. We don’t have it. We have about $1 trillion a year in income. We can’t afford to pay people food stamps. We can’t afford to pay people Social Security above and beyond what they have contributed to their own accounts. We can’t afford to treat the poor medically. None of this is real.

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