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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Wiping out debt

Sunday, July 10, 2011

(Photo)
Joe Sullivan
America's politicians are wrangling over the nation's debt ceiling, which hovers around $14 trillion.

First off, politicians know nothing about wise stewardship of the U.S Treasury. If they did, we wouldn't be in this mess.

But here we are, in a money crisis so severe there is talk of defaulting on our country's debts.

Obviously, the financial wizards upon whom the most powerful government in the world relies don't know how to manage money very well either. Their solution is to spend more. Worry about paying it all back later.

The biggest part of our debt crisis is the simple fact that none of us fully grasps what an enormous amount of money $14 trillion is. Few humans can comprehend even one trillion. Estimates that a human body has as many as 100 trillion cells are just guesses. Who counts after the first trillion or so? So when politicians stew about "reducing" our debt, what are they really talking about? Would being "only" $10 trillion in debt make us better off? Who knows?

Today, dear reader, you are going to hear of Joe's Surefire Plan to Eliminate (Not Reduce) Our National Debt.

It's so simple that the politicians and financial bigwigs won't even consider it. One reason is that they don't know what they would do all day if they didn't have the national debt to kick around.

Joe's Plan is to the point: Ask all the nations of the world that have benefited from America's blood and treasure to pay up.

Start with France and Great Britain and Japan and Germany and Italy and South Korea and even Vietnam -- all of which enjoy thriving economies, with some soft spots, today because Americans paid for it either with cash, life-sustaining supplies or the lives of U.S. soldiers.

Another payback is due from Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq is about to be shed of American troops, and it has an opportunity to join the world's civilized countries. I'd say it owes us several trillion dollars right off the bat, with future payments to be made over the next five years.

And the Afghan government can kick in another several trillion dollars as we pull away from what is likely to become a vipers' pit once U.S. forces are safely home.

Rest assured, when the president of Afghanistan finally runs off to Saudi Arabia to save his own skin, the news will immediately be filled with tales of the billions of dollars he skimmed from the government and the bribes he took under the table. Since we know this is going on, why don't we send a few guys with names like Kneecaps and Knuckles to Kabul and start collecting while we can?

Some of you may think I'm trying to be funny. Sadly, I'm not. I'm just tired of the United States playing the sucker every time some far-off country gets in a fix and we decide to help out.

Is asking for trillions of dollars outrageous? I'll answer with another question: How much do you think the loss of one U.S. soldier's life is worth?

Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the Southeast Missourian.

R. Joe Sullivan
R. Joe Sullivan