During my many years of following American political thought, one overwhelming truth has emerged: There is nothing as powerful as an idea (be it intelligent or stupid) whose time has come. With that understood, let's start a revolutionary idea rumbling through our nation, kind of a Greek thing.
During the Vietnam War, there was a little question that traveled through the minds of us cannon-fodder folks every now and again: What if they threw a war and nobody came? In other words, the lie that our teachers repeated (that we are the government) wasn't really a lie. The power truly does lie with us, if we only exercise it.
Each of us sends two senators to the Senate and one representative to the House of Representatives. Therefore, in reality, our senators are outnumbered 98 to 2. Our Congressperson is outnumbered 434 to 1.
Again, each of us is unable to vote any of those other 98 senators or 434 House members out of office. Therefore, those other folks can tax us into oblivion without paying any political prices. Teddy Kennedy, for example, spent years preventing me from purchasing nicer appliances for my home, sending my kids to better colleges, or driving a nicer vehicle. Throughout that period of time, I dutifully paid federal taxes imposed upon me by individuals I was unable to remove from office. That is taxation without representation, the main cause of the Revolutionary War. That's why the federal income tax is unconstitutional, but that's another topic.
Let's assume our own senators and congresspersons are divine. We agree with everything they do. It's those other 98 senators and those other 434 Congresspersons who have spent us into bankruptcy, not our guys and gals.
What to do?
I have a few suggestions:
1) Have the Fed print 17 one trillion dollar bills and pay the debt off. They can do it. Heck, they continually bail banks out with trillions of dollars.
2) Shackle us, our children, and all our future progeny with a crippling, unpayable, eternal debt.
3) Follow the Greeks. Tell the creditors we can't pay the debt and we won't pay the debt, because it's not our debt. I never signed off on it. Did you?
To paraphrase that Vietnam question, What if they created a debt and nobody paid? Sounds good to me.
Some may say that China would be upset and might start a war over it. Come on, for years now China has been spending most of their Wal-Mart profits on building a massive military. By the way, they're not doing that because they are planning to invade Uruguay. They want to be the big kahuna on the block. We are their No. 1 target/enemy. Generals and planners on both sides know a showdown is coming. The time has arrived to face reality, just as the Greeks have done. The government debt is not our debt. Let's repudiate it and move on with life.
Walt Osterman is the author of Not Home Yet: A Tale Concerning Israel's Rebirth. He served in Vietnam and is a Bronze Star recipient. He lives in Wyoming.