Drexler: The $1.1 Trillion Fiscal Cliff

This week each of Indiana’s eleven elected federal officials voted to pass a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. The spending bill essentially keeps the government operating through the fall.

The good news is we will not have to endure countless media reports describing the fiscal cliff from which we are prepared to leap. The bad news is obvious. It passed and is certain to have President Obama’s signature.

The real difficulty here remains that the fiscal cliff our mainstream media prefers to describe ignores the reality that we are already standing on a much larger mountain of debt, staring at a much steeper cliff.

If you follow Andrew Horning’s writings, you’ll understand from where most in the Libertarian Party view our nation’s predicament. As if any of us can truly comprehend the numbers in question, we’ll try anyway.

Horning writes, “The Federal Reserve’s own website says that, as of just last Wednesday, there are only $1.19 trillion dollars in circulating Federal Reserve notes; and over half of that is held overseas.”

Put into perspective, he continues, “the stopgap bill the GOP just heaped on us spends more than the total amount of notes in circulation.”

Imagine that. Our fiscally conservative, limited government Republican House just partnered up with our free-spending, liberal U.S. Senate to pass a partial spending bill for the year that surpasses the amount of Federal Reserve notes (cash) in circulation.

Horning, seeking the Party’s nomination for U.S. House in Indiana’s 8th District, offers some better advice that concludes with a very real truth.

He writes, “Forget the numbers. It should suffice to say that we’re beyond broke; so let’s ponder what that means. The Social Security money you think you put in was spent a long time ago. So, if you’re living on a Social Security, you’re taking it from your grandkids’ future. If you’re depending on Social Security, or Medicare, or pension insurance being there when you retire, well then you’re depending upon other people’s work for your future comforts, you damned thief.”

Most insightfully, he offers the following, “It’s horribly hypocritical for Republicans to shake their fist at ‘welfare queens’ and ‘freeloaders’ who’re living off the government’s IOUs. Has it yet hit home that we’re in a contracturally, morally, physically unsustainable mess that’s about to explode on a scale and global degree that’s never before happened in all of human history?”

Hyperbole? Possibly. Possibly not. Scary enough to ponder? Absolutely.

When fiscal conservvatives talk about their allegiance to an old school Republican machine that embraces their own conservative beliefs, please toss these figures out. Ask them who’s paying for this spending. Don’t let them deflect the issue onto the other party. We already know they like to spend. To their credit, Democrats don’t try to hide that reality. In fact, they embrace it. This one is on the GOP. This one is a continuation of “conservative” doubletalk that has placed us staring down a much steeper fiscal cliff than any elected officials in Washington will admit.


Dan Drexler is State Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

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