The latest briliant re-post, from here:
This Graph Illustrates Who Holds America’s $17 Trillion Debt – Including The One-Third Held By Foreign Countries
October 15, 2013 by Ben Bullard
NPR may have had its reasons for putting together this grid explaining how the Nation’s $16.8 trillion is divvied up – it’s featured in a story that begins “If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling soon, the U.S. government won’t be able to pay its debts” – but anyone who approaches the infographic with an open mind can come away with their own conclusions.
In some ways, the image reads like a history lesson in how the U.S. government grew to the bloated monstrosity that future generations will inherit. The Federal government (for NPR’s purposes, the Federal Reserve is included here) owns nearly half of U.S. debt, including $2.6 trillion in Social Security obligations. More than $1 trillion is tied up in Federal and military retirement funds and the Fed itself holds $2.1 trillion.
Many of these obligations stem from the decisions of previous Presidential Administrations and Congressional acts that instituted or expanded government programs – the Clinton-era manipulation of Social Security to keep the Federal budget balanced, not to mention the original creation of the Social Security program itself, are two of many examples.
Foreign banks and governments hold about $5.5 trillion in U.S. debt, amounting to nearly one-third of the $16.8 trillion total. As everyone knows, China holds the most financial sway with $1.3 trillion, followed closely by Japan with $1.1 trillion.
For some numeric perspective, the Federal debt increased an astronomical $4.89 trillion under President George W. Bush, and has increased $6.1 trillion more in the nearly five years that President Barack Obama has been in office. The Federal debt stood at $10.6 trillion when Bush left office.
As Obama continues to drive a hard bargain on insisting that Congressional Democrats get their way in raising the Federal debt limit, here’s Senator Barack Obama in 2006 condemning President Barack Obama’s present rhetoric on raising the debt ceiling:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. … I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
Funny – according to Warren Buffet’s movie, IOUSA, after China and the Saudis comes Canada and Mexico, as owners of the formerly Land of the Free. I wonder why we’re off this latest list – could it be that it would be too politically incorrect/embarrassing?
Now let’s examine some strategy!
Non-Participation As An Effective Weapon Against Tyranny
October 15, 2013 by Brandon Smith
Legitimate revolution takes time, patience and fortitude. Unfortunately, this is a strategic concept that is lost on many Americans today who suffer from a now common ailment of attention deficit disorder and an obsession with immediate gratification. Even many who have their hearts in the right place and who work to defend and resurrect our nation’s founding ideals seem to believe that any action to defeat corrupt oligarchy must be effective immediately, otherwise, it’s not worth the attempt. History, of course, teaches us the opposite.
The American rebellion against the British monarchy was not an abrupt or immediate affair. Anger and unrest over the trespasses of King George simmered for decades. The first British troops stationed with the intent to stifle colonial freedoms arrived in Massachusetts in 1768. The Boston Massacre took place in 1770, and still, the Founders refused to leap into open retaliation. Lexington Green and the “shot heard around the world” did not take place until April 19, 1775. The Revolution took years to culminate into an actual physical war. So what did the colonists do in the meantime? Sit on their hands?
In fact, early Americans employed economic tactics against their enemy long before they picked up muskets and powder. British imports were turned away or destroyed. Clothing and other items normally shipped from Europe to be sold in the colonies were boycotted, while colonists began producing all of their own survival necessities. They refused to participate in the system that was designed to enslave them and this gave them a foundation on which to launch their eventual fight for liberty. Without efforts in economic independence, the American Revolution may not have ever taken place.
I always recall this example whenever I am confronted with a gung-ho liberty movement activist who demands to know when “we” are going to “do something” about criminal government. Or, when I am confronted by nihilists who proclaim that “we” should have “pulled the trigger” long ago, and now it is “too late to do anything.” The Founders had the same doubts and faced the same naysayers, and had the wisdom to act with the correct force at the correct moment.
The methods of non-participation have been repeated in many dissenting actions against despotic establishments, often with much success. This does not mean that one can necessarily topple tyrants simply by refusing to use their goods or their currency. That would be a childish assumption. However, the process of learning to become self sufficient makes each person more effective as an activist or revolutionary, and thus, more dangerous to those who seek control.
Sadly, one of the greatest threats to the American public in 2013 is the possibility that our government will cut off public access to Federal funds. Our society has become so addicted to government money that up to one third of the country relies on some form of paycheck or welfare from the system. If the system breaks, or is deliberately sabotaged, the sickening level of citizen dependency today makes catastrophe inevitable.
The most interesting aspect of the current “shut-down” situation is the fear it is generating, and the partisan fury it facilitates. Republicans and Democrats are nearly ready to tear each others’ throats out all over the continuance or non-continuance of a political body that no longer functions anyway and has become a middle-man for global banks. This interests me because it is an entirely solvable problem, yet the average American appears completely ignorant of the fix.
Most people are either ready to riot, ready to undermine themselves with bad legislation or a Constitutional Convention, or they have become despondent and uselessly morose, when all they really have to do is consider that perhaps they should not be so dependent on such an unstable economic structure or government in the first place.
The real power is in our hands, and has always been in our hands. Federal welfare, and the idea of the loving provider nanny state are the great illusions. The idea of toppling this soulless machine, though needed, is also inadequate by itself.
The mindless drive for infinite spending often associated with the “Left” is a recipe for utter fiscal disaster in the form of suffocating liabilities, massive deficits and a hyperinflated dollar. The mainstream Republican notion that there will be no consequences if debt default occurs, though, is equally foolish. I have been astounded by false assertions from the GOP that American tax revenues will be more than enough to cover interest payments on U.S. debts. There are many conservatives and Liberty Movement analysts that should know better than to use official Treasury Department interest numbers and debt numbers to support their arguments.
Given that the real U.S. National debt including entitlement programs is estimated at around $200 trillion, and real deficit figures stand at around $5 trillion per year, I’m wondering how anyone in their right mind could claim that annual tax revenues of $2.5 trillion (2012 direct revenue numbers) could possibly cover foreign interest payments on top of existing liabilities?
This problem does not take into account the fact that median household incomes have been dropping every year for the past five years, thus diminishing tax revenue opportunities. It does not take into account the massive spike in interest payments that would come with a foreign sell-off of U.S. Treasury debt. It does not take into account the possibility that foreign creditors might refuse to accept payment on interest in U.S. dollar. Nor does it take into account the eventual loss of international faith in the dollar as the world reserve currency, which would rain havoc down upon the U.S. populace in the form of dollar devaluation and exploding prices on every commodity imaginable. Think this cannot or will not happen? The Chinese are now openly calling for it to happen!
Let’s not delude ourselves, fellow conservatives. There is a steep price to be paid for debt default. Attempting to gloss over the consequences will only make it easier for the mainstream media to demonize us later down the road. There is no way around it. There is no magical silver bullet solution to avoid the pain. We will have to take our medicine, one way or the other…
Whether the White House gets its way, or no-one gets his way and the whole debacle ends in default, America’s economy will face the same destruction on only slightly different timetables. As I pointed out in my last article, The Possible Outcomes Of The Shutdown Theater, the only conceivable winners will be international banks, who want to dismantle the United States, our economy, our sovereignty and our Constitution to make way for a new global financial edifice.
WHEN AMERICA SUCCEEDS, GLOBALISM FAILS.
THEREFORE, AMERICA MUST FAIL.
-Your Plutocratic Sales-Masters-
If there is no way for the average American to win this game because the rules have been written by our opponent, then perhaps we should stop playing the game altogether.
This means millions of Americans must actively pursue a more independent standard of living. This means each and every person must learn to provide all of their own survival necessities, including food, water, shelter, energy and self defense. This means growing a well-planned garden and educating one’s self on raising livestock. This means learning a valuable trade skill that is useful and always sought after regardless of the state of the mainstream economy. This means striving for off-grid status and cutting ties to electric and water utility companies. This means training to keep one’s self and one’s family safe in an atmosphere of violence where state sanctioned law enforcement may not be present to protect you. This means building relationships within one’s neighborhood, town or county that allow for proactive organization without the oversight of government. This means establishing alternative local trade (like a barter market) that is not dependent on the Internet or any other government watched and regulated network.
There are those within the Liberty Movement that are working to make it easier for regular people to transition away from the mainstream, providing outlets for education and organization for those seeking more independence through non-participation. My own website, www.Alt-Market.com, is geared towards helping people network for barter and mutual aid at the local level.
Oath Keepers, a Constitutional organization of veterans, currently serving military, police, firefighters and concerned civilians, has just launched its “Civilization Preservation Program.” It is designed to set up highly adaptable training groups across the U.S. who will teach any interested citizens within their community the survival methods needed to endure disaster, whether natural or man-made, as well as how to rebuild as the storm subsides.
If one is dependent on a tyrant, one cannot hope to defeat that tyrant. The reason so many people are afraid of the results of government shutdown and debt default is because so many people refuse to step away from the system. The reason so many people are afraid to fight back is because they have seen the establishment as their source of income for so long. If more Americans were self-reliant, if more Americans were willing to give up free goodies from the state, if more Americans built their own economic foundations, a collapse of our financial structure would be meaningless. We could simply sit back comfortably and let it die, for why would we care about the funeral pyre of a vicious and reckless political/corporate suicide train?
As things stand at this moment, though, the death of the system is not something to cheer, no matter how much we might wish it to crumble under the weight of its own criminality. The collapse of the existing system will not be the end of our troubles, only the beginning. Chaos always opens doors for evil men, and they will certainly take full advantage of the chaos triggered by shutdown, default or continued inflationary debt spending.
We must make ourselves ready to resist by making ourselves separate from the monster we plan to fight. Crisis waits for no one, and on the path our nation now walks, crisis is assured.
– Brandon Smith