Issue Research: Election 2008 | Globalisation | National Security

US Economy on the Brink

Sean Shepard
Candidate for U.S. Congress, Indiana 7th District
January 26, 2008

It’s frightening to be an American these days. But despite the declining popularity of the United States government throughout the world, terrorists wearing bomb-belts aren’t what keep me up at night.

I’m concerned about the very foundation of the American economy.

In November, Citibank, our nation’s largest bank, sold nearly 5% of itself to Abu Dhabi’s ’sovereign wealth fund’ (that is, basically the government of the United Arab Emirates), diluting its US investors, in response to $11 billion in projected losses due to the Federal Reserve induced credit meltdown.

But it gets worse. In December, Morgan Stanley agreed to sell a $5 billion stake to China Investment Corp (the Chinese government) after projecting nearly $10 billion in losses. And just a week earlier, UBS AG sold 9% of its equity to Singapore Investment Corp (the government of Singapore) after absorbing a $10 billion write-down.

As our financial crisis worsens, more of these ‘deals’ are looming in the future.

Our current politics-as-usual leaders aren’t talking about it, but the trend is strikingly clear. America is sinking into debt and auctioning itself off to the developing world!

Our own government has led the way in this sellout. To finance our foreign wars and massive entitlement programs, we’ve been rapidly falling into debt to the rest of the world. China has been particularly happy to finance our extravagance.

The Chinese government now owns over one trillion of dollars of US government debt and currency. Their ’support’ (or perhaps, ‘enabling’) has had the effect of propping up our ailing currency, sickened by continuing deficits and monetary inflation.

We are on the verge of losing our comfortably privileged position in the world. One Federal Reserve banker has noted that the US is already technically bankrupt, if we include our future Social Security and Medicare obligations. The head of the General Accounting Office, a federal watchdog group, is literally touring the country to raise awareness of these issues. Apparently he gets a better reception in small town American than from our ‘leaders’ in Washington D.C.

Our currency continues to drop in value and our taxes on productivity (vs. consumption) remain high (one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world). I’m not so sure terrorism is our number one concern. Our country’s economy could be destroyed in a day, not by someone with a bomb or hijacked airplane, but by foreign nations losing confidence in the dollar as the de facto world currency and dumping them in exchange for Euros or some other currency.

Nobody need fire a shot. The bills just need to come due and we will be toast. And if you think the national debt is only $9 trillion, keep in mind this excludes future obligations. The current amount our government owes is something closer to $53 trillion ($400,000 per American family per the GAO). Think about that for a minute, the Federal Government could take EVERYTHING we make for 8 to 10 years and still not have enough to cover what’s coming.

It’s time for a change in direction. Democrats want larger, more expansive government. Republicans have managed to grow our government spending at an astonishing rate in the past 8 years. Even our beloved Ronald Reagan lamented the fact that the deficit exploded during his presidency, it is often cited as his biggest regret. Out of the current crop of Presidential candidates, only one of them is trying to seriously address the coming fiscal crisis and his wise council has, unfortunately, earned him very little respect. The time for politics (and politicians) as usual has gone, we cannot afford our overseas empire any longer and we can’t afford the usual crop of Democrats and Republicans any longer.

This is just one reason why I will be on the ballot for the upcoming special election to replace The Honorable Julia Carson and represent Indiana’s 7th District.

No more games. No more horse trading. No more career or hereditary politicians running for their own celebrity and self-importance. We have serious issues facing our country and desperately need a change in direction. Let’s say “no” to the two “old parties” who got us here and start the change right in the heartland, the bread basket of America. Indiana has a chance to take the lead, let’s not let that chance be wasted by voting for more of the same.

* Thanks to Travis Cross for his keen editorial oversight


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