Recently, Citizens Against Government Waste caused quite a stir with a clever commercial speculating on the future economic and political outcome of our government's recent actions. (By recent, I mean in the last twenty years, maybe longer.) I thought the ad, while chilling, was an effective wake-up call for those who may not understand the implications of all that debt. And I was surprised by some responses to the ad.
I am an economic conservative. I believe the borrower is servant to the lender. We ought not to be in debt if at all possible. Going into debt is stupid unless there is an extremely compelling reason.
Going into debt is stupid for individuals, and it is stupid for governments. There is a short list of good reasons to go into debt. What are these reasons? This is where debate ought to take place on the issue of the National Debt.
Unfortunately, economic liberals have focused on the presence of the Chinese in the commercial, saying the commericial is a symptom of the "new McCarthyism" in which the Chinese are demonized for holding American debt.
Economic liberals, please understand that economic conservatives do not dwell in the victim-mentality paradigm. Economic conservatives believe in personal responsibility, which means that going into debt is generally the fault of the debtor, not the lender. Economic conservatives do not say, "Those evil Chinese held us by the throat and forced us to borrow money from them!" How ridiculous. WE are the stupid ones, and we need to stop it.
The CAGW ad was well-placed rhetoric meant to say to Americans, "We have a problem, folks!" And we do have a problem. Whether or not we literally become servants to the Chinese in twenty years is beside the point. (That was rhetoric. It got your attention, didn't it?) It would be nice if we could get past the he-said/she-said blaming and move on to determine which debt situations are acceptable to both economic liberals and economic conservatives. After we figure that out, we may be able to move forward with some sense. But we will never get anywhere by refusing to listen because "they're insulting so-and-so".