I've been watching the prize winners for the Power Line Blog challenge to explain the size of our fiscal crisis and was reminded of this explanation by the late J. Reuben Clark, Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and former attorney for the State Department:
Interest [on debt] never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours. ...That should be hammered into the minds of every American and instill in them a determination to pay off their own debts and to force the government to do the same.
Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.
Debt is a useful financial tool, in order to finance major purchases and manage cash flow, but it should be remembered that electricity and fire are valuable tools, too, but all three must be carefully controlled to prevent disaster. The federal government and a number of states have lost control of their spending and thus are sinking in debt. Those of us who relied on government to support us and pay our medical expenses are going to have to suffer, one way or another, or let our children and grandchildren suffer.
I'm for lowering the debt ceiling and restricting the government's ability to borrow and to raise taxes. That is the only way the people can regain control of it. It can't be done overnight, but it must be started.