Doug Casey on the Debt Ceiling Farce and Why the US Should Declare Bankruptcy

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by Doug Casey, International Man:

International Man: The US federal government has raised the so-called debt ceiling 104 times since 1944.

Shouldn’t they call it a debt target instead of a debt ceiling?

Is this whole thing a farce?

Doug Casey: The situation is completely and irredeemably out of control. It’s a farce. Quite laughable, except for the fact it’s so deadly serious.

Can they reduce the debt ceiling or the amount of debt? Or even slow down its growth at this point? No.

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The situation is beyond redemption because most US government expenditures go to pay entitlements—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and numerous other types of welfare.

Those things will be very hard to cut at this point; breaking the doggy dishes of millions of corrupted Americans would cause unrest. Plus, the so-called “defense” budget, which mostly supports the military/industrial complex while fomenting conflict. It’s actually much larger than disclosed because it should include $50 billion of foreign aid, the cost of running outrageously large embassies over the world, the CIA, and black budgets of all types.

Meanwhile, all US government agencies are bent on expanding themselves. The bureaucrats who run them realize that if they don’t grow the budget every year, they reduce their chances of going from one GS level to the next. Their success is based upon managing more people and spending more money. Naturally, all these agencies grow like cancers.

As a result, the “debt ceiling” is a fiction. It will stay out of control unless there is a total reorganization of the government—which itself would be risky. And that’s not going to happen until we have a financial catastrophe that leaves absolutely no alternative.

International Man: You have previously stated the US government should default on the national debt.

What are the reasons for that?

Doug Casey: I know it sounds outrageous to propose the US government default on its national debt. Of course, they don’t think it will ever be necessary because, as several high-level government officials have pointed out, they can just print money to pay off the debt.

However, I disagree. What are the reasons for doing something as seemingly catastrophic as defaulting on the debt? I’ll give you at least five. Stick with me. Let’s conduct an outrageous but not unreasonable thought experiment.

First, barring default, future generations of Americans will be turned into serfs to pay off the debt. Profligate people have run up the debt, but everybody’s children and grandchildren are stuck with having to pay it off. That’s simply immoral. If you have any care for the future at all, future generations should be saved from becoming serfs to pay it off.

Second, it would punish the enablers who lend the US government money. People who lend the US government money facilitate it by doing all the stupid and destructive things it does. They shouldn’t be rewarded; they should be punished.

Third, official default is better than the alternative. It’s like a hundred-story building that’s about to collapse. If that’s the case, should you wait until it collapses randomly and unpredictably, or should you have a controlled demolition? It’s not a pleasant alternative, but it’s the better alternative.

Fourth, default would make further borrowing on the part of the US government impossible, at least for a while. It would be exposed as an untrustworthy entity, like the Argentine government, which defaults all the time. People would still idiotically lend it more money, but a default might slow down the rate of increase in the US government’s size.

Fifth, it’s almost necessary that the debt goes away to help de-financialize the US economy. The US is tremendously over-financialized. It’s all about buying, selling, creating, and packaging financial instruments. Government debt, with the help of the Fed, is the actual engine of inflation. Defaulting on the national debt would pave the way for the reinstitution of a sound, redeemable, commodity-based money. People would have to concentrate more on real wealth than phony financial wealth, actual engineering, as opposed to financial and social engineering.

Of course, an objection reasonable people would make is: “If you default on the debt, it’s going to be a catastrophe.”

My answer is that just because all the paper debt of the US government goes away doesn’t mean the real wealth in the world will disappear. The farms, factories, technologies, and the skills of the workers, will still exist. But on a sound foundation. And with some new owners.

Furthermore, I’d point out that the US Government isn’t “we the people.” It’s become a discreet entity with its own interests, like a giant corporation. If it declares bankruptcy, it’s a problem for its employees and clients much more than for you, the taxpayer.

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