Heritage Foundation

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    Yes, the long-run has arrived: annual interest on national debt pushing half a trillion dollars

    Yesterday the Heritage Foundation announced the milestone of 1,000 days without a federal budget. Along with a video, reposted below, the writer Mike Brownfield noted more than $200 billion in annual interest payments. If only. Robert Thorpe, author of Reclaim Liberty: 3-Step Plan for Restoring our Constitutional Government, has written an open letter correcting the number. He acknowledges that it is somewhat true; it is more than $200 billion per year. In fact, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, in 2011 it was closer to $454.4 billion. Please see: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm... In that the true amount is almost double of what Heritage reported, and is actually approaching one-half of a trillion dollars annually, it is very important, and would be truly sobering for our citizens, if Heritage set the record straight and publically revised its statement: It bears repeating again. 2011 National Debt Interest Paid: $454,393,280,417.03. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QG0stsk3Ljs Thorpe is a proponent of a state-led, Article V amendments convention for some form of balanced budget amendment, as am I. Of course, one would still have to decide what needs to be done to close the fiscal deficit at the federal level, but it would impose some accountability towards that outcome. I encourage people to read this commentary from him on the matter: The States Must Lead Our Nation Back from the Brink By Robert J. Thorpe Irresponsible and Unpatriotic On July 3, 2008 candidate Obama said that it was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic" that President George W. Bush had added $4 Trillion of new debt in 96 months to our nation… and I agree. But then, President Obama went on to add that same amount of additional new debt ($4 Trillion) in one third the amount of time… in only 31 months. Thanks to the Tea Parties and other concerned pro-Constitutional groups, we had a revolution of landslide victories in November 2010, electing scores of very fine, fiscally conservative people in local, state and national elections. Unfortunately, their attempts at slowing Washington borrowing, spending and growth has been minimal at best, and perhaps even disastrous in light of our high unemployment, dismal economy and mounting national debts. Gallup and other polls report that 70% of the American people want some type of balance budget amendment (BBA) or borrowing / spending restrictions placed upon the federal government, similar to the fiscal requirements that 49 of our 50 states operate under. But during the past forty plus years, congress has refused to pass any meaningful financial restrictions upon itself. Congress is unwilling to give up their unlimited power to borrow and spend… an important authority that Washington insiders use freely for staying in political office for life. It is politically much easier to quietly borrow money, that future generations will have to pay back, then it is to raise taxes. Washington can no more be expected to change and restrain itself, than an addict can be expected to cure their own addictions. We need to turn to our Constitution, and to the words of our Founders, to instruct us in truly changing “business as usual” within Washington:
    Fergus Hodgson, January 25, 2012
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    2012 ranking of economic freedom: USA slips another slot to 10th, further behind Canada

    The Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal have just released their 2012 ranking of nations according to economic freedom, and here are the top ten: 1 Hong Kong; 2 Singapore; 3 Australia; 4 New Zealand; 5 Switzerland; 6 Canada; 7 Chile; 8 Mauritius; 9 Ireland; 10 United States. While still in there, the United States dropped one place from last year's 9th, and the nation continues to be further behind Canada, at least according to this index. The United States' ranking is also vulnerable, since Denmark, which came in at 11th, was behind by a razor-thin margin of 0.1 out of the potential 100 points. The researchers classify any nation with a score above 80 as "free," but only the top five nations managed that. Both the United States (76.3) and Canada (79.9) received classifications as "mostly free." While the United States remains the nation with the greatest degree of labor freedom, the other news is bleak, to say the least.
    Fergus Hodgson, January 12, 2012
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    America’s free fall in economic freedom

    How did Canada get to be economically freer than the United States, at least according to two credible measures? That’s right, both the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute place the United States in that position, falling from the world’s top ten freest nations (even lower…
    Fergus Hodgson, October 28, 2011