"The blame for [the national debt]
lies with the Congress and the President,
with Democrats and Republicans alike,
most all of whom have been unwilling
to make the hard choices or
to explain to the American people that
there is no such thing as a free lunch."
by:
Warren Rudman
(1930- ) US Senator (R-NH)
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Reader comments about this quote:
There's no such thing as a money tree either... perhaps someone should tell that to the President who has spent more money than any other President in the history of the nation after Reagan.
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    ... not only spent more, but more importantly, at the same time creating windfalls for his big buddy business pals and letting those who benefit from his anti-little person policies get away with it without paying for it... the big lie is that they are neither "compasionate" nor "conservative"! Explain TANSTAAFL to those making more than $1M/year!
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    The people are paying for lunch through illegal and unconstitutional taxes collected by the IRS. If people stopped paying taxes congress and the president might get the hint there is no such thing as a free lunch.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    The wisdom from one depression passed on to the next one.....
     -- Anonymous     
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    Does this mean that Obama, Nancy, Harry, Barney, and the usual suspects aren't going to take care of me? Not to worry, with this fine group in power I'm sure that we will all get ours in the end.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    A from Reston, obviously responding to Logan, I think you oops. You start bad mouthing the divinely coronated one for big buddy windfalls then, you say it's a big lie because its neither compassionate nor conservative. hmmm - lol. The divinely coronated one's parishioners are complaining about AIG's execs getting such large bonuses after the billions of bail-outs but, they probably won't do anything to their buddies. After all, the Nazi form of socialism is working well for them. The most real and hardest choice would be for the noble individuals to take back their Constitutional Republic.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    TRUE and the Congress and The President and their policies are our responsibility. Let us stand up and demand that they raise taxes, cut spending, balance the budget and pay off the debt in twenty years. There is more than enough money in our pockets, wealth in this country to do what ever we need to do. What we need is honorable and honest people to rise up like adult men and women and demand that this government run a surplus to offset the deficits that we have failed to fund for 20 of the last 28 years. Shame on us it is our fault. If we are silly enough to vote for people who cut taxes and sell bonds and operate in the red it is our fault. We have elected snake oil salesmen for much to long of a time.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    The blame for every corruption of government is on every American who allowed, allows, and continues to allow the corruption to go on.
     -- Anon     
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    I would like to see a constitutional amendment that made it illegal to spend more than the government takes in.
     -- Blue     
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    Blue, me too; or an amendment that would read something like "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Or "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Or "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;" or any other language that would limit government spending to the boundaries of a constitution. Oh!, wait a minute!, oops, that's already been done. Nobody reads or adheres to those ideals based at law (so hmmm, probably not going to happen).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The perversion of the purpose of government and how/where it gets its authority is the culprit. We elect people to protect our rights, not to grant us government priviledges and largess from the treasury -- er, I should say: credit line. Jefferson explained that no debt should ever be contracted by the government that cannot be paid back within 20 years so that one generation is not saddled with a debt from a previous one. We do not need to raise taxes, we need simply to shift our consciousness from that of dependence to independence. Waffler's intentions mean well, but with a monetary system that makes IOUs the trading currency, there is absolutely no way we can ever get out of debt. And the government knows this -- so the logical solution is simply to 'borrow' (i.e. print up more IOUs with no backing) and spend them into circulation. Waffler does say something right for the first time in a long time -- and that is that money works best when it is being circulated, and with a hard currency like silver or gold, one gold coin can be used in millions of transactions as it gets traded for equivalent goods and services over and over again. BUT that is not the system we have -- we have pieces of paper that do not represent any THING but a debt, and these notes get passed on BUT as debts are repaid, the notes are destroyed, which is like throwing a gold coin in a lake never to be seen again. In our system, someone must borrow another note (and pay monthly interest on it until the note is destroyed) to trade. If you are concerned with monopolies, the number one monopoly to put your attention on is the private Federal Reserve Corporation that has gotten us all in permanent debt to them. Get out of this trap, and our productivity will fly through the roof. These 'stimulus' bills are like giving a heroin addict twice his usual fix -- we forget the government is a 'pusher' and we ignore our dependence on the crap we think we need from them.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler, you cannot balance the budget by raising taxes. That would reduce the dollars taken in by the fed and make it even harder. Fiscal responsibility is the key. That is not going to happen. Too many people will always demand handouts of one kind or another and politicians will always be willing to spend other peoples money to buy their votes. This is not only unconstitutional it is immoral.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Maybe as much blame should go to the people who keep electing these miserable, reject used car salesmen (no offense to honorable used car salesmen who work for a living). We get addicted to the goodies and become lapdogs in exchange, grovelling for a few more crumbs from the well stocked table our politicians dine from and maybe an occasional special treat. Roll over for your masters. We get what we deserve by not holding government to its constitutional limits.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Ken, taking the last line of your post "We get what we deserve...." and my last post above, I'll go as far as to say that we the people are nearly as corrupt as our world and National "leaders" are. Thank Goodness there are some who are not as corrupt as they are expected to be or hoped to be. The whole system is based on corruption and lies produced by the corrupt. In order to continue they have to count on the corruption of the majority to stay in power. In that sense, at least the majority is as nearly corrupt as those who corrupted our form of constitutional government.
     -- Anon     
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    We must stand up as honorable and honest men and women and deal with this. If we do not pay our national debt we are corrupt. You can't run the National Budget in the red as did Reagan Bush and Cheney did for most of their terms.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler you are hilarious with your bizarre analogies. As if the Democrats are any better. The criminal system is the criminal system; period. And both sides of the aisle subscribe to it. Churchill said something like "Trying to tax your way to prosperity is like standing in a bucket and trying to pull yourself up by the handle". And he was right.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Hey Waffler, I am going to tell my employer that they need to RAISE MY PAY because I don't make enough to pay all my debt and do what I want to do. (That would be the honorable thing for them to do, RIGHT?)
     -- Anon, USA     
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    The Bernie supporters seem to think that there is a "free lunch". He yaks about this and that being free and the knot heads eat it up.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    Obviously, he didn't know the reality of the matter! Debt has nothing to do with government but everything to do with the federal reserve, central banks, and a corrupt corporate America....
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    The governing Trees of unrighteousness. The lesson for mankind to learn, there is a God who governs the nations of men and effects his will. Judgement against the corruption ( wicked ) is not always swift to come. Fruit must be ripe, then the harvest. A "fullness of time" must be reached, Natural laws of the Creator dictate so, regardless of the fancy of men and their inventions. Trees of Righteousness situated in the Garden, declare as they always have, Liberty for your children's sake. Knowledge of Liberty and Freedom, by way of our Creator are the greatest of gifts to be bestowed upon man. Greater than gold or silver, but the best to govern them by. " Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men." Psalm 90:4, ( A prayer of Moses the man of God.) A false debt is no debt at all. So to deal in falsehood is making payment with the wind ! RVP Archer sums it up well, as usual !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
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