I got into a lively social media discussion with a man who supports the idea of a single payer healthcare system. My objection centered around the fact that universal healthcare can only drive a country deeper into debt and we are already in over our heads in every major economy in the world.
"I don't think you really understand how debt works for country's (sic), it's not the same as for individuals."
He is right on three counts.
It isn't the same, as for individuals, because the federal government made themselves the sole source of money (Legal Tinder Act) and they created the Central Bank (The Fed), which can backstop their borrowing.
Congress is perpetually running for office and they invariably write laws which cater to our citizen's selfish side, which always results in promises of money or services. It matters not that there is no money set aside for these ever increasing expenditures. The government has no real credit limit, that is, a limit set by an indifferent party which is binding. When congress runs into the "debt ceiling", as they will later this month, they simply raise it and issue more treasury bills (bonds). At this point two things might happen - First: those bonds sell out to all the countries, individuals and 401k's and the government has outside cash which they have no serious intention of ever really paying back; secondly: those investors may be reluctant to buy, in which case the Central Bank simply "buys" the bonds with brand new, made up money. This is why our admitted debt (bond obligations) just reached $20 trillion (that's a little over $165,000 per taxpayer).
In addition to no credit limit and the ability to print money, the third major difference is: the spender (gov) isn't on the hook to pay back the loan, they signed our collective names to the debt, it's ours! Our tax payers really do owe the $165,000, individually.
Here is where the public debt is exactly like an individual's debt: It must be paid back, otherwise it isn't a debt, but simply printed money. Remember those investors? They want their money back, with interest. Are we ready to invest more into the will-o-wisp called "healthcare" when we are already so deeply in the red? It gets worse. With a fiat currency (paper dollars) even the money is an I.O.U., because it has no inherent value. So added to the $20 trillion is every dollar which the Fed has issued and is held anywhere as savings and nobody knows how much that is.
This will play out badly whether we get healthcare or not. Soon, the rest of the world is going to tire of this scam in our favor and will demand much more actual stuff for our dollars and they will find other mediums with which to trade with each other. In other words, they will hold us to account and our standard of living will plummet, all because of an insupportable debt we ran up in a period of peace, for our own selfish interests.
Finally, it is rank immorality to borrow without intention to pay back. It is a crime against our children to sign their names to a debt, for which we benefited.
We must stop the borrowing now and as a nation who respects all people, resolve ourselves to paying it back. Let us dissolve Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and all the rest, keep the payroll deductions and use that to honor our debts and to show the world that the honor of the United States is as good as gold.