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Hostages to Debt

The hot new talking point among Democrats is that conservatives who resist Obama’s demands are “hostage takers.”  The President himself used the term in his brief press conference this morning.  Media allies dutifully repeated the phrase like a string of robot parrots sparking to life in an aging Disney World attraction.

A weird editorial from William Yeomans at Politico takes it one step further:

It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House “hostage takers.” But they have now become full-blown terrorists.

They have joined the villains of American history who have been sufficiently craven to inflict massive harm on innocent victims to achieve their political goals. A strong America has always stood firm in the face of terrorism. That tradition is in jeopardy, as Congress and President Barack Obama careen toward an uncertain outcome in the tea party- manufactured debt crisis.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: when the other side is resorting to despicable nonsense like this, you know you’re on the right side.

Are you really sure you want to drag out the “hostage” rhetoric, liberals?  Because it seems to me the people being held against their will are the ones who have to pay Obama’s bills, and many of them are small children.

They’re the ones who will grow into a world of a “baseline” featuring $4 trillion federal budgets with $2 trillion deficits.  They’re the ones being told that despite hundreds of billions in “job-creating” stimulus, which was supposed to produce “shovel ready” jobs, 16% real unemployment is the new normal. 

The people lined up against the wall in handcuffs and blindfolds are the ones trying to open or expand a business.  The number of things they are not allowed to do, under threat of severe penalty, is growing exponentially. 

American citizens are supposed to exercise control over their government, but instead we are angrily informed that we absolutely cannot require it to relinquish power or grow smaller.  Just think of all the public employees who would lose their jobs!  What about the people who depend on those vast and expensive government programs for their livelihoods? 

Obama has constantly, incessantly made explicit threats to various segments of the American public throughout the debt ceiling debate.  He’s threatened Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and U.S. bond holders.  Today he threatened the “thousands of businesses” who have signed contracts with the government.  Remind me again who makes the threats in a hostage relationship: the prisoner or the captor?

Obama has also made a point of threatening not to pay America’s financial obligations, if he’s not allowed to run up more debt.  It costs a lot of money to service the $14 trillion national debt he wants to make even higher.  In 2010, the federal government paid $414 billion in interest.  That works out to about $1300 for every man, woman, and child in the country. 

In what sense are we not “hostages” to that mountain of debt?  How much additional economic freedom will we lose when those interest payments double in size over the next ten years, as Obama demands vast amounts of new debt – the very thing we have been explicitly told will ruin our national credit rating, and raise the interest rates we’re paying?

Indenture is captivity.  The more we owe, the less money we have available to exercise our freedom.  Not only are the spending addicts holding the rest of America hostage, they’ve got us chained to a ticking bomb of entitlements, a dollar in serious jeopardy of losing its global stature, and the looming possibility that we just won’t be able to sell our debt any more. 

When that happens, it will happen fast, and the result will be an economic catastrophe unlike anything the world has ever seen.  We’ve spent a lot of money bailing out other countries.  There is no one wealthy enough to rescue us.  It remains to be seen if we have the will to escape on our own.

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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