Worrisome National Debt: What We Need To Do

Worrisome National Debt
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Close to 50 years ago, a fairly widespread put-down of worries about the national debt included the ridiculous claim that federal indebtedness was nothing to worry about because “we owe it to ourselves.” Anyone trying to get his portion would find how ridiculous that claim was. And 50 years ago, the national debt was less than five percent of the astronomical total that has been reached today.

The United States has become the greatest debtor nation in all history. This is a situation that ought to be front-page news every day – but it isn’t (Photo from Flickr by Chris Potter www.ccPixs.com, CC BY 2.0).

At the end of the first week in May 2017, the admitted national debt stood at $19.9 trillion. That’s $19,900,000,000,000, an amount hard even to imagine. Before the current month passes into history, the $20 trillion plateau will be reached. Can a nation spend itself into extinction? The answer is yes. And our nation is doing exactly that. Let’s look at some figures.

When the U.S. government spends more than it takes in, it borrows. It might seem a bit unbelievable, but one of the two greatest holders of U.S. government debt is Communist China. The Beijing regime and Japan each hold more than $1 trillion in IOUs signed by U.S. officials. This means that our government is in hock to China, not only for the amount the Chinese Reds provided, but also for interest on the trillion dollars they have provided.

China happens to be a country whose leaders have declared America to be an enemy they seek to destroy. Beyond what is sent to China annually, interest payments go to Japan, Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, and numerous other countries holding U.S. bonds. And, of course, many American citizens have loaned money to the government, and they have to be paid interest as well.

Interest payments to other countries – and to any private individual who holds a U.S. bond – total $442 billion per year. That’s not too far from the current annual deficit. If there were no need to send interest payments to existing creditors, Congress and the president might be able to balance the budget. But interest has to be paid.

The situation described above isn’t the whole story. The $19.9 trillion admitted indebtedness happens to be a grossly incomplete amount because unfunded future obligations aren’t considered. The two largest and unfunded federal programs are Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. These two currently spend more that $2 trillion per year and the money to keep them going has to be borrowed. The noose around our country’s neck is getting tighter every day.

The United States has become the greatest debtor nation in all history. This is a situation that ought to be front-page news every day – but it isn’t. It ought to be the lead item on the daily newscasts on television and radio – but it isn’t. It ought to be a topic for serious examination in economics classes at colleges and even high schools – but it isn’t.

The accumulated national debt of the United States arrived at the $1 trillion figure during the Reagan administration. Each succeeding president (Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama) has presided over steadily worsening increases. Annual deficit spending and borrowing to cover it reached new highs during the Obama years. The George W. Bush years weren’t much better.

Just a brief glimpse at all of this red ink is frightening. So, the question arises: What to do about it? How about terminating foreign aid? America, drowning in debt, actually gives away money. How about getting the federal government out of education, energy, medical care, and other areas where it has no constitutional authorization to be involved? How about putting an end to the U.S. military being the policeman of the world?

In other words, how about a real change at the top that would see our leaders standing solidly behind their oath to abide by the Constitution? If they would honor their oath, deficit spending would cease, paying off creditors would begin, and America would soon cease being in hock to other nations – especially to any that are sworn enemies.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Beauty Queen Speaks Out

Beauty Queen Speaks Out
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Anastasia Lin is a Canadian by choice though Chinese by birth. After relocating to Canada as a teen, she has been the entrant for her adopted country in the annual Miss World contest during recent years. Her outspoken criticism of China’s human rights abuses has drawn sharp criticism from Chinese sponsors of the pageant and from the Chinese government, both of whom have sought to silence her. But the campaign to keep her quiet has made her more famous for being silenced than for being pretty.

Anastasia Lin speaks at the National Press Club (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

Anastasia Lin speaks at the National Press Club (photo by Lisa Fan (Email) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

As Canada’s entrant to the pageant in 2015, she was prevented from attending the event held in the Chinese city of Sanya. But she continued to speak out about abuses, especially the harvesting of vital organs taken from Chinese critics of the Beijing regime. Noting that China doesn’t have a voluntary transplant program, she rightly concludes that “someone has to die. It’s not like the organs grow on plants.” She considers the Chinese process an exercise in Barbarism.

An actress and classical pianist, she also starred in a movie that dramatizes the grizzly transplant practice. Also a member of China’s semi-religious Falun Gong movement, she knows Chinese officials consider it “an evil cult” and has banned it. So her backing of that sect has additionally angered the Communist government. In 2015, Miss Lin sought to travel to Sanya to take her place in the competition, but she got as far as Hong Kong and was denied entry into the mainland.

The Miss World pageant has often been held in China. Though owned and managed by a British company, it receives financial backing from several Chinese companies. The 2016 event was held in a Washington D.C. suburb over this last weekend. Originally informed that she must keep quiet about her concerns, even within the United States, she has evidently been given a green light to speak to reporters and to publicize the film in which she stars.

But Miss Lin’s father, who is still living in China where he owns a medical supply company, is a new target of the Chinese authorities. Harassed by the government, he has lost numerous customers and faces bankruptcy. The Chinese government also refused him permission to travel to Washington to witness the 2016 pageant.

Miss Lin has asked, “Why is a powerful country like China so afraid of a beauty queen?“ Now able to speak freely to reporters, she comments: “Despite 60 years of censorship, [the Chinese] people don’t believe everything they hear on the news.” After appearing in the pageant, she told the Toronto Star, “My one goal was not the tiara. I just wanted to be on Chinese television … If they can see me on stage, they will know (I have not given up), so neither should they.”

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Chinese Leaders Alter One-Child Policy

Chinese Leaders Alter One-Child Policy
by JBS President John F. McManus

Much has been written about the totalitarian government ruling China. As examples of the horrors following acquisition of absolute power by a cadre of criminals, the nation’s brutal twists and turns over the past six decades regarding population should never be forgotten. The kind of power they illustrate should frighten any sensible individual.

China has an one-child policy (Photo from Flickr by Anja Disseldorp, some rights reserved).

The Chinese people fell under Communist control in 1949. Their new leader, the mass murdering Mao Zedong, initiated a reign of terror that saw government liquidate between 15 and 30 million Chinese people over the next ten years. Because he also wanted recruits for the People’s Liberation Army, Mao then encouraged families to produce more children who could, in time, beef up his army and boost the number of laborers. Having successfully eliminated the potential for internal uprisings, he encouraged younger Chinese to produce larger families for all of his needs. He even forbade abortion and outlawed using contraceptives. The population soared past one billion in three decades.

Mao died in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping soon inaugurated a new family policy. Emphasizing economic growth, the new Chinese leader initiated a cap on population. Each family was now allowed only one child although some exceptions were made if the firstborn turned out to be female. Couples had to obtain a permit to bring a child into the world. Those who accepted the mandate and produced only one son or daughter were frequently given preferred housing and other awards. Ruthless state jurisdiction enforced the one-child policy with forced abortion and infanticide. Estimates place the number of infant victims at 400,000. And sterilization became the fate of women caught with a second child.

Especially were female infants targeted by the one-child rule. Today, as many as 30 million young Chinese men face the real possibility of being unable to find a woman to marry. Some have actually gone to South Korea, kidnapped a female, and brought her back to China. Add to these outrages brought on by the totalitarian regime’s social engineering are China’s aging populace and shrinking labor pool.

Faced with these new difficulties, Chinese officials recently decided to allow families to have a second child. Not a third or more of course! Some China watchers mockingly wonder now if there will be fines for those who have only one child. Others wonder if childless couples will be jailed.

There is hardly any right more basic than marrying and building a family. China’s rulers throw a dark blanket over this right. Anyone claiming to be an advocate of freedom should have nothing to do with such totalitarian monsters – and that includes the leaders of our own government who regularly treat them with undeserved respect.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Prosecute the Nazis, But What About Communist Criminals?

Prosecute the Nazis, But What About Communist Criminals?
by JBS President John F. McManus

During the years 1942 to 1944, Oskar Groning served the Nazi regime at Auschwitz, the most notorious of Hitler’s numerous death camps. Assigned the task of seizing valuables from arriving prisoners, he did his job well. At age 94, however, Groning was convicted of “complicity” in the subsequent deaths of those prisoners, all of whom were themselves guilty of no crime whatsoever.

President Barack Obama meets with former leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in Gostinny Dvor, Russia, Tuesday, July 7, 2009 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, United States government work).

Groning never killed anyone. But his willingness to serve alongside those who did the killing was enough to bring him to justice. During his trial, he acknowledged the role he played at the Nazi camp and said, “I am truly sorry.” Sentenced to four years in prison, he will likely pass into eternity before serving those years.

The process of rounding up and punishing ex-Nazis who in any way and at any rank served at a Nazi death camp has been meticulously thorough. But it will soon end because most who served during World War II are now deceased, and death will soon have claimed all.

The crimes committed by the Nazi regime were real, painful, and a stain against humanity. Unfortunately, the Nazis were not the only terror regime that killed millions. Similar or worse atrocities were carried out by various Communist regimes. The lives of tens of millions were snuffed out in Communist China, Communist Soviet Union, and numerous Soviet satellite nations. However, none of the criminals who murdered these millions has faced trial and prosecution.

Instead, men such as Russia’s former leader Mikhail Gorbachev have been feted in the West, particularly in the United States. Gorbachev spent all of his adult life climbing into powerful leadership positions while government-created gulags were filled and millions were murdered. He is guilty of far worse crimes than many who served as minor functionaries in Nazi prison camps. The same can be said of Communist China’s leaders and those who presided over the many Soviet satellite nations. Each of those arch criminals maintained power through implementation of policies that resulted in indiscriminate terror and widespread murder for Poles, Estonians, Hungarian, East Germans, and those who lived in a dozen more captive nations. In each of those unhappy lands, Soviet-style horror reigned for decades after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The treatment accorded Oskar Groning and others like him is the polar opposite of what Communist murderers receive. Why? Part of the reason has to be that the Nazis lost their war and the Communists were never defeated. Instead, Russian and Chinese Communist “dignitaries” everyone knows to have been complicit in mass murder are now considered political equals who must be treated with respect, and even honored. At the very least, they should be shunned. But incredibly deficient leadership of our own nation has America begging the Chinese for loans and negotiating with Russia’s criminals as if they were totally innocent of any past crimes.

“Crime unpunished is crime rewarded,” contends a seemingly forgotten maxim. But history indicates that if crime remains unpunished or at least isn’t honored, it will occur again. Ignoring arch criminals is an intellectual crime, and many of today’s leaders are surely guilty of exactly that depravity.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.