A Letter To Congress

Tyler Durden's picture

from reader T. Willerson

Letter to congress

Dear Congressman:

It’s here:  Your moment at the plate.   You’ve whiffed more than a few … and, yes, we’re counting.  But you’ve been gifted another at-bat, and the President’s tired.  Seventh inning stuff is coming out of his teleprompter, and this full-count fastball will be straight, level, and slow.  You won’t see another one like this for five years.

An embattled first term president is faced with an outcome that he must, at all costs, prevent, and he’s done very little ground work ahead of it.  He is about to become the first President in American history to preside over a default on the national debt, unless you vote to let him raise the limit on the financial burden we leave our children.  He would ultimately be crazy to deny any reasonable option, absolutely anything, rather than live with the outcome of his refusal.  Politically speaking, he’s whispered a prayer to the Greek God of Imprudence and Fiscal Insanity, raised a one-finger salute to the nation’s savers through the sunroof of a stolen golden Beemer, and revved it toward the draw-bridge that you were elected to control.

Graphic by John Lohman

America’s debt has been moving straight up since the early 1980s.  In the beginning it was ok.  Debt is not, in itself, a bad thing, and a reasonable amount of leverage on the balance sheet can be positive for any entity, including the United States.  But we’re well past that threshold.  Researchers Reinhart and Rogoff, in their exhaustive recent work, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, show that, historically, when debt in an economy gets above .9x, or 90% of GDP, the interest burden creates a negative cycle from which nations struggle to recover.  If we include the unfunded liabilities we’ve committed to in order to support programs like Medicare and Social Security, the United States of America’s financial obligations represent 8.7x, or 871% of GDP, almost 10x the amount that Reinhart & Rogoff determined lead to ultimate economic failure.  In terms that are much easier to identify with, this comes to a debt of $1,386,340 for every family in the US!  When you consider the average family’s ability to pay, it all begins to rhyme with those 2007 no - doc mortgages, doesn’t it?    In fact, if the US was a corporation, we’d be in bankruptcy proceedings and you, kind sir, would be holding a pink slip, a legal summons, and a scrap of paper with Dick Fuld’s cell phone number on it for advice on staying out of jail – because the truth is that he is no more guilty than you, and you no less than him, and we can stop kidding ourselves whenever you’re ready.

But, politically, you ask… what can really be done?  After all it’s always the other guy.  You know, that, sniff - sniff…, mean congresswoman from a lunatic district who disagrees.  It’s her fault.  She doesn’t understand math.  And she’s just intractable.  Intractable!  She believes that America’s social contract (I can’t find that in the constitution… ) is more important than the critically important task of shooting Tomahawk missiles at other parents’ kids to support… uhhm… different kids that we don’t really know, in a war that’s only sort of, well... a war.  I mean, the nerve of that… woman.  And there are others like her.  And there’s an election coming up every two years.  A bigger one every four.  Wait… what in God’s name did that lunatic McCain just say?  … Anyway, progress is too much to expect, and after a couple years of trying, you just… roll with the punches… do what you can…  Right?

When it’s time for that morning look in the mirror, you tell yourself it’s harder than you thought.  Too much of it seems bigger than the promises you made to get there.  In the face of disagreement, in the thrall of tight votes and divided leadership, you simply can’t get it done the way you’d hoped.  So you parse the polls, you chase the cameras, you fondle your constituents, and you wonder what the view looks like from the upper chamber.  You ultimately retire to the lobbying job, with one hell of a pension, and live in a way that you despised before you realized what two kids in college, vacations in Europe, and a wife with a strappy Jimmy Choo habit would cost.  You’ve kicked the proverbial can down the road, and maybe you tell yourself that it’s all our political system will allow.  And so it goes.

Or you find your moment - that point of crisis when rare circumstances put the bat in your hand, and you have the leverage to make a change - the kind of change that’s identified by far more than a focus-grouped slogan; the kind that alters the course of history.  You can do it by simply standing firmly for the principles upon which you were elected.

To blame you for catastrophe, legislators first have to explain the rejection of an acceptable alternative.  Barack can load the teleprompter with the righteous indignation of his Father’s Dreams and level each syllable with a stage actor’s grace.  The senate can whine and Harry Reid will triangulate desperately toward that elusive line between patriotism and pandering, sensitivity and simpering, missing every second and third step along the way.    You’ll have to hold through the deluge because the bully pulpit wins the news cycle, but an administration bears the blame.  Deflecting reporters is a privilege of the political class, but a President is beholden to history.

Certainly you could play for a single; just get a runner on base and hope like hell that the relief pitcher isn’t as strong as he’s been for the last ten years.  You could pick and pry and get just enough to say you won; aim for destabilization in the next election, and keep looking for your next shot.  You could bunt something unintelligible and complicated enough to confuse the anchorman and the AARP, pick the flowers from the fertilizer, and beseechingly extend the mess into the camera lens.  You could head for the primrose path with a pension and the lobbying job, and wonder, in weak moments, what your grandparents would say about abdication of duty.

Or you could rise to the challenge and do something meaningful - something that would answer that cynical question, the one that is on the lips of a generation raised to mute sound bites and soapboxes with the bored sweep of a pointer finger, but whose votes elected this President.  Their question: What does any of it really mean?

If not now… when?  Whether you win the next election or not…whether the next news cycle gives you a boost or not….  Will you get this chance again?  The President is in a bind that no speech, no dog-wagging war, no bill, and no mindless populism can change.   His back is against the 2012 wall and this time the outcome is binary.  He knows it.  He absolutely has to have you help him raise the debt limit.

This is legacy stuff, and it doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you claim, so keep it simple.  Leave out the social invasions.  Stay out of bathrooms, bedrooms, churches, and doctor’s offices.  Cancel the earmarks and the garbage.  Skip the things that sound good but won’t work.  Shoot straight and don’t strut.  Do it early.  Do it clearly and forcefully, but respectfully, and explain it with logic that doesn’t require lies.  Deliver it in a way that leaves no doubt about your goals, your intent, or your resolve, and leave the cigars at home.  Let your most aesthetic, most intelligent, most media-savvy person front it, and limit the bill to one page.

Send the President a bill that says Federal debt, in all forms and definitions, must be less than 60% of GDP by 2016, less than 50% by 2020, and less than 40% by 2024, or, in each of those years, a bi-partisan group will cut Federal Funding at the strategic, and line item level, until the goal is met.  Furthermore, debt must stay below the benchmark thereafter, short of a Declaration of War or National Emergency supported by a two thirds vote of both houses of congress.  And in the case of temporary exception, anything over the maximum must receive the same two-thirds vote each year or immediately go back to the limit via the same committee.

Barack will not like this choice, and he will thrash and froth.  He’ll reload the teleprompter again and again in fiery waves of verbal and emotive genius that will make you question everything you believe, and, ultimately, your congressional reason d’être.  But, in the end, a solution he hates will be better than having his name on the first and only default in the history of the United States.

So plant your feet and point your finger at the bleachers.  Tell the President that you don’t intend to change a word because a default now is no different than a default later, and you’d rather see him get the credit.  Give him a clear choice and a good look at the filthy cesspool that lies in wait on the other side of the decision, and let him decide whether to court disaster.  Then take him to the wall.

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Dr. No's picture

but...but...my congressman is ron paul!  a tax payers best friend....woot!

wisefool's picture

I did not junk you. But if I did, I would have spent the time to expain why as follows:

[ ] I dont like you

[ ] I am sorry

[ ] He does not like you either.

[ ] This little trilion is not worth your time.

[ ] you'll be sorry

[ ] somebody will take you congressional seat to a pawn shop and sell it for $2k FRNs. Meanwhile a dude flew in a resuce helecopter and bagged a cross eyed queen.

-Warren buffet (a.k.a wisefool)

wisefool's picture

I junked you, and here is why. You have NO IDEA what it takes to make a silver coin ring. NO IDEA.

Highrev's picture

So plant your feet and point your finger at the bleachers.

That's an America from a time gone by that won't be coming back even in the movies (mainly because I'll bet that more than 80% of Americans don't even know what he's referring to with that statement, and, obviously, that mentality just won't sell anymore - real greatness in America died long ago).

Forget it my friends. DEFAULT IS AMERICA'S FUTURE JUST AS SURE AS OBAMA IS ITS PRESIDENT. (And it won't end there - default will only be the beginning.)

Start getting out while you can.


ibjamming's picture

How true...we're nothing but spoiled, politically correct little girls...with the same sense of entitlement.


Go where?  Seriously...if America falls, everywhere is going to really suck.  My hope is all the poor and lazy go quickly and in a few months we can get on with things.  Leave the cities for sure...but the country?  Again...to where?

PD Quig's picture

You're joking, right? The poor and lazy are going nowhere. They are going to wait until somebody comes along to take care of them again. When it doesn't happen, they are going to turn into roving gangs of marauders. There won't be enough bullets to take them out. No. Best head for the exits to where the poor are already used to their condition.

ibjamming's picture

Shit...by the time they get to where I live...they'll be really thinned out.  No, I don't see roving bands...I see "Escape from NY" with barracades and armed guards keeping them contained.  They're already animals...they'll really live like one now.


I'm rural...farming and livestock all around.  We'll barter and hopefully they'll take some junk silver.  I've got 7 acres myself.  When "the city folk" all die of starvation, we'll begin anew.


Don't forget...ALL foreign countries get aid.  Even those poor will get poorer.  I'd rather stay here and get them all out quickly.  Our poor won't last the month without handouts...you know it.


Actually, I think WW III is coming...the "war for oil".  The west is going to take back all those lands they gave away.  We've been paying them too much for too long.  We're re-negging the contract.  We're doing it smartly...we're letting the "common man" take over the government and either reinstalling our own again, of we'll strike when all the ME countries have weak new governments.  Once we have the oil fields back...it's back to almost free energy and the prosperity it enables.  You watch...  I'd hate to be a Muzzy right now.  The set ups are done, Congressional hearing about fundamentalist Islam...cries of "The Communist Menace"...eh?  Europe bitching how they're taking over...like the Jews were talked of before WWII.  It's coming...by the end of the year?  A swift takeover and unlimited oil would do wonders for the current administration...guaranteed reelection.  Great for a socialist state too with oil money coming in.  "Free" energy does wonders for an economy...it allows almost unlimited possibilities.

In Fed We Trust's picture

Give me my money, my guns and my freeddom!

You keep the fucking CHANGE.


Dapper Dan's picture

Who are you and where do you come from?

Why don't you have more junks?


Texas Gunslinger's picture

I enter into this devil's den from the Kingdom of God, fully defended by the blood of Christ and his everlasting love, guidance and protection.  

NOTHING can deter me!


At some point in the life of an evangelical, he finds himself cornered by the devil's minions. This is my test, and I shall not fear, nor shall I waver!! This is my test before the Rapture begins!! My coin dealer may have sent me to this site, but the Lord brought me here for a reason.  


Quixotic_Not's picture

Jesus, you're delusional...

Go ahead and rapture yourself over to Ticker Forum, there's plenty of evangelical cultists over there, I'm sure you'll fit right in  ;-)


Texas Gunslinger's picture

I don't know what that means, but if you are typing/speaking in tongues, be NOT afraid.  This is the Lord passing through you.  


Spastica Rex's picture

The persona is so obvious it loses all possible entertainment value.


(Directed at parent, not you, Bee)

Texas Gunslinger's picture

I'M NOT A TROLL. It makes no sense to be a religious troll on a precious metals site!

You simply don't understand the power of Christianity.  Spreading the word of Christ is not a two hour job, one day a week.  

For those who are truly God's children it is a 365/24/7 job.   

Spastica Rex's picture

That was a little better.



TrueSkeptic's picture
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
breezer1's picture

ts, my sentiments exactly. most people are shocked when they find out i am quite religous. a Christian. however when i hear someone else trying to save me i have only one question. what are they after? money? my ass? my vote? 

my little voice inside is my conscience and my body is my church. anyone preaching from the land of benny hind can't possibly be anything but a nut job. 

topcallingtroll's picture

NO he is not a troll.

This man is a nutbag and really stupid too.


Please go away.  even the real trolls hate you now.

Your religious nuttery was funny once.  Now it is just awful.

topcallingtroll's picture

Oh Texas gunslinger.  You and Jebus can both suck on my cock.

I am gonna Jizz on jebus's chin.  How do you like that?

StychoKiller's picture

So sorry, but now you've revealed yourself to be either:

a.  Some sort of parody, or

b.  A rabid, delusional, child!

Clancy's picture

If you're serious about religion you should join a serious religion.  Evangelicalism is the daytime TV of Christianities.

55 men's picture

I first felt kinda bad for you at the start but then you had that CEO comment and than this. I think you need to settle down a little.

vxpatel's picture

whoa...i feel sorry for you, your father must have been nonexistent.

Note to self's picture

So how come God is torching the shit out of Texas these days?

RicardoM from Temecula CA's picture

Tex, you ought to know better by now. All you have to do is quote Bible scripture to waken all the demons. Shame on you. Let them all sleep.

And...this ain't just a precious metal site. More like a counter revolution, anti-MSM (Main Stream Media) place they don't want to cite.


HumbleOpinion's picture

Thanks, Texas Gunslinger. I am here on ZH too and it is my best source for a daily dose of truth about the happenings in our world. God bless us all.

blunderdog's picture

He is not real.  Plz ignore. 


McPoopypants's picture

God, I hope he IS real.

Also, ZH is a precious metal site now? fuuuu.....

Michael's picture

Your at the wrong site pal. If your looking for Jew/Israeli Ass Licking Central, then take a hike over to Huffington Post.

Moe Howard's picture

He's an autobot that got pointed at the wrong url.

Renfield's picture


I have no opinion on who Americans pick to lead their country and I'm not religious, but I remember this: "Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world'." So there will never be a spiritually-led (Christian?) 'kingdom' (nation) - spirituality isn't political.

Today this is not about any one country, or any one religion - it's about an economic global group that pulls the strings of leadership in your country, mine, and in the Muslim middle east.

Religious differences large and small will continue to divide people until the end of time. But while that is happening, a global group of elites are busy robbing all of us blind - right now - Christians Muslims Buddhists and atheists. Today, this is about guarding your and your children's wealth, your future, from them while they want you distracted.

I agree that religion and spirituality are important for each individual, but groups of destitute peasants (without wealth and without power) fighting about their religious convictions is exactly what the global elite want.

augie's picture

+ 9x10^infinity

@Tex, u should read the gospel of thomas or the gospel of judas. Might give you pause for thought and consider which "god" you are claiming to be in service of.. that is of course, if you "have ears to hear." Given the nature of your posts, it would seem you have your ears blocked with blasphemous bullshit.

RicardoM from Temecula CA's picture


Religion is very important. It is a summation of our value and belief system, which is all balled up into our tiny little spirits.

No, it's not just about an economic global group that pulls the strings of leadership wherever they may be. I'm not denying they don't exist. They have always existed, even back to the ancient Pharoahs and Chinese Dynasties.

But, they all had a value and belief system all wrapped up into a tiny little spirit. It is the values and belief systems of those individuals that are the issue...which even ties into their religious beliefs. (Atheism or agnostisism are religions, too.) The problem with no organized religious philosophy is that the conscience is the only guide and limit to one's actions. (Even Marx sought to organize his philosophy into a writing. It was his religion.) There is no limit to what a conscience may do.

RicardoM from Temecula CA's picture


Religion is very important. It is a summation of our value and belief system, which is all balled up into our tiny little spirits.

No, it's not just about an economic global group that pulls the strings of leadership wherever they may be. I'm not denying they don't exist. They have always existed, even back to the ancient Pharoahs and Chinese Dynasties.

But, they all had a value and belief system all wrapped up into a tiny little spirit. It is the values and belief systems of those individuals that are the issue...which even ties into their religious beliefs. (Atheism or agnostisism are religions, too.) The problem with no organized religious philosophy is that the conscience is the only guide and limit to one's actions. (Even Marx sought to organize his philosophy into a writing. It was his religion.) There is no limit to what a conscience may do.

augie's picture

So you seek to "alienate" responsibility from your conscience in favor of a prescribed belief doctrine? No disrespect intended as I believe we are on the same team regarding this issue, however I would simply suggest that all one really has in this life is ones conscious and giving that up in favor of a ideological system is like going to the grocery store to buy food instead of planting and harvesting for yourself. By that example i simply mean there is something lost in organized religion that those who follow blindly without consulting their conscience (or as i like to think of it their heart) miss something deeper.

Quixotic_Not's picture

I know that some of you won't like this, but it needs to be said:  we need to return our country to its Christian roots.

Uh...so sorry Charlie, that ship sailed several generations ago - In fact, the country was ESTABLISHED under NATURAL LAW, not the bible.

We did have a culture/society underpinned by Christian ethics & morals for a time...

God made men; Samuel Colt made them equal; and the (D) & (R) Free Shit Empire™ made them all criminals.

The GOPhers & DemonRATs have swilled at the tit of corruption & debauchery since long before we both were born; The Greatest Generation was the last chance to stop this global tyranny we now face, but alas they were in love with FDR and .GOV Issued (GI) uniforms...

We still have the illusion of liberty & prosperity, but for how long?...

P.S. I don't vote for Republicans -OR- Democrats, because I'm an AMERICAN and fully understand what this country was meant to be:

The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions ~ John Locke 1690

Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience. ~ John Locke 1690

Wanna be an American?

dust to dust's picture

 Mr. John Locke. A history lesson. An influence in OUR forefathers libertarian foresight. To date Mr. Ron Paul. The time is now for fiscal responsibility.

Crisismode's picture

But I thought Ron Paul was a happily-married man, and was not dating any more . . .?

contagiousNY's picture

I read ur comments yesterday- after you being mercilessly excoriated for spouting religiobabble that you would not bring up religion on this site? and other kinder ZHer's took u at ur word and let up on you. SO YOU LIED?!!! you now deserve every bit of the thrashing, simpering idjit.

KinorSensase's picture

Well TG, you've picked an interesting jihad.  Please recall Jesus and the money changers, and consider the sword instead of the pen.  I'd say there's about enough of you God-pushers to cancel out pretty well the forces of the Empire.  Once you 2 are done with each other, the rest of us will just kind of do our thing.

chalcedonite's picture

I did not junk you but I think you're doctrine is a bit off.  

"If this country had its heart with the Lord, there would be no violence, no subprime disasters, no ponzis, no theft and deception, no adultery, ..."

Because man's will is to always choose evil... (read Luther's: Bondage of the Will) Crime will always be there until... But Christ came to renew the covenant... like on Sinai he gave His laws again on the Sermon on the Mount.  These laws are to establish justice (righteousness) with His triune gracious help!  His WILL be done.  

St. Augustine knew that when man turns to their own form of justice, as in the Roman empire, then it is as naught.  A land without justice is a band of robbers (a criminal syndicate).

"we need to return our country to its Christian roots."   roots? no.  The root of Jesse? yes.  That ROOT is our Triune God in all His fullness sanctifying throughout creation, the Sacraments, and in every word that proceeds from His mouth.

Venite, exultemus Domino.

O COME, let us sing unto the LORD; * let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; * and show ourselves glad in him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God; * and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are all the corners of the earth; * and the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it; * and his hands prepared the dry land.
O come, let us worship and fall down, * and kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For he is the Lord our God; * and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness; * let the whole earth stand in awe of him.
For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth; * and with righteousness to judge the world, and the peoples with his truth.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Quixotic_Not's picture

Sending a letter to the (D) & (R) Free Shit Empire™ is like winning the Special Olympics -- You may feel better about yourself, but the game is still retarded...

The only vote that means shit in 2011, is voting with your capital and buying PMs!

No other actions will send the message...