I read a newspaper article documenting one of the many screw ups at ICE since its beginning 6 years ago. I emailed back & forth with a friend who had retired a year before. I had picked him up at his mother in law's house about 20 years ago & drove him to the Customs Office to pick up his G ride. He transferred from Charleston to Dallas/Fort Worth Customs Office of Investigations.
Yet yesterday I did not remember for even a second, that my "misery meter" had gone from high to "zero" on 8/3/2008. The United States Customs Service would have turned 200 years old this year but Congress decided to break it up and create a bastardized version under the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Customs and Border Protection has assumed the legacy and history of the Department of Treasury's Bureau of Customs. ICE is now the much maligned INS. Who wouldn't want to forget working at ICE?
A week ago, I turned 55. I reflected on the many changes & inventions that had taken place in my lifetime. I lived in south Georgia without air conditioning, a "dial" telephone, cell phones, calculators, computers, or "xerox" machines. Color television had not been invented and we only received 2 channels, CBS & NBC. My parents did not get a checking account until I was 13. Workers were paid in cash, and credit cards and ATM machines did not exist.
There were no "fast food" restaurants. The first "convenience store" , 7/11 opened at 7am & closed 11pm. Everything else closed by 6pm. Commercial Air Travel was in its infancy. The vast majority of people in the United States had never flown on an airplane. My grandfather died at age 78 in 1968 and he never flew on an airplane once in his life. I was 13 and would fly for the first time on an Delta Airlines turboprop later that year. "Youth Fare" cost much less than adult fare back then.
50 years ago the federal deficit was less than 1% of the GDP. Today the federal deficit is over 13% of the GDP and growing. The U.S. population today is slightly over 307 million. That is $38,000 in debt per citizen for a federal deficit of $1.8 trillion dollars. But who can get their arms around such a number? What exactly is a trillion dollars? Well, 1 trillion is a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros. $1,000,000,000,000.
The U.S. government spends more than the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Australia, China and Spain combined. If you laid one dollar bills end to end, you could make a chain that stretches from earth to the moon and back again 200 times before you ran out of dollar bills! One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.
By the way, planet earth is ONLY 4.5 billion years old. Seems like a tiny number compared to one trillion.
Yet as Obama and the Socialist Congress is pushing hard to pass costly legislation like single pay government health care, tax revenue is on a pace to drop 18%, the biggest decline since the Great Depression. Individual tax receipts are down 22%. Corporate tax receipts are down 57%. The last time the government's revenue was this weak was 1932, in the midst of the Depression.
William Gale, Director of the Tax Policy Center, "The numbers for 2009 are striking, head snapping. But what really matters is what happens next. If the economy doesn't recover soon, it doesn't matter what your social,economic and political agenda is. There's not going to be any revenue to pay for it."
Figures don't lie but liars figure. Welcome to the age of the ObamaNation.