Tom Knapp, Darryl Perry, Paulie (and you?): ‘Not my debt’

Original article by Tom Knapp:

The Senate left an extra present under your tree …

… and it really didn’t attract much notice with all the fanfare surrounding the vote on Cannibal Care, which passed and is now on its way to conference to tussle out the differences between the House and Senate versions.

Your second gift? The Senate voted to raise the “debt ceiling,” i.e. to give itself the authority to borrow another $290 billion and forward the repayment demands to you. That’s on top of the $12.x trillion in previously existing debt they’re already trying to stick you with. Here’s a letter I sent to “my” congresscritters after the House passed the measure last week (it’s also available, with surrounding commentary, in my C4SS column for December 19th):

Dear Senator McCaskill,

I notice that the US House yesterday approved a $290 billion increase in the government’s “debt ceiling,” raising it from $12.1 trillion to $12.4 trillion.

Presumably the Senate will take up similar legislation in the near future.

I am not writing to yourself, Senator Bond and Representative Clay in order to urge any particular vote or action on the matter, but rather just to inform you that I’m not responsible for, nor do I intend to pay off, your debts.

I’ll be publishing this letter in one or more public spaces so that your creditors will be aware of this fact. If they’re going to loan money to the three of you and your 532 colleagues in the House and Senate, they may want to run credit checks first. Just so long as we’re crystal clear on the fact that I won’t be co-signing for you, the rest is between you and them.

Best regards,
Thomas L. Knapp

Darryl Perry agrees.

Consider this my notice, too.

Paul Frankel
At Large
Libertarian Party of Alabama

Since comments are a public place, you can publish your notice here in the comments, if you wish. If you have a blog, letter to the editor, or other place where you publish it, please let us know in the comments as well.

3 thoughts on “Tom Knapp, Darryl Perry, Paulie (and you?): ‘Not my debt’

  1. Mik Robertson

    Apparently this will only resolve the debt issue for a short time. Congress also adopted legislation to give Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a blank check for bailout funds. They must have been working especially hard over the holiday. Perhaps they deserve a pay raise so they have a salary they can live on, along with good health care coverage.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp


    Yes, it is a “stopgap.” Most increases in the debt ceiling are.

    The politicians like to portray each debt ceiling increase as an “emergency measure, while we work on getting the fiscal situation under control.” Followed, of course, every few months by another such “emergency measure, while we …”

    I think that it was Clausewitz who pointed out that in war, “the important things are simple, but the simple things are hard.”

    That maxim is fully applicable to government budgets. Solving “the deficit problem” and “the debt problem” is simple: All Congress has to do is not spend any more money than it takes in.

    That’s not complicated, but it is hard, because each and every spending measure has its advocates who will scream bloody murder if “their” program doesn’t get unlimited money, while few spending measures have opponents who are as dedicated to opposing the expenditures as the supporters are to getting them.

    A year or so ago, Brian Holtz thought he’d have a laugh at my expense when I suggested that the “national debt” would never be paid off, informing me that nobody “serious” would suggest such a thing. Only a year or so later, the “mainstream” is openly mocking the idea that the debt will be paid. The only real question left is how the default will be structured and handled.

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