National Debt Missing from Trump’s SOTU

National Debt Missing from Trump’s SOTU
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

I dutifully watched Donald Trump deliver his State of the Union speech on January 30. The president did a fine job expressing his thoughts about what his leadership had accomplished during his first year, and what he would like to accomplish in the immediate future.

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.

I liked all the introductions of heroes large and small. The female helicopter pilot who rescued many, the Forest Service officer whose bravery saved lives, and Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) whose successful recovery from being shot at a baseball field last year was very good news. There were more of these special introductions of remarkable individuals, and each was a good break in what can be termed a tedious bit of oratorical excess.

During another departure from governmental matters, Mr. Trump dwelled briefly on the conduct of good Americans when saluting the flag, and when they “stand for the National Anthem.” Without doubt, he used the opportunity to condemn – without naming any – professional football players who have made a habit of kneeling rather than standing during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” What he said was welcomed by supporters but it didn’t address the nation’s biggest problem.

What is that “biggest problem?” I found the speech terribly disappointing in that the President chose to ignore the enormous national debt, now at $20.6 trillion. He avoided the topic while announcing his intention to spend additional billions for infrastructure, the military, the fight against opioids, continued foreign aid, and more. He delighted in noting that his prodding led Congress to approve a new tax measure that would have the government’s receipts shrink by $1.5 trillion. Where the government’s funds will come from to make up this shortfall, and previously accumulated indebtedness, wasn’t mentioned.

Six years ago, Admiral Mike Mullen who had been Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff summarized this very real problem as it existed six years ago. He stated: “A nation with our current levels of unsustainable debt cannot hope to sustain for very long its superiority from a military perspective, or its influence in world affairs.” Correct! But that was six years ago and the problem has only worsened.

It would be easy to produce a list of scary figures about the debt currently endangering our nation’s very existence. I’ll present only one: U.S. debt held by foreign countries totals $6.4 trillion, one trillion of which is held by Comunist China. Does the United States still possess any clout to deal with China’s clear intention to expand its influence worldwide? Our leaders can pontificate all they want about military might, but reckless spending has produced a situation where China holds more cards in the potentially deadly game of international politics.

The Democrats chose Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) to offer a rebuttal to President Trump’s speech. In effect, Kennedy told his audience, including large numbers of television viewers, that he would spend even more federal dollars. And he, too, never mentioned the threat posed by indebtedness. As for working together with members of the “other party,” he mentioned a sign held up by one of the marchers cheering the Democratic agenda. It said, “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.” So much for working together with Republicans. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies remarked, about the Trump speech, “The Democrats are going to be even less disposed to do anything the President suggests, even if it’s in their interest.”

The share of the enormous debt per American is $63,000; per each American family $170,000. Our nation’s partners in crime, the Federal Reserve and the federal government, allow more dollars to be created out of thin air. Those freshly made dollars derive their worth by stealing the value of all existing dollars. That why prices go up for food, rent, fuel, and everything else. Not only is debt robbing our nation’s ability to act in its own interests; it is subjecting all Americans to domination by our central government.

Ignoring the consequences of national indebtedness isn’t good leadership. Refusing to tell the American people they are being victimized by it is unconscionable.

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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.

4 Comments on “National Debt Missing from Trump’s SOTU”

  1. peddiebill says:

    I agree about the ignoring of debt (and suggest any newbies might like to Google USA debt clock). However did you also notice the President introduce that jaw dropping proposal to get the Congress to broker a deal with the States and the major companies to cobble together a 1.5 trillion dollar package to fund infra-structure. Wasn’t this the amount returned to tax payers via Mr Trump’s much vaunted tax reform which would otherwise have produced a 1.5 trillion dollar additional hole in the economy. Give the tax payers back 1.5 Trillion dollars – be applauded for doing so – then ask for it back via the back door …then accept the applause for so doing…. strange!!!! If I give a needy person $1 – that is nice …then ask for it back …not quite so nice. If I give a rich person a dollar then ask for it back from the next person passing by, tell me again why I should be congratulated.


  2. Frank M Pelteson says:

    The speech also omitted Getting US out! of the United Nations. In fact, it was an exercise in demagoguery that was on a par with Hitler’s addresses to the German people, except in American terms. Its success is measured in having even some under-informed Birchers feel cheered up by it.


  3. A bit off topic. Will President Trump now go down the typical Republican trail? For instance, the whole Nunes memo discussion, which is really about the Deep State, is being described as a battle between Republicans and Democrats. Isn’t this typical dialectic? The suggestion is that the solution to the Deep State problem is that the Republicans are right and the Democrats are wrong. So now that the Republicans can declare victory on this issue, we no longer have a Deep State problem.


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