But back to Sen. Bunning's point, a point made by Democrats when they invoke "pay-go," by which they mean new spending must be paid for (but not old spending), either with tax increases or spending cuts, which never seems to quite work out. The best we can hope from politicians is for them to cut rates on spending increases. Even that is criticized when Republicans try it. "What about the children?" is the predictable and phony lament.
Our financial woes become clear when today's total U.S. debt is compared with total debt during the Great Depression. Patrice Hill writes, "As a result of record U.S. government borrowing, total debt in the United States has soared to an all-time high of 370 percent of yearly economic output, far exceeding its peak of 300 percent during the Great Depression."
"We were neck deep in the big muddy," sang Pete Seeger about the Vietnam War, "and the big fool said to push on." The Obama-Reid-Pelosi wing doesn't care how high the water or how deep the mud. They're pushing on toward more debt and greater dependence on government. When Sen. Bunning says we can't, or we'll sink, he is vilified. Those who wrongly told us we could ford this river of debt -- Democrats and Republicans -- should be the ones taking heat. Ultimately, though, too many of us got ourselves into the muck because we believed the advertisers and marketers -- and politicians -- confusing real needs with wants.
The more we come to rely on government, the fewer freedoms we will enjoy. Government will start dictating what we can own, eat and drive, how much of our money they will let us keep, how we run our businesses, how many -- if any -- guns we can own, and what we may and may not say. Oh, wait! They are already doing that.
To preserve freedom we must fight for it. Bondage comes when we refuse to fight and are satisfied with the king's largesse. That foul odor coming from Washington is the frog in the kettle coming to a boil.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.