I implore you to pass around this letter to your friends. Talk about it among you. Post it up on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. Discuss the fact that our government and your parents think you are going to pay over $180,000, and rising rapidly, so that us older folks can have our cake and eat it too…and then force you, the children of this nation, to cover our selfishness and outrageous conduct. I say to you in this open letter that it is your right to stand as American citizens, irrespective of your age who have not yet consented, and say in a loud, clear, singular voice: “I WILL NOT PAY!” Words: 2112
So says Karl Denninger (www.Market-Ticker.org) in edited excerpts from his article* entitled An Open Letter To Our Youth.
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Denninger goes on to say in further edited excerpts:[With the resolution of the so-called “Fiscal Cliff”] Congress has engaged in its latest version of fraud upon the public lying to America with flowery speeches about how our government has an obligation to come to the aid of those people in need, how unemployment must be extended and how the rich should “pay their fair share.” Our President then got on television in the middle of the night and pontificated about how we had once again been saved from economic calamity but that he would not “debate” whether Congress would pay the bills that it had already contracted for, referring to the debt ceiling which, incidentally, we exceeded two days prior.
If you have a checking account you know that if you overdraw it you will be fined by your bank by $30 or so for each offense, which can make that $5 Latte at Starbucks a $35 Latte in an instant. What President Obama is doing right now to avoid that is literally stealing the money in federal government employee retirement funds and replacing those funds with an IOU. It is exactly identical to your parents going into your piggy bank and taking all the money, replacing it with an IOU for the cash with which they then go to the bar and spend [it] on hookers and booze, hoping you don’t notice that the money is gone and that they can replace it before you decide you’d like to use it on something else like a movie, a dress, an iTunes card or some shoes.
America’s “formal” federal debt is over $16 trillion. That sounds like an impossible amount of money, but,…in fact, it amounts to $52,131 per person in this country, including you.
Those of you who are not yet 18 have voted for exactly zero of this debt, yet our government asserts that you are obligated to pay it for various things that the government has already spent it on. Some of those things include ships, combat aircraft, guns and other elements of protection that one can argue have made you safer but, the fact of the matter is that, America has not faced an actual threat of invasion — or war we did not start ourselves — since 1941. All of you were born after that date; as such every bit of this warfare was undertaken in your name and with a promise to pay by you attached yet you neither consented or benefited from it.
Likewise, older geezers (that would include me) have been promised government benefits such as Social Security and Medicare. We paid into these programs for years but, at the same time, we also voted for people who already spent the money we paid in on other things, much as you might spend the money from your piggy bank. Having done that, and gotten the benefit from it, we now are demanding that we also get to spend the money again when we retire or get older. You can’t spend money that’s already been spent, however, so what we’ve done is told you, our youth, that you must pay back that which we stole. In this case, when we add in those promises, your personal debt is not $52,131 (climbing by the minute) it’s $184,298 — and climbing every minute.
Again, you have received no benefit from any of these funds that were “spent forward” nor will you ever receive any benefit from them now or in the future. You also never consented, since [many of] you cannot vote. What’s worse is that your children — the next generation and beyond, who will come if and when you find a suitable partner and choose to have children — will be saddled with an ever-increasing amount of this debt.
To explain to you how crazy this is, in 2000 your personal share of the Federal debt was $20,503. In the last ten years while you were going to school I, your mother, your grandparents and everyone around you who was 18 or older blew over $32,000 of your money that you do not yet have and yet we propose to force you to pay that money, plus interest, to the government in the future. Worse, we’ve far more than doubled the political promises that led to the $184,298 up above….
More than ten years ago…I had a conversation with my father…[who] was prattling on about how he was owed Medicare, Social Security and all of these other benefits because he had paid into those programs and “deserved” them. I explained patiently to him that he had already voted to spend the money that he had paid in on other things, and it was gone. What he was now insisting on was that [my daughter,] his granddaughter, be literally enslaved to pay for that which he believed he was entitled to have despite his own personal support of, and votes for, spending those monies on other things. That conversation did not end well.
I, and a few other adults in this nation, have steadfastly refused to support any political entity that believes it can spend someone else’s money. I will vote for those programs that I wish to have funded but I insist that they be funded out today’s tax revenues. That is, whatever I want government to do for me I must be willing to pay for.
The truth is that as long as the government runs a deficit it is adding to the amount of money it believes it can force you, those who are too young to resist, to pay — without your consent…. Most of your parents, and virtually all of your grandparents, have demanded for years that they be able to obtain things from the government they are unwilling to pay for. They do this by insisting that more and more debt be taken on, which is exactly identical to taxing the money but not collecting it.
Who gets to pay, if the taxed money is not collected? You do, you see, which is why that number up there keeps going up.
My message to you today, as the youth of this country, is simple:
You have no obligation to pay one penny of that money. Ever. Not now, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Nor do your not-yet-conceived and born children…UNLESS you, through your political actions, including those so simple as voting, choose to support politicians who promise you benefits that they cannot fund with today’s taxes — that is, they promise to spend based on debt. If you take such an action, even once, then you will have retroactively consented to every single dime of that $184,298 that they claim you owe today, plus however much more is accumulated, because you will have joined the group of Americans who of their own free will have subjected themselves to servitude. You will have consented, because you will have joined your parents and grandparents who believe they can have things they won’t pay for. In that case every single dime of that debt will be confirmed from a moral and ethical standpoint as yours.
The Constitution of the United States prohibits slavery; Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and on December 6th, 1865 the 13th Amendment became law. It reads:
- Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
- Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
You have committed no crime. You, thus, cannot be compelled to either slavery or involuntary servitude and, until your 18th birthday, you cannot lawfully consent to servitude. It is only upon your 18th birthday that you can consent.
So I say to you today that it is your right to stand as American citizens, irrespective of your age who have not yet consented, and say in a loud, clear voice: “I WILL NOT PAY!”
You should, and indeed must,
- say it to your parents,
- say it in your schools,
- pass this letter around to your friends and others in your class and those who you associate and hang out with and
- say every day, in a louder and more-cohesive voice, today, tomorrow, the next day and every day thereafter “I WILL NOT PAY!”, until we, the “old geezers”, realize that you’re serious.
We, the “old geezers”, never had the right to try to force you to pay $184,298 of your money that you would earn tomorrow, an amount that has almost tripled in the last ten years and will triple again if you don’t put your foot down and demand it stop. There is only one way to make sure it stops, and that is to make very clear to everyone…[that] YOU WILL NOT PAY.
- say “I WILL NOT PAY!”,
- mean it,
- convince all those around you, especially the adults around you, that you mean it and
- do it now, because if you don’t, or worse you take any act that confirms that you’re ok with that $180,000 in debt that was forced upon you then you will be forced to pay not only that but the hundreds of thousands more that will be added over the next decades.
If you do convince our leaders and we, the “old geezers”, that YOU WILL NOT PAY then the banks and other institutions that make possible this accumulation of debt will stop doing so, as they will stop believing they can force you to pay. This will in turn force a national conversation on what we want from our government and what we’re willing to pay in taxes, aligning one with the other.
The fact is that neither I [n]or the government can force you to pay. They can try to convince you to pay, they can try to guilt you into paying for “Dear old Dad” or “Dear old Grandma” or through trying to bribe you with shiny gifts like iPhones and fancy cars, but Dear Old Dad and Granny already spent the money and we all know we we did so you must put your foot down. You must say “I WILL NOT PAY!” in a loud, clear, singular voice.
You must do so because, to make clear that YOU WILL NOT PAY and to cause those who think you will to realize you will not, is the least-painful option – and the path we are on today, if you do not act, leads to some very dark places for you and your children to come.
If you fail to [stand tall and] say “I WILL NOT PAY!” in a loud, clear, singular voice…then, in the future, you will face an even-more awful set of choices — the choice to be a slave or to revolt using violence. When you are unable to support yourself and your family as the debt that has been put upon you cannot be paid down while leaving you with enough to keep a roof over your head and food on your table, your options will dwindle to living in squalor or choosing to take up arms and engage in violence.
Please understand that as things are today your “debt” will grow from $184,298 today to about $1.8 million per person within the next 30 years. This is a mathematical fact; it is what an 8% growth in debt, which is roughly the historical average over the last few decades, leads to 30 years from now. You have no hope of paying $1.8 million per person and neither do the children you may bring into the world in the future.
The above is a set of choices that nobody wants to see come, and yet it is coming. It will come in your lifetime. If you do not stop what is going on today by saying “I WILL NOT PAY!” in a loud, clear, singular voice it is mathematically certain to come before your children reach adulthood.
Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.
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