Mahatma Gandhi forewarned: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
The U.S. Senate last week voted 80-17 to approve the deal that President Trump made quickly with Democratic leaders to again raise the federal debt ceiling, which will only fund the government for three months.
The national debt is now speeding at an infinite pace while breaking the sound barrier.
That is because nobody is listening, particularly President Trump. He was elected because of his supposed judicious business skills to manage our government and economy.
Reflecting back on history when America was considered great, Walter Knott (1889-1981) was an American icon who started out as a poor sharecropper and built his small family farm into the legendary 150-acre, multimillion-dollar Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California, which inspired Walt Disney’s neighboring Disneyland.
Walter Knott was a humble but consummate role model for building a successful business, as well as a relentless overseer of our government and how it should effectively operate on behalf of We, the People.
Decades ago, Mr. Knott cautioned: “We have seen government grow until it is all out of proportion. Every time it grows, it takes bits of freedom out of our lives, and we become more dependent on it and less on ourselves.”
In 1966, Mr. Knott spoke more specifically about the growth of our national debt.
An excerpt is quoted from the biographical book, “Walter Knott — Keeper of the Flame,” by Helen Kooiman.
Then and Now. Wow
Compare what Walter Knott said about our national debt a half-century ago when it was then an incomprehensible $325 billion, and where we are today at $20 trillion-plus.
Said Mr. Knott:
“This brings me to the year 1910.
“I choose the year 1910 because that was the year I was 21 years of age — a kid with hardly any schooling, no capital, but a tremendous belief in America.
“The Horatio Alger stories were popular — we believed them.
“We saw other people succeeding and we believed we could, and a great many of us have.
“In 1919, the nation had been in existence for 125 years. We had a population of 90 million people. Can you even guess what the federal budget was in 1910? To govern 90 million people?
“We did research and found that the budget was three-quarters of a billion dollars. We also found that the national debt in 1910 was one billion dollars.
“We had fought several wars before 1910, but you know we were still honest people then; during each war we accumulated a national debt and honestly went to work and paid it off after the war was over.
“Fifty-six years have passed since 1910. Our budget which was three-quarters of a billion dollars then has multiplied (but our population has only doubled) our budget has multiplied 125 times. It is costing 125 times as much to govern twice as many people as it did in 1910.
“Our federal debt has jumped from one billion dollars to some 320 billion dollars and in the last six years it has gone up at an average rate of 650 thousand dollars an hour, day and night, hour after hour after hour.
“Now when I give you these figures, 325 billion dollars, I doubt that you can think about how big that amount is. Maybe some of you Texas financiers can, but I can’t even think about 325 billion dollars, and to help me try to understand what it was all about, I took one billion dollars.
“I found that if I had had one billion dollars the year Christ was born and I went into business for myself and I turned out to be a poor business man and I lost a thousand dollars a day, I could have lost a thousand dollars a day every day since Christ was born, until today, and I could continue to lose a thousand dollars a day for another 700 years.
“Then if I decided I was a poor businessman, I could retire with 25 million dollars, out of that one billion.
“You and I owe 325 billion dollars. “
So said Walter Knott 51 years ago.
Fast forward to today :
U.S. Debt Clock: http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Mr. President, you cannot Make America Great Again by increasing the speed of the national debt.
May God Bless America with wise and responsible leadership.
Mr. Rosebrock may be contacted at RRosebrock1@aol.com