#1: Introduction – Tackling the U.S. National Debt

Welcome to jimifier.wordpress.com.  This is my blog site.

What is a “jimifier”?

The correct question is “Who is the Jimifier?”  The answer is me.  I am the Jimifier, the one and only.  My wife gave me this moniker as recognition for the many ways I make things better in her life by fixing, organizing and creating things which were beyond her ability to do.  Of course, there are things she does with exceptional ability which are beyond my natural talents, but a complimentary nickname has not stuck to her in the same way as the Jimifier has to me.

What is my inspiration, therefore, in writing this blog?  The direct inspiration came from attending a Christian writer’s conference sponsored by Roaring Lambs Ministries.  More precisely, I was working as the audio/visual technician.  One of the speakers recommended blogging.  A spark ignited in mind.  I knew I had something to say.  I realized that I could and should say them in a blog, regardless of who wants to read my blog.

Is this a Christian blog?  No, although my Christian values and background are part of me.  Will I call upon them as I write? I expect so.

Is this a political blog?  You could say so, but I want to make this distinction.  I am going to challenge myself to address the critical issues of our time without injecting my political biases.  How do I intend to meet this challenge?  I am starting my blogging career with a multi-part discussion of the federal budget and our national debt.  I intend to apply my “Jimifying” quantitative analytic skills to this issue in a way that no one is doing in any medium that I can find.  Numbers are politically agnostic.  The numbers 4, or 8 or 12 are neither democratic nor republican.  It’s the decisions regarding the quantity of spending and borrowing over time that bubble in the political pot.

Ball and Chain

My contribution to the political discourse therefore, will be to present the numbers in a way that is digestible to the average citizen, and appeal to their desire to seek solutions based on facts, regardless of his or her political persuasion.  A more rewarding result of my blogging efforts would be to influence policy makers and elected representatives in such a way that they stop “kicking the can down the road”, and make decisions which are in the best interest of the nation without fear for their political careers.

If not me, then who?  If not now, then when?

Let me start by expressing the following opinion:  In all the news media, the federal budget, deficits and the national debt are discussed as though these subjects are beyond the comprehension of the average person.  They are not.  Any literate citizen can access the federal budget online, read the summary discussions, see the high-level budget tables, and understand for themselves how our government intends to spend taxpayer money for the next 10 years.  Here is the link for the Fiscal Year 2017 budget:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview

White House

On this page is a list of documents.  I selected the last link in this list to the Summary Tables, and reference Table S-4. Adjusted Baseline by Category.

The federal budget is no different than your household budget.  There is income and outgo.  Revenue and expenses.  In my initial blog postings, I am going to focus my discussion on expenses, and assume that revenue assumptions never change.  I acknowledge that the impact of certain policy decisions regarding federal expenses may affect revenue, but modeling these effects is not my purpose at this time.

Federal expenses are divided into three categories:

  1. Appropriated. This includes defense and non-defense spending.  Non-defense spending is all of the government departments and programs such as the State, Commerce, Education, Treasury, and so forth.
  2. Mandatory. These are entitlements.  At a high level, this includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Other.
  3. Interest. Payments on the national debt.

My purpose is to illustrate alternative, high-level scenarios for managing our federal budget so that our government does not continue borrowing money and increasing the national debt for our children and grandchildren to deal with later.  At this level, I will not deal with the details of department budgets.  This is the bread and butter of representatives and senators.  You, my reader, and I will be standing in the shoes of the president, deciding the high level goals and tradeoffs which is his or her duty to provide as the executive of the government.  How exactly can we change the direction of the federal budget?

Welcome to you, citizen leader, to this discussion.  I believe that our political leaders are paralyzed, and our political system lacks the mechanism to solve the budget problem we face as a nation.  Very soon, it will take the united citizens of this country to demand our government to make the decision which must be made to save our currency, our country and our future.

Can we save our country from endless debt, economic collapse and social chaos?  I believe the answer is YES.  I also believe that I have THE ANSWER, which I will present in my future blogs.

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