In the modern classic movie “The Matrix” humans are enslaved in a virtual world where everything they believe in lies only in their collective mind. The seminal moment of the movie arrives when the hero, trying to bend a spoon with his mind, attempting to break the bonds of the counterfeit world, is simply told by a little girl, “There is no spoon.”

Reading and watching our elected leaders admonish and demonize each other over our $14 trillion debt limit and our more that $1.6 trillion budget deficit; I have to wonder if we are not living in a virtual world as well.

Somehow, cutting $100 million for this year’s budget is progress to the Republicans and an unfathomed draconian action to the Democrats.

The truth is that the United States of America borrows 42 percent of what it spends on a yearly basis. The new debt only compounds on top of the $14 trillion debt of which we have not paid a single penny of principal back since the 1960s. The total size of the government needs to decrease by 42 percent just to stop the hemorrhaging.

To accomplish this you would need to eliminate defense and welfare, all of it. In fact, if we exempt Social Security, Medicare, and Defense from cuts, and eliminated everything else, we would still need to issue debt.

I am positive the Republicans will fold like France and agree to raise the debt limit by Aug. 2, pushing the can feebly down the road.

Only, the amount of government we demand has long ago outstripped our ability to fund it with taxes; it will soon reach the point of being unfundable with debt.

We need to have an adult conversation and ask ourselves what government we are willing to pay for, because the seminal moment is fast approaching when we’re all forced to realize that “there is no money.”

M. Wesley Salmon


Baton Rouge