Your Federal Debt Crisis in 20 Pictures

Congress App and Looming Federal Debt Crisis

We have put together a summary, using Private Enterprise Research Center, Congressional Budget Office, and our own internal research, of the growth of the Federal Debt, including both nominal debt, and "off balance sheet" totals.

The challenge we face is the debt total now equals $43 Trillion, equivalent to $341,000 per household in America.  Half of that is unfunded entitlement liabilities, largely Medicare and Social Security. The nominal debt alone is at levels only reached in wartime during WWII, and worsening fast.  It's equal to our whole economy.  The unfunded Social Security and Medicare is again the same size, and also getting worse.

Solving this matters to both our young, who have gotten the can kicked down to them, our workers and companies, who face potential higher taxes down the road to pay for it, and our senior citizens, whose Medicare and Social Security are at risk from inflation, taxes, and benefit cuts, if we delay solving it until too late.

I have made out of control debt a major campaign issue, as I am not ok with anyone kicking the can down the road to by 3 and 5 year old daughters.  And not ok risking our retirees financial future so our politicians can spend more money to stay in office. The spending gap, debt and deficits have simply worsened under an all Democratic Congress and White House, under an all Republican one, and when split.   Both deficits and spending have literally gone up in every major category, every year since Beto and Ted got into office.  20% in total in the last 6 years, before the next spending increases.  Have you gotten 20% more income?  

The icing on the cake:  The spending plan and tax cuts our elected officials just signed us up for - is another $12 Trillion in the next 10 years in deficits.  That's averaging 20% of total government spending, equals $100,000 new debt per American family, and is larger than the entire GDP growth in that decade.  Regardless of whether you are Right, Left, Libertarian, or Independent - this has to be fixed.  The "small government" "fiscally conservative" Republicans railroaded the tax cuts through no purposes days before their own accountants could finish the analysis showing how bad it was.  Republicans voted for the spending increases as well.

And no Republicans - you can't grow your way out when you add debt faster than you add GDP.

And no Democrats, single payer healthcare isn't the answer when you aren't even fully funding our retirees' retirement and Medicare today.

You have no moral right kick the can down the road to my daughters and dump your debt mountain on them before they start in life.

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Why the Bitcoin Crash is a Libertarian Issue

Bitcoin is now down over 70%

Bitcoin, the largest and original cryptocurrency, ended the first half down over 70% from it's peak.  As many as 1,000 different coins are now functionally worthless.

Why does this matter to Libertarians?

Well, cryptos do matter to Libertarians.  For starters, every Libertarian should read the original paper inventing Bitcoin and explaining BlockChain technology. The appeal of cryptocurrencies includes that the blockchain technology they are built on is peer to peer and needs no central authority - potentially making them and other blockchain based solutions what I call GIP, "government idiot proof" or "government involvement proof".  They become a non governmental digital currency enabling financial transactions between private parties independent of monetary policy or capital controls of one or more nations, and even independent of the companies or organizations that helped spawn or manage them.

Better yet, they are unbelievably democratic as well as decentralized - 5 Texans in Marfa or Houston can start their own, the underlying blockchain principles are free and easy to replicate - though the technology to implement them is more complex and expensive.  It literally is make your own "NealCoin" if you want.  That's why there were 1,000s of them in such a short time.

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Strong Libertarian showing in UT/Texas Tribune Poll

The UT/Texas Tribune poll, generally regarded as the gold standard for a Texas political polling, showed a strong showing for Libertarians in early results, improving on 2014.  The tightest Libertarian race is US Senate, where Libertarians set a record in 2014, but where the current Democratic candidate is raising more money than all other races combined, and making the strongest showing, and strongest for Attorney General, not unexpected, as Libertarians usually perform best statewide in judicial and commission races.

Mr. Sanders you are Nuts

Mr. Sanders you are nuts.  You may be the most popular politician in America, but there is nothing intelligent about a program to guarantee jobs. Millions more job postings than new jobs created are not fake news.  We have 5-10x as many job openings as jobs created in America.

Let's start with our common ground.  I, along with most Americans, well understand that growing income inequality is a concern - and I want this world to be a better place for my daughters - full stop.  And I expect to live in an America where every individual and each family can support themselves, and afford healthcare, food, housing, and feel like they have a voice and equal opportunity.  But unlike you I believe the government does not solve these problems, its citizens do, and when it is needed, my local and state government is a better place for citizens to solve problems than letting a Vermont Senator take money from Texas to solve it in Washington for 50 states.  

You are proof of that.  You are a sitting Senator, and have been in Congress since I was in middle school.  You participated in creating this inequality - supporting easy money policies of the past two decades, shifting value from wage owners into investors, and out of retirees hands and into the hands of banks.  You exacerbated this by helping drive a healthcare policy that focused on coverage, not cost, driving precious wage growth into the hands of our healthcare sector instead of our workers, and have left our workforce still unable to easily leave jobs, start companies or change states to get work without risking their families' healthcare.  And by irresponsibly driving up our deficit and debt, you've taken money out of the hands of our government and citizens, and left us with no dry powder left to deliver this or any other agenda.  Your failure to deal with the aftermath of financial crisis, and student loan crisis - enabled by an easy loan policy helping create skyrocketing higher educational costs, and a bad subsidized Federal mortgage policy - have left a nation, and worse a whole generation, with less labor mobility and fewer options than at any time in US history.  In fact, your family benefited financially from that.  

And now you want to "guarantee" every American a job, not just make up a minimum wage?

Mr. Sanders we currently have $341,000 in federal liabilities for every household in America, nearly twice the average American mortgage.  Our current Congressionally approved budget will add another $100,000 in debt for every family by the time by 5 year old gets to high school.  You are asking us to write checks our body can't cash - because you already cashed them - yet your generation which benefited from this borrowing won't be around in decades to pay the piper.  My 3 and 5 year old daughters will.  You do not get to rob their future to pay for your ideas and stay in office.  I am running against Ted Cruz, and challenging everyone like you and him - because my daughters are 3 and 5 and don't deserve this.

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Father's Day and Immigration

Lost in the saddening debacle about newly enforcing an old policy to separate children of illegal immigrants from their parents at the border, is a single crucial point that we need real immigration reform - badly, and now.

  • Congress can address the awful specter of an America so divided by immigration that we let this happen, and let ourselves be defined by viral images of children separated from parents, simply by passing a good immigration law, and replacing what we have.  Yes, it will have to be multi-partisan to get it done. Yes, it is likely that no party will be perfectly happy.  But it is obvious that our current immigration laws are not working, and make no one happy.  Yet neither the Republican nor Democrat parties have been willing to step up and risk the wrath of their primary voters by getting their job done.  On immigration reform Congressional head in the sand has been going on for literally decades.  This is happening in Texas, our elected Texas Federal officials need to step up.
  • More saddening is the fact that the reason this policy is coming up today, is that the Republicans are using it as a pretty basic negotiating 101 tactic to bring the Democrats to the table to vote on Republican border control issues.  And the Democrats are taking the bait.  I want a fix that will last for generations.  Not an emergency bill that just funds more border control ahead of the midterms, and or let's the Democrats get a DACA "win" at the expense of real immigration reform.  Our legal immigrants, our businesses, and those who seek to join our amazing country, deserve a bedrock, well considered, multi-partisan law that makes sense, and won't be gamed by politicians on either side of the aisle for elections.
  • People migrate to the US today for the same reason my family did generations ago, opportunity for their children. I am thankful mine took the risk.  We should all take a moment and be proud that our neighbors respect what we have built, rather than complaining about what we don't like.  I for one would like to see more legal immigration. If we think we are going to bring manufacturing back, grow our tech and energy sectors, and keep up our vaunted status as breadbasket to the world let alone manage our debts with no immigration, we need to look in the mirror and consider the lessons of the Japan experience.  If we think we will out compete China and Europe by closing our markets and borders, taking our ball and going home, or can just go back to 1955, we should remember the world does not stand still.
  • America is both a nation of compassion, of immigrants, of opportunity, and a nation of laws.  There is literally no one in favor of separating children from parents.  I cannot fathom that either side in the debate believes the current outcome is acceptable or the best we can do.  But that is how we come to this point?  Texas, as one of the largest immigrant gateways to America, a largely conservative state, a huge ag state and a border state with a huge immigrant population and voter base - needs to lead on immigration reform.  No one else is. 
  • You've heard the proverb, what's the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago.  The second best time? Now.

We Should not have to Vote our of Fear of the Other Guy

It is fascinating how many times I have been told that a vote for me is a vote to help, flip a coin, either Ted or Beto, depending on the commenter's fears.  

Exhibit A why we are running. You should not have to cast a vote because they are afraid the "other guy" might win.  

I do not cast my vote now, nor would I as a Senator, based on what other voters have or might do.  I am not asking for your vote, or your kudos, I ask that you read my positions, listen to my message, and vote your conscience on November 6. Every one of us has complained that we need better choices for our politics.  Now you have one. Time to step up, stop complaining that you're afraid of giving voters a choice.

I am frankly tired of being told by Republicans, "Ted believes in shrinking government. We shouldn't vote against Ted, because he's only one of 100 Senators, so he can't be accountable for Congress' failures and rising spending and deficits". My response, there are 28 mm amazing Texans for 2 Senate slots. If he can't get the job done, I am quite sure we have some great replacements in this state. If you don't like my policies, write in someone you do. #TedCruz ought to be more afraid of me than #Betofortexas.  If he wants to ensure he beats #NealDikeman or Beto all he has to do is start listening to the average voter in Texas and not his own safe echo chamber. 

Or from the other side, I'll siphon votes from Beto and keep Ted in office. In Texas, no Democrat has won statewide in over two decades.  Democrats don't need to be afraid of me siphoning votes away, first they have to actually have policies that will attract them. Beto is not going to knock off an incumbent Republican Senator while running in Texas as a far left single payer healthcare, raise the minimum wage, anti-gun, pro national service progressive.  If he wants Texas, he can come after my voters in the middle as well. I am excited that he is turning out media and making this a race. The last Democrat Senate candidate in Texas got blown out by 26 points and no one remembers his name. But if he has a chance, it's because Ted and he are ceding the swing voters in moderate middle of Texas to the Libertarians, and I'll make it a race. Oh, newsflash, that means I have the same chance. That massive quiet, fiscally conservative, rational, tolerant, community serving caring hardworking base in Texas that believes in personal property rights, personal liberty, privacy, accountability in your home and your government, and keeping us out of unnecessary foreign wars? It votes. And not for left wing policies. Of course, they are also really, really tired of the hate, dysfunction and out of control spending from the Republican party, too.

I'm a 6th generation Texan. My daughters will grow up here, and my family will be here in another 150 years. We take the long view.

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Memorial Day

For those who came home, and those who didn't.

All Across Texas Today

Federal Spending Up 20% Under Ted Cruz

You think Ted Cruz is a conservative because he votes for tax cuts to tout in the next election? Ted Cruz does not deliver. Federal spending increased every year, and is up 20% total, since he joined Congress - CBO data.  How much of a pay raise have you had in 6 years?  In fact, total Federal spending increased by MORE than our current deficit under Ted Cruz's tenure in the Senate.  If he had done his job, we wouldn't be bleeding red ink.  

Serial Entrepreneur Neal M. Dikeman Wins the Texas Libertarian Nomination for US Senate

Dear Texas,

On April 14, 2018 I won the Libertarian Party of Texas nomination to be the Libertarian candidate for United States Senate.  I will be on the November 6 ballot facing Ted Cruz (R) and Beto O’Rourke (D) in the upcoming general election.  We won with the votes of 70% of the convention delegates from a field of 5, and with the support, advice, and help of amazing people.

Libertarian values are not the fringe.  They are the heart of our moderate middle. They are the heart of Texas. The government works for us.  My candidacy is about making our elected officials listen to us and hold them accountable. If you want a fiscally responsible, socially tolerant member of the moderate middle, actually from and educated in Texas, with an actual track record of success to take action, then give me an opportunity to earn your vote like I did the delegates at our convention.  If you are happy with what Congress has been doing, then choose between two experienced Washington congressmen.  Vote your conscience.

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas as a 6th generation Texan, and graduated from Texas A&M university as a 3rd generation Aggie.  My family has been here over 150 years, and will be here in another 150 years.  I take the long view.  I go to the same church my grandparents helped found back when Houston was a not so big city. 

I began my entrepreneurial career at the age of 25 and have personally co-founded 7 technology start-ups and numerous other businesses. I understand energy, both oil & gas and renewables; I understand entrepreneurship; business; and what it takes to create jobs; I understand technology; and finance - because unlike my opponents, I have actually done it my whole career. Most importantly, I understand the value of investing your life in people - in your friends, family, community, and church.  I am taking time from that to work for you - because I have a 3 year old and 5 year old and they deserve the very best world we can build them.

Like a startup, politics is a participatory sport.  If you want change you don't talk - you act.  Politics should be about principle.  We only have one life to live.  This candidacy is about standing on principle and making a difference.  I am well aware of the stacked deck facing a 3rd party candidate.  In the words of one of my friends - "Neal, you're crazy".  If I had wanted a high percentage path to get myself into power, I would have run as a Republican, as no Democrat or Libertarian has won statewide in Texas since I was in high school.  I didn't. 

I am running on the platform that embodies the principles I believe in.

I am running to carry a simple message that they work for us, people matter, and elected officials need to be responsible.

I am running because we need better policies, and I have them.

I am running because the choice should not be intolerant and fiscal conservative vs social liberal and spendthrift.

I am running because they have run up our debts beyond counting and involved us in wars they can't get us out of.

I am running for a 3 year old and 5 year old who don't yet know what the Senate is.  You may have 6 1/2 years of my life if you want it.  Because of them.

Both of my opponents have been in Congress while they ran up the largest debt in our history. They've let our government and corporations invade our privacy and interfere in our lives over and over.  They push solutions that don’t work, except to keep themselves in office.  They literally make up and vote for bills they know will fail just to make themselves sound good in the next election.  They voted for or failed to deal with key issues over and over.  They are either part of the problem, or unable to solve it. We cannot kick the can down the road any longer to let my young daughters, and your children and grandchildren, deal with the mess we allowed them to create.  But the buck doesn't stop with them.  It stops with us.  Our vote. Our action.  

I am not asking for your vote.  I am asking to earn it.  I expect you to vote your conscience.  If we win, you get the best qualified candidate on the ballot to represent you in Washington, and if I lose am I your message to Washington.  They will not listen unless you change your vote.

Just like you get to choose in public each day how to spend the one life God gave you, you get to choose, in the privacy of a voting booth, with only your own conscience as your guide, what message and what candidate represents your values, principles, and will.  You will have 3 options on November 6.   You will not regret your choice if you trust me with your vote.