Hundreds of people gathered in the Emmanual Baptist Church on a Monday night.  All with the one subject in common: the National Debt.  Now over $34 trillion, the figure is difficult to comprehend.

Hosted by the Convention of States Action in Montana and moderated by David Knobel, a forum presented their case for a Debt that has moved beyond growing alarm and into a calamitous economic impact coming very soon.  And the source of this looming disaster is the out of control spending from Washington DC.

The presentation started with former Presidential candidate and Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.  He explained the history of the debt expansion that began in 1912 with the 16th Amendment to the Constitution that allowed an income tax and the 17th Amendment that elected Senators by the vote of the people.

Santorum summarized the result.  "Washington exploded."

Panel gave their take on Debt, Economy and Government

Realtor Laura Drager noted that higher interest rates are discouraging home buying and keeping residents in the places they are now.  She also revealed that about $80,000 of a home's cost is to satisfy regulations.

Financial Advisor Mike Vondra explained that inflation on everything has made all of us poorer by 3%, which hurts people on a limited income.

Rep. Terry Moore flatly stated that Washington has no accountability on debt and is not living within its means.  This is now a critical time.  He is more concerned about his future generations

Sen. Daniel Zolnikov warned of the rising interest on bonds that will accelerate the deficit and crisis, and freely admitted that politicians are focusing on fundraising for their next election.  He repeated the situation is not a tax problem, it's a spending problem.

Credit: Travis Lee, TSM
Credit: Travis Lee, TSM

Knobel shifted the discussion with the question "What advice would you give?"

Drager: Buy a home now, because interest rates will likely rise.

Vondra: Pay off debt, work hard, invest wisely in a Roth IRA and a Health Savings Account.

Zolnikov: The best gift for a politician is Cover.  A Balanced-Budget amendment is cover for the drastic cuts that have to come.  He also suggested making the Debt the #1 problem.

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St. Sen. Tom McGillvray and PA Sen. Rick Santorum. Credit: Aaron Flint, TSM
St. Sen. Tom McGillvray and PA Sen. Rick Santorum. Credit: Aaron Flint, TSM

The forum concluded with a presentation by Sen. Tom McGillvray about the need for a Convention of States, with clearly stated goals on a federal level: Term Limits, Fiscal Responsibility, and ending Overreach.  McGillvray explained that Congress has passed a Continuing Resolution five times each year for the past 40 years and has wasted millions on stupid appropriations.

One audience member asked about the non-stop worry of a "runaway" Convention of States that could eliminate rights.  McGillvray explained that the delegates are sworn to work on only the issues that brought forth the Convention, and any deviation from those issues, bringing any unrelated topic to the chambre, would expel the delegate(s) from the process, and those delegates will likely face the wrath of their state when they get home.

Santorum expressed the last hope in Article V of the Constitution to rein in the spending and control the Debt.  "The Convention of States shows Congress will not treat states as a doormat."

You Can Participate

Go to and sign the petition for a Convention of States.  Your Legislators will see the level of support for this movement.  The website has information and explanations on how this process works and why it is so critical now.  Volunteers are needed, so you can take substantial action.

The headline picture included a QR code for the smartphone.  Hope it will deliver you to the same website.

A Personal Note

The National Debt is an alarming train crash in slow motion heading towards all of us.  Everybody should be involved, because everybody will be affected.  I agree with Mike Vondra; have your personal and family financial house in order.  You know how to do that.

There will be more articles from me on this national issue.  Your views and ideas will be most welcome; we must keep the discussion going.  Please feel free to email me at

Causes of Credit Card Debt

Credit Card debt in America sits at a record $986 billion. And 35% of American adults carry some kind of credit card balance. Developing good financial habits, such as budgeting, saving, and understanding credit card terms, can help prevent or manage credit card debt effectively. It's important to note that each individual's situation is unique, and a combination of these factors or other personal circumstances can contribute to credit card debt. Here are some of those factors

Gallery Credit: Dr. T

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