The Senate today passed a measure temporary extending the federal government’s borrowing authority through May. The president is expected to sign it and the U.S. government is expected to keep borrowing. The U.S. debt clock has the national debt approaching $16.5 trillion and the federal government spends about two dollars for every dollar it receives. The path doesn’t seem sustainable at all, and once again talk of default fills the air in Washington. And as Al-Qaeda makes its latest threat against America, it’s worth rewinding to a bin Laden tape released in 2004. From a CNN article dated November 2, 2004:

The Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera released a full transcript Monday of the most recent videotape from Osama bin Laden in which the head of al Qaeda said his group's goal is to force America into bankruptcy…

"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah," bin Laden said in the transcript.

Despite President Obama’s protestations that America paid for two wars on a credit card, he hasn’t shown any desire to stop using those cards. This week’s confirmation hearings for John Kerry (concluded) and Chuck Hagel (ongoing) have so far displayed the continuing popularity of an ever expanding interventionist foreign policy among the political establishment. “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt,” Admiral Mike Mullen said in 2010. And while Politico reports that the sentiment has gained a life of its own in Washington, the complete lack of substantive effort by the powers-that-be to rein in federal spending by any significant measure betrays the lack of seriousness among our political class in facing that threat. In fact, so long as budgets keep rising, the threat can’t even be considered acknowledged, political posturing to the contrary notwithstanding.

Spending vs. revenue since 1999: