Monday, July 25, 2011

Less is more and enough is enough

I'm fed up with this political game of financial chicken taking place in Washington, D.C. If these idiots that the rest of us idiots elected to represent us can't prevent the federal government from defaulting on its debt, I'm not sure what we are paying those morons for.

However, it is equally infuriating is the simplistic language being used to describe the debt problem, the proposed deals and the language of who will "pay" or who will feel "pain" pisses me off to no end. And perhaps worst of all is the press lets these idiots get away with it.

If you only pay half-assed attention to this crisis, you could easily assume that the solution is simple. One side wants to cut benefits to the old and poor and the other side want to increase taxes on the rich, and it would be possible to assume that either idea would net the same amount of money. It would not. As I pointed out in a previous post, our government couldn't tax the rich enough to fix our debt for this year, let alone the total national debt. So, I won't belabor the point here. Can't someone just speak the plain truth?

Apparently not. Just look at the language of the proposed debt reduction packages. The truth of the matter is the "debt reduction" plans won't reduce the current debt at all, it will only reduce the amount of future debt our government will obligate us to pay. So, if the "big plan" would reduce the deficit $4 trillion dollars over 10 years, that means, if we are currently overspending at a clip of $1.5 trillion, we would only at another $11 trillion to the $14 trillion we already owe. Do you think that's going to make your social security benefits any more secure 5 or 10 years from now? Or your Medicare? Or your food stamps? Or your community development block grants? Or the funds for whatever pet federal project you absolutely think Uncle Sam should pay for?

The most urgent priority is that the government needs to prevent a default next week. However, we have to stop putting this problem off for future Congresses and presidents to deal with, and future generations to pay for. It is completely true that the government needs to learn to do what many of us have already had to figure out in this recession, which is to live within our means and only spend money on essential needs. Not wants. Just needs. And for those of us in the public who haven't learned the lesson, it is time to learn about personal responsibility. Pay as you go. You are responsible for yourself and your family's welfare. The lottery jackpot isn't coming to bail you out. The financial settlement is not coming to give you something for nothing. Uncle Sam is not our mommy and daddy, here to powder our butts and wipe our noses.

Millions and billions of dollars sound like lots of money. And it is. But what both Democrats and Republicans are telling us all is that they fully intend to keep spending trillions more than comes in to Washington on an ongoing basis. It's basic government math, where a reduction is actually an increase.

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