Thomas Carlyle characterized economics as “the dismal science” in the eighteenth century. It hasn’t changed much in the twentieth, particularly as it relates to our federal government’s handling of the economy and most particularly as it concerns the current debt crisis.
That “handling” has, in fact, gone beyond dismal and has breached the realm of the hopelessly bleak as a result the ongoing, contentious debate over the so-called “debt ceiling,” that is, to raise it for the umpteenth time and burden our children and grandchildren with even more debt or to stop the fiscal insanity of borrowing even more money from people like the Chinese to pay our bills.
Running our households like government runs our government would eventually bankrupt individuals just as the feds and local politicians are bankrupting the country and any number of states.
Washington, of course, has a unique advantage over places such as New Jersey and Wisconsin in that in D.C. they have an alternative to all that borrowing: They can simply print more dollars when they exhaust the national treasury or when China indicates it holds too much of our insecure notes.
If Joe Blow or Joe the Plumber had access to dollar printing presses, both Joes would be accused of counterfeiting yet politicians get away with it.
The issues most Americans understandably refuse to confront are unpalatable and painful.
After all, this is America, exceptional, invincible, wealthy, and wise. We can’t, we refuse to believe we can go bankrupt! We can’t undergo anything akin to post-World War I Germany when it took a wheelbarrow full of virtually worthless papiermarks to buy a loaf of bread! We refuse to accept that our paper bucks, the value of which is based not on anything with intrinsic value such as gold but on the full faith and credit of the United States of America, will succumb to hyper-inflation!
It simply can’t happen here!
To paraphrase the chief architect of our fiscal plight: Yes, it can.
Daniel J. Flynn in “Five Falsehoods of the Debt Debate” lists only the most recent “falsehoods,” a euphemism for lies, perpetrated by that architect.
They include his outlandish prevarication that 80% of Americans favor tax increases, the distortion that the wealthy don’t pay their “fair share,” the absurdity that the nation will default if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the overworked canard that G.W. Bush and his tax cuts are responsible for our mess, and the last resort, that conservatives are, among other things, “crazy.” (http://bit.ly/qh6T5C)
In point of fact, the president conjured that 80% out of thin air, the rich pay the vast bulk of taxes and 45% of the people pay nothing, default is a tactic designed to scare the poor into thinking they might have to find work and the elderly into believing cat food will become a luxury, Obama parlayed Bush’s national debt from $10.7 trillion to $14.3 trillion in just 27 months, and conservatives are the only group to offer a solution.
To emphasize his ineptitude and his scheme to continue his class warfare and bankrupt the treasury, our leader announced his own plan on Monday: He called the Republican bill to cut spending, cap the deficit, and permanently balance the budget “an empty political statement” that he will veto. (http://bit.ly/pSbALd)
So much for empathy for taxpayers, so much for concern over the debt limit, so much for leadership.
The nation’s economic die was cast when Barack Hussein Obama chose as his principal economic advisor Timothy Franz Geithner to conduct the business of America’s Department of the Treasury, in effect to serve as the country’s CFO.
A whiz-bang economist and banker–and admitted tax cheat–Geithner was expected to guide America out of the financial wreck which George W. Bush left as his legacy onward, ever-upward, to prosperity, full employment, two chickens in every pot, two UAW-manufactured vehicles in every garage, and virtual Nirvana.
Neither Geithner nor his boss has achieved any of those goals. Rather, they have led us to an unprecedented monetary precipice and, as we teeter on the edge of that cliff, they and their Democrat cohorts in Congress and the media lecture Republicans, call them “crazy,” “infantile,” “suicide bombers,” and reject viable ideas to restore a sense of fiscal integrity and avert economic catastrophe.
None of the above is meant to suggest the president doesn’t have his own stratagem. His long-term proposal is a budget surplus–in the year 2040, by which time Obama will be long gone, grandma and the rest of us will be fortunate if we have Purina Friskies to eat. and the United States will be competing with Tanzania for scraps from the world economic table.