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By: Wayne Brown
Washington D.C. is the land of doublespeak and foggy intent. Those who work there as our elected representatives did not tell us that, we figured it out by paying through the nose for most everything they do. This is the one thing about our federal government that has not changed with the various people passing through its halls…it is rooted in tradition and the art of playing the American public for the fool.
To demonstrate, look at the plans offered as solutions to the debt ceiling crisis and realize that solutions from either side of the aisle are based on the same premise…doublespeak and misleading intent. It is a wonderful practice for the politician because they can always claim the public never understood the problem well enough to understand the solution. The fact that both sides of the aisle is willing to employ such practices demonstrates that there is no real intent here to do anything except to mask the practices of the status quo. In other words, we are going to put lipstick on a pig and take it to the dance.
The current proposal base all their savings in terms of spending not on cuts to the current programs of waste and inefficiency but on managing the long-term “rate of spending”. Now, for those of you who are confused, let me simply these solutions do little of nothing to actually reduce spending in terms of reaching unacceptable levels, they simply slow the “rate” of growth in spending at some imagined level.
Let’s look at a simple example for more clarification. Currently our federal government is spending approximately $1.5 trillion dollars more annually that it actually takes in from the various revenue streams coming to the government like payroll taxes for example. This amounts to deficit spending, demands that the government borrow money to spend, and ultimate adds to the overall national debt.
Our solution finders in Washington want to continue doing this exact thing that has brought us to the brink of financial ruin. But, instead of doing a close examination of actual spending and defining actual cuts on a present day basis, they want to continue with the approximate $1.5 trillion in deficit spending and simply attempt to manage that in such a manner that it does not grow any larger or that if it grows, it grows at a rate which is slower than the measured rate of growth over the past five or ten years. In other words, if all things remain the same, the additional national debt will grow by a factor 10 X 1.5 trillion over the next ten years as opposed to some imagined number which exceeds the annual $1.5 trillion dollar estimate. By doing this, they can then estimate that we “save” more than ten trillion dollars over the next ten years. This is monkey economics and the same type of principal the wife employs when she buys a dress on a half-price sale with money you do not have to start with only then to attempt to convince you that the money saved can be applied to the grocery bill.
Companies in the private sector do not use such thinking as the first line of defense when they are in troubled times. Companies in the private sector do not have the luxury of printing money or even borrowing it when they are financially stressed. The bank only wants to lend money to companies who don’t need it. Consequently, the management of those companies have to look inside and attempt to cut as much real and present spending as possible to keep the ship afloat. Hard decisions are made and some of them affect peoples lives to a degree but, at the same time, the hardship and suffering is much less than would be experienced if the entire ship goes down and everyone loses their job with the failure of the company. Washington refuses to apply such principles because it takes away the gravy train and the path to power that all of them on both sides of the aisle want to hold on to in the future.
The President should be leading this effort to identify real potential spending cuts and making them. Instead, he is sitting on the sidelines waiting to see who comes up with the best plan of doublespeak and trickery that will give him what he wants…two additional trillion dollars of spending and still keep the American people fooled. Remember, the President subscribes to that philosophy, “never let a good crisis go to waste,” that is the very reason why he has found so many of them in his short presidency. If he truly cared about the welfare of the country and its people, he would make it clear that he would veto any plan which simply bases its potential cuts on managed spending for the future. Washington has proved time and again that it cannot “manage” anything effectively…even the post office seems too great a challenge based on its financial track record.
The other fly in the ointment related to “managed spending” is that it assumes some level of growth in the revenue stream. Not a bad formula huh? On the spending side of the equation, you estimate that you can hold the line and not increase spending or if you do, it will be at a rate that is less than what we have traditionally seen in the past but either way, the spending continues. At the same time, you have the ability to predict the revenue stream will grow and grow. So, if spending is destined to stay the same and revenue grows, why just look at all this surplus money we have to pay off the national debt…it’s beyond our wildest dreams and America is saved. Folks, if you buy that proposal, you really should consider investing in Florida swampland.
For all the smoke that is drifting around on this issue, the essence of the problem is clearly “spending” in both the past and present tense. We spend too much. We spend excessively beyond the abilities of the revenue stream. The President knows; the Congress knows it, yet neither of them want to see it stop and all of them are willing to lie to the American public in any fashion necessary to sustain the status quo. They will posture and snip at each other but ultimately, the thinking is the same. This is the very reason that both sides of the aisle is so incensed with the efforts of the Tea Party freshman in Congress…they are pissing in the punch bowl.
The reason our elected representatives can pull off such shenanigans is because we, as a public, have spent to many years believing they were smarter than we were and had our welfare as a country foremost in their mind. Now that we have become more engaged as a voting public, we find that is the furthers thing from the truth. We find that we are in financial crisis because the very ones we trusted to manage and guard our welfare have abused it with their semantics and wordplay. We have basically been duped in such a manner that had it occurred in the private sector, someone would be going to jail and folks would be calling for their head just like in the case of Bernie Madoff. In the government sector, there is little possibility that the criminals will prosecute the criminals for it might not bode well for their own futures.
Over time America has seen Congress create programs designed to insure career service. Oh we can’t throw John out and send a new man in…why our district would lose all its “congressional seniority”. Oh, John is serving on the Ways & Means Committee, he’s too important now to re-elect. Meanwhile, John’s salary keeps creeping up to the six figure level and beyond. His benefits and retirement are beyond the dreams of fantasy and his daily conveniences are many and near at hand…John likes serving the American people…only a fool would not. We are now well past the time at which John needs to go home. He has had his chance to show America how he can serve it and he has failed. Likely he will return home a rich man and live a good life while America attempts to pay the bills he stacked up while there in service. How much worse could a traitor be?
We have an obligation as a public to call our elected officials on these ridiculous proposals such as those before us in this debt ceiling debate. Time is short and about to run out but you can be sure that they “solution” will not emerge until just a few minutes before the deadline arrives. Then, the heroes from both sides of the aisle will line up for photo ops to be hailed as “America’s leadership” which has come together in a bipartisan effort in the late hours nearing midnight to save America with some phony plan which promises everything but delivers nothing and will likely not be remember within three years after it is put in place. For you see, another crisis will subvert its intent and it will be tossed to the curb as part of the functional necessity of an out of control government that must have continued spending to keep it alive. The monster gets bigger and bigger and eventually will consume us all unless we cut off the blood supply…money. Real, current, and significant spending cuts is the only real way to achieve such a goal.
Obama will stand at the helm of this ship and watch it sink into the black waters of financial ruin knowing that such an outcome would allow marshal law and the formation of a new form of emergency government. It would make socialism in its highest form far more palatable to the America public and they would welcome it with open arms realizing that the government was going to take care of everything and relieve the misery they have suffered from the predictable failure of a capitalist oriented system of government. When that time comes, check the podium and I am sure will see George Soros’ smiling face in the background. He’ll be smiling because he is reaping the fruits of all the money he tossed around in Washington DC to get the right people elected to accomplish this task and his biggest puppet will be standing at the microphone proclaiming the great change which he singularly has brought to America. Fantasy you say…you had better pray that is the case but the current level of deficit spending in America can easily make it a reality.
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