Call me miffed at the National Park Service’s ham-handed federal shutdown management. But you can also count me as grateful the Park Service hosted an event on the Washington Mall. With everyone else banned, an immigration rally went forward, complete with stages, lighting and a popular Norteno band. It was classic Animal Farm two-facedness, with favored causes more equal than others. Such hypocrisy was insulting enough, but what came after illustrated the shutdown’s core issue:
To cap the festivities, ralliers staged an arrest-me-a-thon. Instead of good behavior as thanks for oh-so-special treatment, we get paddy wagons, Capitol police, zip ties, and of course, paperwork and court hearings to come.
Apparently, not one of 200 arrestees (including at least eight Congresscritters, all Democrats for some reason) gave a rat’s keister for the millions of innocent taxpayers who will inevitably share the bill for such nonsense.
Now, such thoughtless disrespect is bipartisan. Remember the Wall Street bailout, $800 billion in corporate welfare for interests usually favored by Republicans? Yep – business as usual in a Washington where too flipping many are comfy with pillaging the general welfare, ripping off treats for their pet special interests – and for themselves, too.
This “bipartisan” pillage now has America facing an “official” $17 trillion national debt plus $80-some trillion in unpaid future entitlement liabilities. Business as usual is running a trillion dollars a year in new debt, even before the $200 billion per year in red ink Obamacare will spill – if Obamacare ever works.
Is that smart? No.
A happy few tea drinkers get it, and have shown the guts to duke it out with a “bipartisan” coalition of business-as-usual charlatans determined to skin off all they can for as long as possible.
Regardless of who “wins” the shutdown, or how long it lasts, America’s fiscal day of reckoning is coming. Only two questions remain worth asking: When, and how bad will it hurt?
The debt ceiling can’t be raised forever. Just imagine having a magic credit card where you could raise your own limit and set the interest rate … if you could do that, would you? But what happens when your creditors figure out you’ll never pay back what you already owe?
Is the government’s magic plastic any different? No, it’s just bigger, but will never get too big to pay. Then what?
Some morons will certainly call for inflating the currency, “paying” the debt with devalued dollars – just more pillage.
But consider how individuals react when inflation exceeds investment return: Those wanting to save for the future are punished for doing so. It’s more rational in the short run to blow it all, leaving nothing for tomorrow or emergencies – something millions of Americans have done on a personal level, while the federal government does precisely the same.
Who will these tapped-out Americans turn to tomorrow in an emergency, or in their dotage? The government? Yeah, right. But who might a tapped-out U.S. Treasury turn to?
The truth is, nobody. No matter how early and often voters choose politicians who promise (or lie) otherwise, that won’t change.
Does it matter who “governs” Greece, fascist or socialist, these days? Not really. Because Greek voters would not face reality themselves by voting in politicians who would, economic reality is slapping them – left, center, right, up and down – hard.
Both parties admit our business-as-usual federal government is not being responsible. Even then-Sen. Barack Obama pontificated in 2006: “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership” when he voted against raising the debt ceiling. What changed? His political position, sure, but not reality.
Obama also said then, “Americans deserve better.” Really? Well, as French politician Joseph de Maistre wrote in 1811, “Every country has the government it deserves.” Right now, our government, which we all voted in, stinks. We have what we deserve – anything “better” is up to us.
Only if a majority of American voters face reality, and choose leaders who make “better” decisions while those decisions might still matter, will Americans have the “better” government they “deserve.”
Will we? Maybe, if enough of us put down the Kool Aid and take up tea. I already have.
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