Monday, August 1, 2011

Yeah, we're boned

I have known several addicts in my life.  When their problem became public knowledge, we all knew that all of the 'gifts' and 'loans' we had given them over the years had done nothing but feed the monkey on their back.  Even then, there was always some soft-hearted and soft-headed individual who would continue to give them money to buy poison.

Over the last couple of years, and especially in the last few months, a growing number of Americans have come to realized just how addicted to massive deficit spending we have become.  Last night, the political leadership of our country agreed to give the money-addicted monkey on our country's back another $2.4 trillion to buy smack.  Mind you, a few years ago, people were freaking out when our yearly deficit hit half a trillion dollars and now we're adding double that amount in one stroke of a pen.

In exchange for that, we're being told that there will be a trillion dollars in cuts over the next decade.  Let's look at 10 years, shall we?

10 years ago:
  • The World Trade Center was still one of the tallest buildings in the world
  • Saddam Hussein was still the dictator of Iraq
  • Girlie Bear was almost 3, and Little Bear was almost 5
  • I had just moved to Kentucky and had just started dating Irish Woman
  • The United States was running it's last budget surplus
  • The public debt of the United States was 30 to 35% of GDP
  • A lot of the people who made this budget deal were either unknown to most Americans or were junior members of the Congress
  • We are squabbling over what should go in the hole where the World Trade Center used to be
  • Saddam Hussein has been dead for years and we are still occupying Iraq
  • Girlie Bear is almost 13, and Little Bear is almost 15
  • Irish Woman and I have been married almost 7 years, and we have a beautiful little boy
  • The projected budget deficit for 2011 was supposed to be about $1.4 Trillion, but we just upped the ceiling by another $1 Trillion, so who knows?
  • The public debt of the United States is estimated to be between 70 and 75% of GDP
  • Most of the people who made this deal are up for re-election next year and did a pretty good job of kicking the can down the road just long enough to keep this problem from interfering with that
In 10 years:
  • There will probably be some memorial at the former site of the World Trade Center, but the attacks will be 20 years in the past
  • Few people under the age of 30 will easily remember who Saddam Hussein was, and we will probably still have troops in Iraq
  • Girlie Bear and Little Bear will probably have graduated from college, and will either be in graduate school or working
  • Irish Woman and I will have been together for 20 years, and Boo will be in middle school
  • Heaven knows just how much money these goobers are going to spend above and beyond what they take in in taxes, but given their track record, it doesn't look good
  • According to the CBO, our public debt is projected to be around 90 to 95% of GDP
  • Most of the people who made the budget deal yesterday will either be retired on very generous terms or will be dead
It's amazing what can happen in 10 years, and how things that we planned on happening can become a faint memory.  I have no doubt that no matter what this blue ribbon committee finds, they will phase any cuts in over more than the halflife of their retirement plans so that they won't have to go through the pain of actually governing the country like statesmen instead of weaseling out of their responsibilities like politicians.

For those of us who will still be holding down a job, trying to make ends meet, and pay our taxes, small cuts over the next 10 years are meaningless.  Boehner, Reed, McConnell, and Obama betrayed us this weekend, and they won't be around to deal with the consequences.  We have to cut federal spending now.  Not over the next decade, not next year, not after the next election cycle.  Right. Bloody. Now.  We were enslaved to huge public debts by Roosevelt and Johnson.  That yoke was weighted down by Reagan, Bush I and II, and Clinton.  Obama has tied us to a wheel that will slowly grind us down to dust if we do not break the chains of fiscal irresponsibility.  Both parties are guilty of putting us in this situation, and we cannot wait for it to be politically expedient to get us out.

I am contacting both of my Senators and my Congressman to tell them that I want them to vote against this deal.  One of my Senators is Mitch McConnell, so I'm pretty sure that I'm wasting paper writing to him about this, but I have to try.  I urge all of you to do the same.  I'm beginning to believe that we can't vote our way out of this, but we have to try to use the system as it is until something changes.  In the meantime, I am also stocking up on things that can be traded for goods and services that weren't printed at the mint.  Something tells me that toilet paper will be of more value than greenbacks sometime in the near future.

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