Yelling things from my perch atop the remains of a felled tree
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Say it ain't so, Mr. President
How is it that we can cut half a trillion dollars from the defense budget and still run the largest deficit ever ($1.3 trillion) if the president's budget is accepted as proposed? I know the half trillion dollar savings are projected over ten years, but it seems also that much of the "savings" he's projected to keep the deficit at only that level are wishful thinking at best. I've been sorely disappointed that President Obama, who seemed so thoughtful and articulate, has been so thoroughly assimilated into the machinery of Washington such that his budgeting priorities are concerned only with re-election. Of course to bring the deficits under control, hard choices have to be made. And hard choices in election years evidently mean fewer votes. So there is this fairly reasonable conclusion that politicians keep coming to: we have to get elected in order to be able to get our positive proposals enacted. But it seems to me that there is a problem with such thinking when election cycles have become continuous. Even when there are term limits on a specific individual (like the president), the party has to keep everyone else elected. So they keep making promises that keep the electorate happy. Perhaps it is we the electorate who need to change. Are we so gullible that the only way we'll vote for people is when they promise two chickens in every pot? Has anyone been paying attention to the austerity measures in Greece? Do we really think that the graph above can end in any way but doom and gloom? The next superpower (a.k.a. China) will not need to conquer anyone through military force. All she has to do is say that she won't buy any more of our bonds, and we'll all become her indentured servants and be begging for rice. The economic policies of the last 30 years have pushed a few more middle class people into the upper middle class, made the wealthy into the fabulously wealthy, and mortgaged the future of the country so far into debt that no one knows what to do except keep the foot on the accelerator.