San Diego – An old saying goes, “When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!” But the approach of our brilliant congress takes another tack: they want us to give them a bigger shovel, or, better yet, a backhoe.
After the fight over the peanuts involved in the “negotiations” over keeping the government open, the next hot topic appears to be the Liberal Keynesian clamor to raise the debt ceiling so the country can borrow more money. The rationale given is that if we do not raise the debt ceiling thereby allowing us to borrow more money, then it will be a disaster because we will have to default on some of our loans. What? Do they not realize what they said?
Basically they are saying that they do not have money to pay the sources from which we have borrowed money and so their best solution is to… borrow some more. They want to borrow more money to keep from defaulting on previously borrowed money. Put simply, the plan is to borrow more money to help with their debt problem. Before becoming President, Senator Obama knew the reality of this and eloquently railed against raising the debt ceiling calling the need to do so a failure of leadership. He was right then and that statement is STILL right. But now that he has to apply it to himself, he is saying it was a mistake. No, Barrack, baby, it wasn’t.
Does anyone out there with some credit card debt see that as a good way to get out form under their debt? In fact isn’t precisely that approach the first step down the road toward real bankruptcy for so many of us? We don’t want to cut back, we don’t want to lower our expenditures for material things we have come to see not as niceties but as necessities, we don’t know how to raise our productivity, so we get another credit card to use or raise the limit on ones we already have. And has that plan ever worked? No. So why will it work for the government?
“But, but, with that “breathing room” they can now tackle the underlying and real problems!” goes the cry supporting the plan. Really. And i would believe that, why?
In the last fight over a tiny fraction of the budget problem those who wanted to cut back were accused of “…coming to town to kill women!” They were going, with the paltry cuts proposed as a stop gap, to starve children and old folks, it was screamed about. So do you really, for a split second, believe that those same people will not fight tooth and nail when the REAL cuts are being proposed? THey do not want to cut a penny.
As I have said before, the problem is simple. The citizenry wants more goodies than the government can afford or that they are willing to work for themselves. And that has led politicians to give them those goodies and in return they keep getting voted in to keep the slop flowing in the trough. When the revenue did not meet the demands of the expenses, to keep themselves employed by keeping the people happy, the politicians simply borrowed it. It was easy. Too easy. They borrowed it from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, they even printed money and are borrowing it from themselves! But astonishingly they kept spending at a rate higher than the initial borrowing could handle so they need to increase the borrowing. And now the deficit (the amount needed to pay for those goodies that we do not actually have) is in the trillions while the debt itself is in the tens of trillions.
And now they want to be able to spend more (raising the deficit) and borrow more (raising the debt) as a solution to it. if you wrote this as a novel most people would say it makes so little real-world sense as to be unbelievable. When a situation arises where you do not have the money to pay for what you want and you can no longer borrow money, then you have a clear set of choices; only have what you can pay for, or increase your revenue. The government is no different. To be fiscally sound they can either deliver only what the government has the money to pay for, or the citizens have to agree to pay for the services they want.
That is so obvious and so clear, to push for an obviously disastrous third choice, i.e. to raise the debt limit so you can borrow more, is nonsensical on the face of it… if, that is, the goal really is to achieve fiscal stability.
We have long ago passed the point where solutions will be pain free and are well into the phase where solutions will really hurt across the board. But no one wants to be the ones in pain: they want those OTHER feeders at the trough to be the ones to suffer, but not themselves. Anybody else hurting is OK, but not themselves or their pets. So why would anyone believe that the coming fight over the real money is going to be any less rancorous than the fight over the paltry money (in government terms) just fought so viciously over?
Or, since that line of thinking that you can borrow your way out of debt is so bizarre is it possible that applying Occam’s Razor to the issue (Occam posited that the simplest solution was usually the correct one) we might have to realize solving the problem is not really the goal? Perhaps the problem is, to the ones in charge, not a problem at all but actually a tool and a means to an end. Our system, unique in the history of world governments, was so well thought out, has been so strong and so able to persevere since its inception, the only way to truly transform it, as King Barrack says he wants to do, is to tear it down and start over. That would be nearly impossible. Only if the system crashes will there be a likelihood that a new one, built on the constantly failing european social systems can be built in its place. Hmmmmmmm
Now that is, to me at least, a really ugly line of inquiry. I do not want it to be true. But since the declared reasons are so fallacious and spurious on their face it logically means that either the people supporting the declared reason are stupid beyond belief, or that rationale is simply there to cover for a truth that does make sense.
So I need a little help here in figuring out the truth of it. Can someone show me how it has ever worked to borrow their way out of a debt crisis and if so, how that translates into the government’s avowed plans? And if not, then can you explain why the sheep are knowingly following their bellwether leaders to almost certain doom?