Saturday, February 12, 2005


Fiscal Responsibility

I'm not the one to lecture anyone on fiscal responsibility, quite frankly. I haven't got a head for numbers or money, and although I do understand some things about mathematics, I understand them in just the sort of vague, general way that anyone who really cares for numbers would disapprove of.

Still, if you don't know this, you really should: the nutters in charge of our government are deliberately trying to bankrupt the treasury.

I know this sounds absurd, but, as usual, the Neocon Corporatists are hiding their agenda in plain sight. If you care to look into the matter, it turns out that they've got the whole theory thought out, written up, signed and sealed. The idea is that somehow it's immoral for the government to be "redistributing wealth" to lazy, sinful, undisciplined, and/or racially inferior poor people (or, worse yet, heathens and atheists), so they've decided that if they bankrupt the treasury then socialist--er, sorry, social--entitlements will all wither up and blow away. They've actually got "think tanks" and "political scientists" backing up this incredible twaddle with deep-sounding treatises and war plans.

The Administration has just handed Congress the largest national budget in the history of the World, while at the same time sending the usual troops out to announce to the waiting toady corporate-owned media that it's a "strict" and "severe" budget and that what they're doing is "cutting expenditures" and so forth. Meanwhile, the proposed deficit is the largest in human history, and is quite probably badly fudged even so. For starters, it doesn't include the true cost of the prescription drug program Congress has already passed; it only includes a little more than half of what that's actually going to cost. It doesn't address the cost of the demolition of Social Security now being proposed. And it doesn't include the cost of the war.

Let me just mention that again: the budget that the Administration just submitted to Congress includes a grand total deficit that doesn't include the cost of the war in Iraq.

Seriously. You don't need to be good at math, I would submit, to realize that a skunked dog stinks.

Meanwhile, We're nearly a month into George W. Bush's second term, and he has yet to veto a single spending program. Instead, he just keeps proposing more and more spending. Ominous signs are already on the horizon: the dollar, while not in a nosedive, is slanting rather alarmingly downward; a dark cloud is forming over foreign capital as it gets more and more anxious about whether investments in our debt is really such a good idea after all; "new" jobs are worth on average ten thousand dollars a year less than the old jobs they're supposedly replacing, never mind inflation; corporate malfeasance is snowballing though "Kenny Boy" Lay is still at large; and the housing and real estate markets, which have pretty much carried the economy's load since George seized power, are showing signs of stress.

I'm no economist. But is bankrupting the U.S. government really such a smart idea? Is it really going to make the government smaller, tighter, and more efficient, while returning vitality and exuberance to the private sector? Or are we all going to go to hell in a handbasket?

As I say, I'm not the one to say. But one thing's for sure: the party of fiscal responsibility is clearly the Democratic Party. The Republicans will have lost that title for good by the time George gets done.

© 2005 The Quotidian Meander

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