Posts Tagged ‘debt’

It’s Time for Tough Love for Republican Leaders

August 4, 2011

I’m puzzled by conservatives who are critical of the conservatives who are critical of the budget deal.

I know you’re supposed to hate the sin and love the sinner, but a sinner who sins again and again needs not just love, but tough love.  House Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose debt deal is in the best tradition of deal makers like Bob Dole and John McCain, and  have dealt us into where we are today.

Yes, I know, Republicans [switch to parrot voice] “only control one half of one branch of government.” What kept John Boehner from walking out of the surrender negotiation with the White House and the Senate, stating clearly that he would not take part in a “compromise” that leaves us worse off than we were before? What kept Mitch McConnell from keeping his mouth shut at a time when he could be seen as competing with his own side?

Boehner and McConnell let the fear that they would be portrayed in the dinosaur media as causing a default guide their actions. Well, the default threat was a lie, the Dow is in a tailspin, trailing smoke, and no rating service in its right mind is going to let a debt-loaded borrower borrow more at less than confiscatory rates. And this was a great deal? Was it really better than no deal?

I don’t think so. These leaders failed us, and not for the first time.

It’s time for tough love, starting in the primaries.

John and Mitch, it’s time to retire.

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It’s NOT the ECONOMY, STUPID! It’s the FREEDOM!

July 5, 2011

It's NOT THE ECONOMY!

Why does any public discussion of our stumbling, staggering, bleeding economy dissolve into accounting-speak — deficits, debt, bonds, seasonally-adjusted unemployment figures, tax deductions, accelerated depreciation, corporate tax loopholes, taxing the rich, oil-depletion allowances, big oil, big tobacco, jobs training, college tuition, blah, blah, blah, ZZZZZ?

BECAUSE IT’S SUPPOSED TO. Whether it’s the baffled and hackneyed vice president or the Decepticon-in-Chief telling us we need to blame some fictional Monopoly-man villain, or the super-caffeinated Congressman Paul Ryan speed-talking to us about the his budget plan, we are soon lulled into a haze of indifference by the “hate-the-rich” blather, or the “dismal science” jargon.

This is by design. The Left blames the “rich,” and the Right blames the Left. Neither side in the argument will dare a passing glance at the real issue behind all the class-warfare rhetoric and financial minutiae – the metastatic intrusion of government into every aspect of our lives, consuming our freedoms and transforming our country from a beacon of freedom into an addled, paralyzed, stupid, Euro-socialist dinosaur.

In short, the real issue is the loss of freedom.

When a whole country tries to move back into its parents’ basement, somebody has to pick up the tab, and here we are. A nanny-state is an ever-expanding expense, and the trade of freedom for an illusion of security always, always, always has the same result. The number of people willing to make that trade exceeds the number of those who refuse, and, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, “…sooner or later, you run out of other peoples’ money.”

Then, one of a small number of things happens. One has happened so often that no one should be surprised, but some always are: mass murder and mass graves.

In the Twentieth Century,  socialism — under its two major brand names, Communism and Nazism — took off its mask of compassion and equality of result, and showed the naked face of absolute dictatorship. It tried to reduce its operating costs and remove inconvenient political opposition by killing a hundred million or more human beings.

It never works, but don’t look for this cost-cutting measure to be abandoned permanently. Scrape the socially-acceptable, compassionate-statist veneer off of any socialist, and the dictatorial, mass murderer is always there, waiting for its moment in the sun.

Another approach is by simply printing “money.”  This doesn’t work either, as the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe have already proven, as if proof were necessary. Sooner or later, the rest of the world catches on that the “full faith and credit” of the officially-sanctioned counterfeiting ring is meaningless.

No matter how many zeroes the print shop adds to the bill denominations, they still buy less and less, and finally, they are worth more as paper than as currency. This is but another, intermediate step to the murderous dictatorship, or to chaos and destruction.

The rarest but most blessed outcome is an awakening of the people to the reality that they are better off trusting themselves and leaving themselves to their own devices and to the mercy of their friends and relatives, than to trust any government to provide for them.

Of course, this sort of awakening is also likely to be bloody, because the beneficiaries of “other peoples’ money,” and the people who maintain their positions of privilege and power by handing it out, do not often give up their free rides voluntarily.

Some of the calcified and impoverished European socialist states are now experiencing a tentative rebirth of freedom; they have hit the financial wall, and can no longer ignore the inevitable. The trade of freedom for security always ends the same — security and freedom both expire. Whether these states, currently teetering on the razor-edge between freedom and slavery, will fall toward freedom, or away from it, it is still too early to tell.

Which way our own, uniquely-blessed country will fall, will be largely determined in the next few months.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the issue, not the economy. Will we choose freedom, as our forefathers did over 235 years ago, or slavery? The economy is an effect, not a cause. The economy will heal if we choose freedom.

If we choose slavery, we will get the economy we deserve.