What are the facts? When you cut through all the folderol, what are the basic facts of our situation as a country?
The Really BIG problem:
The political class has failed all of us by lying to us – for a very long time, now – about the extent of our financial problems. Neither this country nor any other can live on credit indefinitely. At present, our nation has over $14 trillion in debt, and 40% of all government expenditures are done with borrowed money. We are overspending by around $1.5 trillion every year. This is clearly not only unsustainable, but greatly so. This cannot continue for much longer without something coming unstuck.
Entitlements, and maybe a lot more, WILL be cut – either intelligently, with at least some amount of control, or catastrophically when the economy does finally collapse. I suspect it is already too late to prevent that collapse, without Divine Intervention, though I’d love to be proven wrong. It seems to me the only unknown at this point is the timing.
Meanwhile, almost every single politician is trying to play the situation, saying that only their side can make it better. The fact is, they cannot make it better. There is NO path forward that makes everything peachy. Because even if we fix the problem, it will require deep, deep cuts in spending.
All the politicians have done is to tell us how much they are doing for us, while they try to find ways to delay the inevitable, at least until after their terms. As for me personally, I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of drawing social security or any of those other “entitlements” that I’ve been promised. I’m really going to be pretty well satisfied if I just get to eat as much as I would like, the rest of my life.
The ONLY way to avoid eventual economic catastrophe is to reduce our government (and personal) spending to a level well below our income level, so that we can sustain ourselves from our income, with a surplus to apply to our debt. Nothing else will do the trick. This would mean reducing government expenditures by at least 50%, which would make almost all entitlement programs untenable. And that is why the politicians won’t do it. They would be devoured by their own constituents.
Frankly, I fear – and expect – a world-wide Malthusian catastrophe. I hope I’m wrong. But it is no trivial thing to feed seven billion people, and if the trucks stop rolling or the farms stop producing, well, there you go.
I’m no expert. But that is what it looks like to me, from where I sit. The numbers do not lie, and they are unavoidable.
The slightly less BIG problems:
We have a set of politicians in Washington that are so corrupt that they believe they can pick and choose which laws to enforce.
That same set of politicians has no intention of protecting the borders of this country from the ongoing Mexican invasion (albeit a casual one). The same politicians who have attempted to use the situation as an excuse to justify taking the weapons of self defense away from law-abiding citizens of our country (“Fast and Furious”). A person who wants me to give up my guns is not my friend.
We have a bunch of bureaucrats in the EPA that are shutting down major parts of entire industries in the name of “saving the environment”, at a time when our economy is in shambles and the “science” they use as their justification is at best uncertain. Ask the thousands who work at coal fired power plants how they feel about the Obama’s EPA putting them out of work.
President Obama operates unilaterally without regard to the Constitution of the United States which he swore to defend and uphold. And the congress has been letting him get away with it.
Obama voted “present” on a decision about a new pipeline that could have provided as many as 20,000 new jobs and a source of oil independent of our enemies, at a time when we very badly need both. Rather than make a decision that would benefit the country, Obama kicked the can down the road – again – purely to keep his environmentalist constituency happy, but at the cost to the rest of the nation. Obama talks a lot about jobs “saved or created” but doesn’t say much about jobs he destroyed by his actions.
We have a government that strongly favors unions, to the detriment of everybody else. Even to the point of trying to force Boeing to locate a plant in a no-right-to-work state, thus impacting thousands of jobs. This is blatant paybacks for the unions and has nothing whatever to do with the rule of law.
We have a government that wasted two years forcing the unconstitutional ObamaCare on the country against the clearly expressed will of the people, while doing nothing whatsoever to help the economy or encourage more job growth. (“Stimulus” doesn’t count – it didn’t work. It was largely payback to Obama political donors, anyway.)
This administration embraced Keynesian economics and has performed a three year long and ongoing experiment with our country as the experimental subject – and the patient nearly died. Instead of learning from this, they now want us to let them do it some more. (Obama’s jobs bill – more of the same). Idiocy of the highest order.
We have an energy policy that protects the environment at the cost of our economy and the well being of our citizens, and without any particular way of judging if these very expensive detours and regulations actually do any good at all. This is insanity.
There is something wrong with environmentalists putting the environment ahead of people. It does make sense to preserve the environment for people, but to destroy the lives and well-being of people to (maybe) “save the environment” is clearly wrongheaded.
A large portion of our citizenry want the government to treat them as if they never left the nursery; the nanny state should feed them, entertain them, and make sure nobody bumps their little heads. Furthermore, they actually think this is a “right”. These people are the victims of 40 years of liberal indoctrination in our schools. Schools which certainly didn’t teach them to think. Sad, at best. These people are like my dog; I feed him, so he never learned to hunt. If I ever quit feeding him, he’ll starve to death. Like those people, he’s cute but not especially functional.
A self reliant, self disciplined, capable individual is anathema to these people, and this socialist model of government. The statists abhor such an individual because they cannot control him or her. Such individuals believe the government works for them, rather than the other way around.
We have political correctness so extreme that we allow murderers in our midst because we fear being branded as bigots; and this is exactly how the Fort Hood Terrorist Attack happened. And the Obama administration wouldn’t even admit that it was an act of terrorism, much less Muslim terrorism.
At about the same time as that terror attack, our “Department of Homeland Security” under Nepolitano, issued a memo that held that our returning war veterans were on the list of people to watch as potential terrorists. I blogged about it here.
We have an Attorney General that will not prosecute crimes of prejudice unless the victim is black. The article says his department is “unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations.” Eric Holder apparently does not believe that the law applies equally to everybody. People of his race get preferential and favorable treatment. So much for “justice”.
Tammy Bruce makes a pretty good case that Obama hates Christianity. He’s certainly gone out of his way to embrace Islam, even telling the director of NASA that his new top mission is Muslim outreach.
The President of the United States has bowed his head to every petty dictator he could get near. The word shame has pretty much fallen into disuse, but that is the word that comes to mind when I think about it.
There is so much corruption in our government generally, and this administration in particular, that it is simply breathtaking. Shucks, quite a few of Obama’s picks for positions in his government turned out to be tax evaders. Just who you want to put in charge!
This list perhaps scratches the surface of the evil and damage done by this administration.
I am hopeful we can undo a lot of the damage Obama and his administration has done to our country, but I honestly don’t have much hope about the economic problems.
First, even if we do the right thing it will be very hard; and second, I doubt the politicians have the will, nor the people the gumption, to grasp that nettle firmly; I think it’s rather more likely that the goose is going to hit the jet turbine. I hope I’m wrong.
One of Robert A. Heinlein’s characters pointed out that if you put too many rats in too small an enclosure, they go crazy; and humans are the only species that does this to itself.
I’m beginning to think that’s about where we’re at.