Monday, April 11, 2011

Budget Suicide

RealClearPolitics - Big Government on the Brink

A little optimistic, but worth the read. The bottom line problem is that VERY few people realize that "The Pig(federal gov) is Dead". They keep talking about "this and that won't work, something HAS to be done". Have none of these people ever seen a loved one die?? It seems "unthinkable" -- we will just need to do this ... or that, or why can't they do THIS, or, or ... . And then it is over, they are gone. You are still here, the world goes on, but it isn't the same world -- what you thought could not possibly happen has happened, and you are sadder but maybe wiser.

We took a wrong turn in '06. The sign said "Dead End" very clearly, but we pushed the accelerator to the floor. We went by a sign in '08 that said "Danger, STOP !! High Cliff Ahead!!!" ... we took a strong swig of whiskey and pushed on the gas even harder. As the darkness falling away into the abyss started to enter our awareness in '10, we hired some folks willing to turn on the headlights. But most folks seem to have just decided to shut their eyes when it comes to painful realities.

We don't HAVE to have our loved ones alive. So surprise -- there is no "law of nature" that we HAVE to have Social Security, Medicare, Defense, a job, any assets, shelter, clothing, enough to eat, etc. **ALL** of those things have to be EARNED!!! If not by us now, then by SOMEONE -- either "wealthier", or from past generations wealth that was saved, or from future generations wealth being borrowed, or by conquest of other nations wealth ... it all comes from somewhere.

So when folks say things like "Paul Ryan's plan won't work because someone will HAVE to do xxx, to cover yyyy", or "Republicans thought that idea X was good in 1970, or 2003, or whenever, but now they seem to have changed their minds, there is a failure to understand the effects of time. Microsoft was a superb stock to buy in 1985 ... it may still be fine now, but it is very unlikely that it is as good now as then. Fixing FICA and helping the economy by doing some sorts of privatization or incentives in even '03 may well have been very helpful, but we missed that opportunity. We have a lot less flexibility now. Ditto with a lot of good ideas on healthcare, if some of the best advice had been followed EARLIER, when the problems were not so deep and the time frame longer. Sadly, the same is still the case -- we are like a drinker that has continued to drink and now the liver is dead. Quitting earlier would have been A LOT less painful -- in fact, maybe we are too late to avoid death.

In any case, the solutions to a system that anyone that wanted to look could see was unsustainable decades ago are FAR more painful now than they were even a few years ago. Why? Because when you are in the final stages of liver disease and you decide that the right answer is to go on a multi-month bender, the end can come very very quickly. That is the course we chose in '06, and accelerated in '08, and now we don't like the pain that is required to have even the very smallest of chances of even a very damaged recovery.

There is always an alternative, it is just that in the final analysis it is always death.

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