Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trouble's a' comin'

I’m sure I’m going to read this in 20 years and laugh my ass off at my naivety. In fact, I pray that I do, because if that is the case, then I will have been proven wrong, and society did not experience a multitude of big, nasty changes and possible total breakdowns in the next few years.

Right now, though, I just can’t see any way around it. We are spending ourselves into a hole so big that it can never be overcome, and we are completely unwilling to make the tough choices necessary to fix the problem.

Here is what I mean. Our national debt is 14 trillion, when last I checked. Our budget deficit is 1.5 trillion, also when last I checked.

The toughest, most extensive and most heavily criticized (for being too much, not the other way around, surprisingly) budget reduction program submitted to date by House Republicans calls for 64 billion in cuts to the budget. I want to emphasize that this will never pass, because almost everyone, including the great Harry Reid (un sarcasm) is saying that it is far too “ambitious” and cuts way too many “necessary programs” with no concept of the fact that it doesn’t matter how “necessary” something is when you cannot fucking afford it! When ordinary Americans cannot afford something, no matter how much they think it is necessary, they go without. The government, on the other hand, thinks it just gets to tax those same Americans more so it can continue to fund its $500 dollar toilet seat addiction.

Here is a graph that shows the national debt, the budget deficit, and the almost universally lamented, far too “ambitious” proposed cuts to the current budget.

Can you see the cuts? Look closely, it appears to be just a thickening in the X-Axis line over the words “Proposed Cuts.” Pretty “ambitious”, huh?

Have I made my point? Not yet? Okay, try this on for size:

You live in a family that has an income of $50,000 per year. If you sported numbers like the Federal Government, this would be your story:

You would owe $308,370 in debt.

You would spend $84,361 per year, despite only taking in $50,000 per year, which means that you would be putting the difference of $34,361 on your credit cards every year, adding to your deficit next year as you struggle to make payments and interest on the existing debt.

And you would be telling everybody that tries to help you that a suggested cut of $1,400 (a bit over $100 a month) out of your $84,361 budget is far too ambitious and simply not attainable.

Can you see why I think we are in trouble?

Even the most ambitious, most aggressive, and largest cut that has been proposed does not even show up on a graph compared to the total budget and debt. Even the bravest of our representatives in government are only willing to suggest that we cut $1,400 out of an $84,000 budget when we are already spending $34,000 more than we already have. If this is all the further we can go, and it appears that we can’t even get this far, then why even bother? A $64 billion dollar cut will change nothing, so why even care?

The entire house of cards appears to be collapsing around us as we speak, and our representatives are arguing over $1,400 out of a $34,000 deficit. They don’t see it. They don’t get it. They are preparing to crash this ship of state into the rocks, and are quibbling over whether the decks have been swabbed enough – it won’t matter when she sits at the bottom of the ocean, I can assure you.

Like I said, I hope that I am wrong. I hope I look back at my archives in 20 years and laugh at myself. I hope that we continue to live free and with a high standard of living, for the sake of my newborn daughter and her children. But I don’t think we will.

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