A lot of good shit gets kicked on Barry Ritholtz' site, but this morning's post on Deficit Chicken Hawks vs Ronald Reagan got me to thinking...the issue, not so much his words.
Anyway, why waste a good shit-talking rant on his comments?
With regard to the debt, it's not so much a question of "how do we fix it now" as much as "how does it ever get fixed."
How do we get in a positon where we can consistently run the surpluses necessary to tame the debt when a unique event drove the only surplus of the last 40 years?
Can we really become that much more productive so as to generate the revenues to pay it down? Of course we can't. Even if we could, all that extra liquidity would short-circuit the taco stand.
Can the government spend less? Those damned illegal aliens that are the real drain on our budget...or so the chain e-mails tell me. The pork and the war spending will never stop because they both feed addictions. And, even if no more goes into them, the damage is done from the bailouts.
So, who do we tell to go fuck themselves?
----Our debt holders (READ: China)? Do we sit around and wait for them to implode and then decide that we don't have to pay them? That'd be a neat trick, but might cause more problems than it solves. Maybe they'll just turn into us and spend away their credit. Ummm, leaving aside that, if they call in their markers, we've got a problem, where are they going to get the necessary crude? Yay, more war! Addiction fed.
----Our old people? Cut Social Security? Letting me opt-out of paying it? Weaning people off of it? Bahh, too easy and logical. Why not just clip them while were at it? Medicare is the real problem and people are living too long anyway. Maybe a buyout option...on their Social Security, not their lives, although paid to check out would be an interesting proposition.
----Our richer people? Pursuant to the above, let's say anyone that has made $200k/yr in any 5 years (or $100k in any 10 years) is disqualified from Social Security Benefits. Because, really, if you couldn't make that work into a nest egg, shame on you...how do you like capitalism now?
----Our richest people? Essentially, this $13T+ debt is just the government giving away money to the richest people. It's time to give it back. I'm not talking 90% tax rates, but Gates having to fork over half his shit (fuck that charitable trust bullshit, give up the loot muthafucka) will weigh a lot less on him than it does on me when I have to fork over about a quarter of my earnings. Wait a minute...that's a quarter to Federal. State and local is another ~8%, FICA 7.65%, sales taxes, toll roads (somehow this became a separate "charge"), excise taxes. Muthafucka, I'm already forking over half my check. Woman, where's my torch and pitchfork?
The argument that it would hurt job creation will be ignored because what we call the Bush tax cuts didn't do anything for job creation. In fact, since I've been close enough to observe- which is to say, since the early '90s recession- rather than leveraging existing talent and manpower, all I've seen is companies looking to reduce headcount...and spending on technology accordingly. Granted, there aren't enough smart and driven people to go around. But, if the last 20 years have been spent trying to run leaner, from where will the necessary innovation come?
See, y'all muthafuckas fucked up the game by dumbing down this country. You couldn't build out if you wanted to because y'all're dealing with a bunch of dumbshits and each guy is a bigger dumbshit than the last (I believe the economists call that the law of diminishing returns). It's now on the government to spur growth by putting people to work to shore up the creaking infrastructure 'round this muthafucka.
But, you speak too loudly about that type of government spending and people will start throwing tea bags at your ass.
See, the lot of us were dumbed down to the point that we've come to depend on the corporation for a job. Because we can't see ourselves as the boss, we don't embrace our jobs as such, rendering ourselves limited to the table scraps, and thus are married to opposition of any policy that would upset the corporate apple cart. So, instead of fighting for policies that would employ and empower us, we fight for policies that empower our employer...all in the misguided notion that our employer will keep us around forever, in the misguided notion that depending on a private employer for work rather than on the government is somehow further up the road toward self determination.
Who do we tell to go fuck themselves? It was a rhetorical question; we've been fucking ourselves all along.
Of course, by "we," I mean y'all.