American Elephants

$14.294 Trillion Is The Debt Ceiling—That Should Be Enough! by The Elephant's Child

President Barack Obama told Democrat donors in a recent campaign meeting in New York that “There’s more than one way to mortgage America’s future.  We mortgage that future if we don’t get a handle on our deficit and debt, but we also mortgage it if we’re not investing in those things that will assure the promise of the American Dream for the next generation.

Note the cute use of “investing,” a more pleasant term than “spending.”  Democrats have long secured the votes of assorted interest groups by essentially buying them. Need better housing? We’ll build government housing.  Need food? We’ll have a feeding program for women, infants and children. Illegal immigrants?  We’ll offer amnesty. Unhappy unions? We’ll give you your own car company, and save your pensions as well.

Democrats don’t do principles or philosophy, they do payback and favors.  The Republican budget proposals, therefore are, according to the president:

It’s a vision of a small America, of a shrunken America, where those of us who are lucky do great and don’t have to give anything back, and we can pull the ladder up behind us.

We imagine a big America where we’re investing in the same kind of science that invented the internet.

As a column by Fred Barnes in today’s Wall Street Journal says: “Obama says he’ll ‘check under the cushions.’But neither he nor his allies on Capitol Hill have initiated any net reductions in spending since last fall’s election.  Not once. Their strategy is to defer to Republicans, then denounce whatever cuts Republicans come up with.”

He adds: “The response of the president and Democrats to the message from the November election is now pretty clear.  The voters asked for spending cuts.  Mr. Obama and company have said no.”

Economist Henry Hazlitt wrote in 1978 in a new edition of his best-selling book Economics in One Lesson that:

More than forty years after the publication of John Maynard Keynes” General Theory, and more than twenty years after that book has been tho;roughly discredited by analysis and experience, a great number of our politicians are still unceasingly recommending more deficit spending in order to cure or reduce existing unemployment.  An  appalling irony is that they are making these recommendations when the federal government has already been running a deficit for forty-one out of the last forty-eight years and when that deficit has been reaching dimensions of $50 billion a year.

An even greater irony is that, not satisfied with following such disastrous policies at home, our officials have been scolding other countries, …for not following these “expansionary” policies themselves.

So now it’s 73 years later, and nothing has changed, at least in the administration that was offering “hope” and “change”and instead has offered nothing but the same old tired, discredited solutions.  Spend more and shrink the economy.

Republicans want to cut back on spending, Democrats want to raise the debt ceiling and put a cap on deficit spending, which sounds good, except they have to pay for that by raising taxes. Federal spending has been out of control for decades and federal borrowing has been out of control for decades.  We can’t raise taxes enough to fix things, although Democrats are hoping for a perpetual cash-machine of bracket-creep where unsuspecting citizens move into higher tax brackets.

It really isn’t an option to not decide, to wait for Republicans to make suggestions so that you can demagogue them. Nations that own our debt are getting worried. We have a big demographic problem. Seventy-two million baby boomers are starting to retire this year, in increasing numbers every year until 2024.  We can reform things carefully so that no one gets hurt, or we can keep pretending that there is not a problem and continue spending until things collapse and everyone gets hurt. It shouldn’t be a hard choice.

Europe, which Obama seems to want to emulate, is busy cutting back their social benefits. Salaries are frozen, retirement postponed and health-care has been cut back. Long vacations and early retirement may be things of the past.  Left-wing political parties interpret the new winds of change as “a triumph for ruthless free-market extremists who want to protect private wealth from higher taxes and as an aberration that can be undone by electing governments that are more worker-friendly.” Sound familiar?

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