Published: Wednesday, 20 March 2013 15:33
Are we all so petty and spoiled that we can't deal with serious problems?
The White House ends public tours, and there is controversy.
Faced with a plummet over the financial cliff, are we really supposed to be outraged at this deprivation?
We might feel insulted to be treated so much like children, but then again maybe we are acting too much like children.
Yellowstone Park won't be able to plow the roads as much this spring because of sequestration.
Is this all we have to endure in order to save our children from future tax hikes of 48 and 86 percent, maybe, as soon as 2030?
If true, what a relief.
If all, we, as citizens, have to do to prevent our financial collapse, is to stand a bit longer in line at the airport, we should spend that time dancing a jig.
Sure, the antics of cutting as close to the services that people most want, is a petty, childish, political manipulation that advances personal ambition and political power, ahead of the well-being of the country, but maybe that too is simply the price we have to pay for past excesses and poor political choices at the polls.
We should only hope that this is the worst of it, because it probably isn't.
The sequestration drama, I suspect, is nothing but a staged performance by politicians to make citizens think they are doing something. It amounts to such a small amount of the deficit — hardly discernible compared to the national debt— that if this is all that the economists and media have been whaling about, as potential financial ruin, then they should be ashamed.
The sequestration cut is still not a reduction in the amount the government spends each year; it is but a cut in the proposed increase of spending for the next couple of years. The government will still spend more next year than it did last year.
Until we cut real spending, we cannot get out of the woods. With that reality staring at us, how can anyone take the "dog and pony" show of the past month seriously? How could any politician who is really concerned about the well-being of the country, change the subject so quickly after sequestration went into effect? The fact is we need several sequestrations to even begin to impact our financial problems.
What is truly amazing is the rhetoric of the national debate which makes it sound like we have a choice about reducing government spending. Whenever a politician stands up to heroically declare no changes will be made to such entitlements as Medicare or social security, does no one understand that without making some prudent changes, change will come of its own accord?
Who is concerned about the inevitability of wholesale sweeping changes, which give no opportunity to mitigate the worst? When a politician claims we have nothing to worry about, does anyone look at that politician and see a fool or scoundrel, rather than a heroic savior? Where will he be on the day that there is no more money to send to any of the elderly, who have been pulled into dependency upon the government? Will all those people still believe, on the day when checks arrive no more, that that politician was looking out for their interests in opposing reform?
In listening to all the whining, crying and gnashing of teeth over the trauma of having to forgo mail delivery on Saturdays, I am left scratching my head. Here, I was in fear that without cutting spending, we would be forgoing food, every day.
Of course, our politicians fear doing the right thing because they know there is no way to take the action necessary, without causing pain for almost everyone; and they fear it will probably be held against them, come election day. It's too bad we do not have statesmen, who are dedicated to simply doing the right thing, but it is also terribly embarrassing that we have become indolent, spoiled children, who stomp our feet and petulantly demand the impossible.
What makes anyone think that there is a way out of this mess without suffering some pain? Anyone who believes that that is possible, is beyond-words delusional.
Having said that – there are steps that could be taken to tighten the belt for government, and then to release the pent-up possibilities for production, wealth creation and jobs within the private sector, which would make the pain short-lived.
But that takes a confidence in free markets and in the production capabilities of the people that no one seems to have any more, despite the historic evidence of the miracles it can achieve. It takes understanding that we can live without Big Bird if necessary, but that in making some $40 million a year, Big Bird will probably do just fine without a government subsidy.
It also requires shifting power back from government to the people, which is something that no government has ever been willing to do, voluntarily. For that to happen, it will take an unprecedented demand from the grassroots – from responsible adults rather than dependent children.