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As a small child growing up during the 60's and 70's in a small mountain community in West Virginia, (pronounced West By God Virginia for those of you who are not from there,) I often got it into my head to participate in some activity which could only be described as incredibly stupid. Each and every time when questioned by my thankfully involved parents, (not the village that it takes to raise a child in states with Democrats in charge,) my answer was always the same, everybody else is going to be there, or doing it, or otherwise acting in some manner which certainly would have made their own parents not at all happy.
The answer I always received in response to this objection was, as I had come to learn later on in life, the ultimate parent's standard, "if all of your friends were jumping off of a cliff, would you follow them." (Author's note, in West Virginia, that parental favorite has a note of relevance to it that I learned in adult hood does not exist in most of the rest of the country.) So, here we are some Forty something years later, and I am forced to wonder if my fellow adult citizens have ever learned that all important lesson our parents tried so earnestly to teach us all those years ago. Come November, I will have my answer.
You may have noticed that at the top of this particular post, I have included an estimation of America's debt clock. According to the estimation of this wonderful tool designed to tell us all just exactly how screwed we are, early on the morning of September 4, 2012, we will reach $16 Trillion in national debt. Just to help you wrap your mind around how much money that is, let's pretend for one moment that you had real longevity in your family. Let us also pretend, just for a moment that you married someone who had both that same longevity, and was coincidentally a shopaholic. Then to complete the image, your make believe spouse was able to find a sufficient number of sucker banks to keep lending all of the money desired for the world's wildest shopping spree. If your spouse managed to buy $1 Million worth of worthless crap each and every day from the birth of Jesus until now, they would not have wracked up $1 Trillion of debt, assuming compounding interest due at prevailing rates.
We stand my friends truly at the side of a cliff. Each and every day, our government borrows on our behalf $4 Billion. To use our illustration above, that represents your imaginary spouse's spending spree being funded for 11 years. It would have taken your spouse 2,750 years to reach the single Trillion mark, and jesus is not that old. To reach our current debt load, your unusually long living spouse would need 44,000 years. Using that as a back drop, how on Earth can anyone label a budget proposal which would seek to stop this insanity, irresponsible or radical? What Universe is this, Vanilla Sky?
Over the last couple of days, I have seen pundit after pundit label, or attempt to label Paul Ryan as being some sort of alien for having attempted to address this very problem. If we allow him to cut off this spending, grandma, children, and puppy dogs will surely perish. I must once again state a simple fact, my grandmother, children, and dog all survived the Reagan years.
What perplexes me most, is the insistence on continuing to call massively huge increases in spending, cuts. Again, and with all due respect to the people we elect to lead our nation, in what possible context could this possibly be true?
I understand how the purposefully deceptive practice of baseline budgeting affects the accounting which our CBO uses to score what Washington inflicts upon us. Even taking that into consideration, the scale of what these geniuses are doing to us is unfathomable. At borrowing $1 Million per day, it would take 44,000 years to reach this level of screwed. I would think that we would be holding contests to see who could chop this budget in half by now. Of course, some of the Democrat pundits have taken to claiming that Barack Obama plans on cutting $4 Trillion from the budget, mostly through cheap gimmicks and back loaded cuts which will be scheduled to occur a full 6 years after 2016, when he would leave office even if he won a second term. Which of course brings up a second point.
Cast your minds back to 1982, when Ronald Reagan was still with us. He and Congress struck a budget deal in which he caved in to the Democrat Party demands to increase spending for pet projects and programs in exchange for reforming the tax code and promised spending cuts which were to occur at the end of the ten year budgetary cycle. Funny thing happened on the way to those cuts however, they never happened. Future Congresses are not bound by deals made now. Just like the Popeye character Wimpy, endlessly promising to pay Tuesday for a hamburger today, Barack Obama's promise to back load cuts will be just as valid as any of the numerous other such deals which have been struck. You should have a mental image of Lucy VanPelt pulling the football away at the last moment about now, and Charlie Brown swinging, missing, and flying through the air to land viciously on his back side.
We can not spend our way out of debt, and any claim to the contrary is a lie, pure and simple. So, as we gather together on the cliff, and the Democrats are telling us all, that the only way to keep from falling off is to jump off, are we going to follow them? When asked by my Mom so many years ago, I answered that she was just being silly, of course what ever activity I had been trying to convince her to allow me to participate in was not so dangerous as jumping off the cliff. My friends would not be so foolish anyhow. Then I would concede that of course I would be smart enough to avoid it. I wonder now however, if she indeed was smarter than I currently give her credit for having been. Are there really a majority of Americans who can be so willingly convinced that it's O.K. to jump? I certainly hope not. Barack Obama's Magic Snake Oil Elixir will not give us the ability to fly.
We will reach the $16 Trillion mark on the second day of the Democrat National Convention, a fitting tribute, don't you think?
Cross Posted From Musings of a Mad Conservative.