Conceptualizing the Deficit

I was talking to a some liberal friends I have about the Deficit,and the Tea Party, and the morons, and the idiots out there beyond NYC, they were sure existed. (For I’m in NYC for a few days,) and they were unsure of what I was talking about, for they were of course, all about the help that could be done, and not about how the help might be done successfully. Typically, good intentions were oh so simple, and enough. And reality was for naught. They are convinced that the Tea Party Rumble is a flash in the pan. They’re sure that all the little old ladies on Medicare complaining about government spending were morons. They insisted I read some Taibbi dude about what the Tea Party is, which is, I think, sort of like listening to a King talk about the horrors of the peasantry, and the wonders of the King. And it’s all words, and on and on it came. Not just one friend, but several. It’s like they got the memo that week, and now only had to accuse the Tea Party Rumble as just so stupid, for the people had to be helped or something. Yah, sure.

 

Forget the deficit, I said. Look at it this way, I pleaded: if the budget is 3.8 trillion …. — and right away I was interrupted by the starry eyed stare that so many zeros and words like trillion induce. So I wrote it thus:

3.8 trillion budget

2.2 trillion income.

Ignore the “trillion,” I said, and get to some real numbers, numbers of your life.

 

$38,000 spending on goodies

$22,000 income from work.

 

And where is the difference going to come from? And how long can you continue on this path? And even is someone lends you $16,000 this year, will they do so, year after year?

Ah, the realization! The idea bulb over the head was so bright Al Gore called in the Eco-monitors to shut down the power.

 

That’s what the TEA Party is about, I said — this on going deficit. It’s about the absurdity of the ever more complicated tax code, it’s about the hundreds of pages of unread laws — perhaps it’s true that the Tea Party has no earthly clue as to what policies it might want — for there really is no Tea Party policy — what there is is a Tea Party — “you can’t keep spending more than you make.”

 

I asked the good liberals if they would like a tax hike. OH, no, they would not. And so then what? I asked. Uh, hummanahummna, — no answer of course.

 

And then to my gay friends crying for equality or something I pointed out that we’d solve the whole not being able to file a joint tax return thing by simply eliminating the IRS and thus no one in the nation, straight or gay would have to file a tax return, or a joint one, and no one would be worried that some gay couple was filing a joint tax return either.

 

Occam, in the 1400s, put it best: Simplify – go for the simplest solution. So if a government needs 4 Trillion to run stuff, then tax 4 trillion, simply. But the IRS code is absurdly complex. No one can figure it out. Strip it to zilch, and figure out something else. That’s why we should elect Tea Party People, to figure out what to do with the current morass. It’s got to be stopped by law, and by reason, and by practicality — or it will be stopped by the reality that you can’t keep spending twice as much as you make year after year — no matter how hard you try.  And maybe, just maybe, those few light bulbs lit by the conundrum I presented, will result in a better country with a more rational tax structure.

 

One good thing to cut, and starting with the simple stuff first, is — no money for a study of cocaine usage in Argentine rats — sure, it’s only $4.5 million by the CDC — but hey, $4.5 million here, $4.5 million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

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