Does Congress know the cliff-notes of math?
So, we supposedly have averted falling off the fiscal cliff. Frankly, that’s bunk. What we did was pull some wool over the eyes and pretend the cliff is not there. For if anyone thinks that the $62 billion they’ll eke out of the rich in new taxes will cover the $1 trillion+plus annual deficit is out of their minds. And that’s the problem … far too many people seem to have skipped math. They are simply unable to wrap their minds around the reality that $62 billion doesn’t cover $1 Trillion. Frankly, even $620 billion in one year doesn’t cover the $1 trillion and more we have in debt spending this year, and the years past, and the years going forward, as they call it. We’re not “going forward” – we’re going backwards … into a mercantilist-royalist system were the rulers don’t give a damn about the economy except to reward their cronies and rack up more debt.
“Don’t worry,” many say, “we owe it to ourselves.” Yes, well, perhaps we do … but doesn’t it still have to be paid back? Or are we to simply wipe out the massive debts through law? Though I really can’t figure out how that it will work, it does have Biblical precedence: cancel the debts every 7 years. Maybe that’s what the government plans on doing. They’ll wipe the slate clean and we won’t owe ourselves any money any more. We’ll just be out that money, of course. And odd the way the “liberals” and “fundamentalists” are so Biblical, isn’t it?
And about “liberals” and such other labels as “conservative” and so many other words we bandy about in our political discourse … what do they mean anymore? Is or is not a “liberal” for big and bigger government, seemingly without cease? Or is there a limit to the bigness, but they haven’t achieved or articulated it yet? Or, are “liberals” really just “socialists” or “communists” or some other label, “progressive” perhaps … there’s so many one needs a score card. But what these people have in common is that 1) they don’t think any wealth belongs to anyone individually, but only to the government and to society, to be doled out, and 2) they can’t do math.
Meanwhile, “conservatives” prattle on about China the way, um, well, the way liberals do. They both call for protectionist measures, aka, higher taxes, ergo, higher prices … to somehow keep things just the way they are in America. I find too, that “liberals” seem to want to “conserve” things like General Motors and every manufacturing job that exists today and surely every government program – and so the party and philosophy which stresses “hope and change” is not for changing anything whatsoever, not even whether a company should or should not make cars because of their economic incompetence. No, we are to “conserve” General Motors like a specimen in a jar of formaldehyde. Indeed, the nation’s economy is being pickled in a way, so that we can conserve and preserve every single thing just the way it is today for these people for “progress” and “change” and the “future” are awfully sure that everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is.
Try suggesting even a minute change in Social Security, never mind a big one, and you are a heartless cad willing to let old ladies eat dog food – so, change is bad. But if you are for “change” then you wish to keep Social Security unchanged. Weird how that works. Perhaps everyone should go to the dictionary and play musical labels until they get a Goldilocks right size for them.
Then too, this fiscal cliff is merely the prelude for the next, and the next … and indeed, with each month comes another cliff. It’s not cliffs – it’s brickbats used to slam the economy. No one knows what will happen … so, they make plans based on the insecurity and unsureness. Which is odd, too, for the “left” thinks they can social engineer people to do this or that … and then, when it comes to economics, they are quite sure, “all else remaining the same.” Well, how come we can pass laws to change behavior but they don’t think that this tumble-rumble every month in Washington will not change people’s behavior? That’s a logical conundrum I haven’t seen addressed … I bring it up, and then I’m a troglodyte for returning to some past that I wasn’t part of, and mostly didn’t exist anyway.
I read that the Congressional Budget Office said that the “taxpayer relief bill” that forestalled the cliff falling – the law that was supposed to keep taxes as low as they are, and to start to pay down the debt, will instead actually increase the deficit by $4 trillion … which is not, then, paying down the debt, but ramping it up. Oh well.
Now comes the ObamaCare taxes, on everything it seems, to make health care affordable, by raising the prices through taxes, so that the collected moneys can presumably be given back to the people who can’t afford health care … because the prices are too high, because of taxes. Yah, neat trick, eh?
Then comes the complaint about the label “ObamaCare” – well, what do we call it? Some have alluded to the fact that Social Security is not called “RooseveltCare” or something, and Medicare is not “JohnsonCare” – and that’s true … and that’s because those laws had names one could use: the Social Security Act set up Social Security, and the Medicare Act set up Medicare … seems simple enough. Like I would suppose the “Road Tax Program” actually winds up paving roads in a program called “Road Fixing” or something. You know, real words for real things. But what we got is some bureaucratic mishmash of a name … which itself is a clue as to how absurd the thing is. The Patient Care and Affordability Act – isn’t that it? Or is it something I can’t even remember? (And I have a fine memory indeed.)
So, what do we call this wondrous new program which sets up bureaucrats to make decisions on who pays what for what and when, and probably why and how too, and brings on board thousands of new IRS agents to collect taxes, and makes every American buy an insurance policy that covers things they don’t need (pregnancy care for gay men? Must be covered, com’n now, one size fits all fairness, that’s the name of the game,) and that may or may not actually pay for any medical service, depending on if there’s actually a doctor available – but doesn’t actually refer to any particular program.
So what do we call the PCAA – or whatever the actual title is – except after the man who (aborted)birthed it? It can’t be called “Affordability” can it? Or perhaps we’ll all get used to calling it “Patient Care”? Or are we to make up some other acronym from it’s letters, say “PA-CA-AA” – though, how would one pronounce it. Still, I’m waiting for some quick moniker we can all use, for that’s the nature of government programs, they get cute names: Freddie, Fannie, Flopsie, who knows what others lurk in the depths of the bureaucracy. I recall DISCO – the Defense Intelligence System Confab Organization or something – really, a Pentagon program to funnel billions into some intelligence systems was indeed called “DISCO” – modern folks down there among the brass tacks.
Ah, labels … I argue incessantly with people who claim they are “Progressive” and want all the banks owned by government, but they are not “socialist,” which is a system were all the banks are owned by government. It’s like Mexico wasn’t a “Socialist” country because they didn’t call themselves that, but Poland was, because they did use the word, and yet, during the Cold War period at least when it came to economics Mexico and Poland were on the same page: all the big companies and banks and manufacturing, land and housing, etc, etc, were owned by the government. The concept was identical, but not the label. So people got confounded on the label, and ignored the concept, and Mexico and Poland were different. As for the big difference, which was the size of the secret police, well, true, Poland’s was bigger, more invasive, but that’s because of the Soviets. They ran their Socialist paradise, and all the newspapers owned by the government described it as such. While we “ran” Mexico, and thus all their government owned newspapers described Mexico as a paradise. Both nations, of course, ignored the many leaving their paradises, with the lucky Mexicans oh so much closer to the nirvana of the US.
And now, alas, we are going down the route of Mexico and Poland. Oh well.
Meanwhile, in the news all the talking heads are more talk about personalities and who said what in what finely nuanced thing to ensure they said nothing and were culpable for even less, and the big concepts go totally unspoken off. The news “debate” is not about the math of the deficit – it’s about the political posturing between Boehner, Reid, Obama and sundry others with their mouths flapping platitudes. It’s about how Ryan perhaps felt voting for something he didn’t like. But it’s not about what is actually voted on … those are apparently secret details.
So secret that Congress itself is pretty much out of the loop for they couldn’t have read this law they passed the other day about the cliff avoidance. It had too many pages and was written almost overnight … who had time to read it? Who could possible ferret out the intended and unintended consequences of this apple-cart upsetting law that supposedly righted the cart? How could that law have been written so fast, after so many fraught hours of negotiations to get the right mix of up and down taxes and cuts and whatever pork it took to lard the thing with so that everyone who didn’t want to vote on it could be appropriately bribed with bucks for their district so they would vote on the thing they were against before the bribe was proffered? Yes, another unread law, so quickly done, when folks are exhausted, late at night, in a rush … this is policy? This is teenagers on a Friday night romp.
And that’s the mush for the day … for it’s so mind boggling how anyone could think that this new cliff-law will do anything but push the cliff-jumping down the road a month or two is beyond me – and yet, it’s promulgated as the solution we’ve all been waiting for. And of course, for Republicans, it’s all the Democrat’s fault, and for the Democrats, it’s all the Republican’s fault. Which, since I agree with them both, they are both at fault, and they should do what is right for America – and resign en masse and say “we have no clue, let’s get someone who does.”
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