At 2 p.m. today, the NBER will release the monthly Treasury update of debt relative to credit. (Here’s a spoiler: It won’t be anything we didn’t see a month ago. We’re up to our ears in debt.) Meanwhile, Congress is rushing back into emergency session for a quick fix to stave off default as our spending continues to increasingly exceed our income. At a time when every politician is casting blame about the rapidly ballooning national debt and the continual political struggle surrounding raising the debt limit, it’s worth our while to examine the larger picture: Whose fault, really, is the precarious condition of our national finances?
It’s tempting for partisans to each blame the other party; it’s easily done, too, as government waste has become proverbial and inefficiency is automatically assumed without the bother of proving it. It’s equally simple for a certain class of people to throw up their hands and blame all politicians, as though they themselves would do better if they were in charge. But even a little brief reflection will show that, while these are satisfying accusations, they can’t possibly have much merit.
(Editor’s Note: We’ve been sitting on this for a little while now; you’ve needed the break. On the other hand, now it’s Pride Month. This is the best context we can think of in which to release this particular rant.)
Right. It’s been five months now, and you’ve had a break. A little chance to rest and relax. You’ve had your little victory and your dance and celebration, and now it’s time for the bad news.
Sure, you beat Trump. But it’s time to stop pretending that you won.
I was posed a question over Christmas. It was respectful and well-meaning, but the gist of it was, “Why do you bother to do this? You’re no expert, and sometimes you’re wrong.”
And that’s perfectly true: I have no degree in political science, nor even one in journalism. From time to time I’ll make a mistake — sometimes an egregious one. It’s even possible that the entire premise of an article might be completely off-base. These are all quite valid points, and it’s worth remembering them when you read: I might be wrong.
On the other hand, it’s occasionally possible everyone else is wrong.
No, not the Presidential race, though to be sure we’re still working through some of the process. Instead, let us consider the Senate: presently deadlocked at 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats, with a probable two seats up for runoff elections in Georgia.
Republicans don’t seem to have quite realized yet that the Democrats are probably going to win both seats.
“This meme shows what evil bastards Republicans are.” [LIKE] [SHARE]
It’s this sort of attitude that’s what’s wrong with America today. It’s horribly counterproductive. Your meme will never convince the unconvinced; all it does is make the Democrat feel smug without compelling them to do anything whatsoever.
The news stories on the current government shutdown are composed almost entirely of quotes from various lawmakers who want nothing more than to try and cast the blame on each other and on the President. After all, there were three perfectly good compromise plans (they say), and if only there were effective leadership and reasonable people on the other side of the aisle, we could have picked one and got on with our lives.
What they all carefully avoid mentioning is that a shutdown is arguably better than us passing yet another continuing resolution.
Let me explain, and then you can tell me if you agree. (more…)
Those who read my articles surely know by now I tilt at windmills on the Internet. Most people in my circle of acquaintance see the inhumanity and incivility and they just accept it; they say, “What do you expect? It’s the Internet.” And they let it go.
I could, I suppose, but I’ve long believed that we all have a duty to improve the world around us if we can; that an accumulation of small good deeds and kindnesses is the only bulwark we can raise against that genuine evil (more…)
It’s getting so I hate to turn on the news. I physically cringe. Bear with me here.
Here’s a quick recap: There was a shooting yesterday, a man I think can best be described as a domestic terrorist plinking away at a Congressional charity baseball team at practice. There was a horrific fire at a London apartment highrise where, apparently, the sprinklers malfunctioned and dozens of people were killed. (It’s been called “corporate manslaughter”.) Congress approved a multibillion dollar arms sale to Qatar, a nation presently (more…)
I want to be very clear from the beginning: I dislike Donald J. Trump. I find him odious and I believe him to be unprincipled and dangerously impulsive.
And I don’t think he’s done anything terribly illegal during his time in office. If it’s found that he has, it’ll be a surprise to me, and I’ve been watching about as closely as an outsider can. (more…)