Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Too Late

My head is about to explode. Though there was plenty of room inside it until last Fall, I've simply listened and read too much; too much about bailouts, the myriad initiatives in Washington, the thousand-plus page bills and the detritus likely to be left behind when all of the alluvia has settled at the end of the Red (Ink) River. Antipathy spills from me like the cataract of the Niagara River. The repugnance of the march through our heretofore settled life, originally unsettled by forces over which we had control, e.g. too much personal spending on unnecessary 'stuff', too much pilfering of mirage equity from our homes, not enough saving. Guilty as charged. Nevertheless, we have arrived at this point after a hysterical reaction in the Fall which led to 'leadership' in an empty suit. It turned out to be 'hope and change' alright--false hope and short change.

I am overwhelmed with data, self-serving Tweets from politicians, shreiking demagoguery, daily dissembling, adroit artifice, and the hubris of paternalistic politician bloviators who condescend to the point where I want to vomit. These people have set themselves apart as a separate caste, a place where the rules that apply to you and me simply have no applicability in their parallel universe. I am naively amazed as each day dawns to find that, despite numerous polls to the contrary, the national nitwits continue to believe we are all too stupid to know what is best for us. Some of us are not.

All of this aside, the cynic who lives within me daily whispers more loudly that the time has long past for anyone, elected representatives or the rest of us great unwashed, to stop the madness. The train has left the station. The horse has escaped the barn. The toothpaste cannot now be put back into the tube. Well over a majority of the trillions (000,000,000,000) of dollars 'we' spend every year are earmarked for either established, ongoing government programs or for interest payments on the national debt. Interest payments. So, not only have we been living irresponsible lives personally, but also vicariously. We've been content to watch Rome burn a second time. Statistics show that we have grown a national conscience in the past year. We have ceased our reckless ride through the retail jungle. We have increased our savings rate. It doesn't matter.

The National Debt keeps rising. Its avoirdupois is so enormous that we cannot see around it whichever way we look. The bloat of the Federal Government has proven time and again that it channels Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars. It's great at giving orders and making threats, but, it is simply too fat to get up and address crises like Hurricane Katrina, the largest natural disaster in the history of the planet. Too damn fat. Once we get past the primary reason for a federal government--defending our borders--isn't responding to the dramatically unexpected a primary reason we send our blood money to the IRS each April?

Yet, here we are. We have arrived at our destination only to find that our country spends billions (only) of dollars every single day for interest on the debt. Billions. Every day. And the number is heading north. Quickly. What could be next? What indeed. Look what we've left our kids.

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