"Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hikers." -- Ron Paul
The Debt Ceiling Reality Show approaches its grand finale in the next week. The world breathlessly awaits the shocking conclusion. The debt ceiling will be raised. The world will be saved. Wall Street will rejoice. Americans can focus on the important stuff again, like Casey Anthony's upcoming book, who will win this week's Toddlers and Tiaras pageant, and the latest app created for their iPads. Based on my observations over the last few weeks, I'm absolutely sure that 90% of the politicians in Washington DC would lose on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?
Still, the mainstream media and the performing puppet politicians need to create a fearful frenzy among the masses to insure maximum public relations exposure for their lies, misinformation, and mistruths. Wall Street will exert their control over the debate by threatening to crash the market if they don't get what they want (aka TARP). I generally ignore the talking heads on Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and CNBC, as I could learn more from watching Cash Cab than listening to ideologues spouting their talking points. But, last night I happened to see an hour or so of Fox, CNN and MSNBC. I saw the full spectrum of right wing and left wing rhetoric and fear mongering. These stations should be ashamed to call themselves news organizations. They do not even purport to report the news. They spew talking points generated by the left and right, depending on the station's bias. Truth is unavailable on the mainstream media.
What the public doesn't see is the rooms filled with PR maggots in the bowels of Congress generating talking points and testing them in over night polls of the public. Their sole purpose is to generate a message that will convince the public the fiscal debacle is the fault of the other party. The goal is to gain an advantage in the next elections. The long term future of our country is unimportant to the soulless autobots that get paid to misinform and mislead the masses. Leaving unborn generations with an un-payable debt so we can selfishly cling to benefits promised to us by corrupt politicians who only made the promises so they could be elected, is the ultimate in egocentric myopia.
The deceptive talking points created in smoky backrooms in Washington DC and vetted by Madison Ave maggots are easy to detect. Each side pounds home the exact same phrases on every "news" station:
Republican Talking Points
- We refuse to increase taxes on all Americans to fix a spending problem.
- Spending has been out of control since Obama took control of the White House (reference $800 billion stimulus package, home buyer tax credit, and Obamacare).
- Say that Obama doesn't have a plan and mention his ten year budget.
- Tell the American people Republicans are fiscally responsible and the real party of change.
- The people told them to change Washington with the 2010 election.
Democratic Talking Points
- The Tea Party EXTREMISTS have hijacked the Republican Party and want to destroy the country by forcing the country to default on its debt.
- The Bush tax cuts and the Bush wars are to blame for the entire increase in debt and deficits.
- The Republicans want to protect the richest Americans while cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits for the poor.
- The Democratic Party will never cut Medicare or Social Security.
- The Democrats are willing to compromise and act like adults, while the evil Republicans resist all offers to strike a deal.
Depending on your ideology, you will find yourself agreeing with the talking points that strike your fancy. Don't worry; they've all been tested on sample groups of ignorant Americans in order to strike the right nerve. As I listened to that bald headed prick -- James Carville -- screeching on CNN last night about Bush's wars and tax cuts causing our economic peril today, I wanted to reach into the TV screen and throttle the weasel faced demagogue. The National Debt on the day Bush took office was $5.7 trillion. On the day he left office the National Debt was $10.6 trillion, a $4.9 trillion increase in eight years. Today, the National Debt stands at $14.4 trillion, a $3.8 trillion increase in two and a half years. That sounds bipartisan to me.
Bush certainly did get the U.S. into two wars of choice and his tax cuts, tax rebate checks and expansion of Medicare have contributed trillions to our deficits. He deserves scorn and contempt. But, I do recall that Democrats supported the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. I do recall that Democrats voted for the tax cuts. I do recall that Democrats were gaga about expansion of the Medicare program. A funny thing didn't happen when Obama was elected. Defense spending did not go down. He increased spending on our war machine. His war budgets put Bush's to shame. He doubled the war effort in Afghanistan. He upped the ante from two wars to three wars in Libya. The difference between most Bush and Obama policies has been indecipherable.
Carville's shrill diatribe against the Tea Party freshman in Congress was the most humorous piece of misinformation of his entire rant. He inadvertently struck upon the most revealing point of this entire debt ceiling farce. He said:
"These Tea Party congressmen act as if they don't care if they are re-elected in 2012."
And there you have it. These people are not doing what is in their own best interest to get re-elected. They have shocked the vested interests in Washington by sticking to their principles and not playing the games that left the country bankrupt. This is an outrage to non-principled shills like Carville and Rove. This behavior is declared EXTREMIST by the liberal pundits and self interested Washington hacks. People acting in the long- term best interests of the country are seen as EXTREME by neo-cons like Charles Krauthammer and moderate RINOs like John "Crash" McCain. The entrenched Washington ruling class is uncomfortable with any change. The establishment would prefer to lie to the American public again and let future generations worry about the $100 trillion unfunded obligations they've created.
Only in America would people trying to balance the national budget be branded extremists. Is the average American who spends less than they make an extremist? In the eyes of Washington politicians and mainstream media talking heads, you would be an extremist. Let's peruse some facts and judge who the extremists are:
- Federal government spending has risen from $1.9 trillion in 2001 to $3.8 trillion in 2011, a 100% increase. Federal government revenues grew from $2.0 trillion in 2001 to $2.5 trillion in 2008, before collapsing to $2.2 trillion today. GDP over this same time frame has grown 47%.
- The annual Federal budget deficit in 2007 was $160 billion. Annual deficits between 2002 and 2008 ranged between 1% and 4% of GDP. Since 2009, annual budget deficits have exceeded $1.1 trillion and will continue to exceed $1 trillion as far as the eye can see. Annual deficits now exceed 10% of GDP.
- The Federal government spends in excess of $1.2 trillion per year on the cost of present and past wars, or 55% of all tax revenues.
- With a gun to their head from Wall Street banks, Congress handed over $700 billion of taxpayer money to the criminal banks that had just crashed the worldwide economic system with their casino gambling. These banks have been getting free money from the Federal Reserve since 2008 and have rewarded themselves with in excess of $70 billion in bonuses since 2008.
- Obama handed $800 billion of pork to his constituents across the country in order to create 3.5 million jobs. The $800 billion is gone and we're still waiting for the jobs.
- The home buyer tax credit scheme cost Americans $22 billion, or $100,000 per additional home sold, and home prices are now 5% lower than they were before this worthless Keynesian scam. And prices continue to fall.
- The Cash for Clunkers debacle cost Americans $3 billion, or $24,000 per junked car, as a payoff to Government Owned Motors and Obama's union backers.
- The taxpayer bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has cost Americans $160 billion so far, with at least another $150 billion to go.
- The Federal Reserve tripled their balance sheet to $2.7 trillion and is now leveraged 55 to 1, twice the leverage of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers when they failed. A 2% decline in the value of their assets wipes out their capital.
- The government and Federal Reserve threatened the FASB into changing the accounting rules so the Too Big To Fail Wall Street banks could fraudulently report the value of the assets on their books, to appear solvent.
- Obamacare will add 30 million people to the government controlled healthcare system, while adding mountains of new bureaucracy, and trillions of added costs.
- And last but not least, the country goes $4 billion further into debt every day. Or for further perspective: $166 million per hour; $2.8 million per minute; $46,000 per second.
These are the facts of our current economic situation and the liberal mainstream media and slimy politicians like Chuck "I Love Wall Street" Schumer brand the Tea Party congressmen as EXTREMISTS for demanding an end to this out of control Roman orgy of spending. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so utterly disgusting and sad. The only serious proposal to reverse our course and steer away from the approaching iceberg was made by Tom Coburn a couple weeks ago. It was scorned by the ideologues on both sides of the aisle, as it slashed military spending, closed corporate and individual tax loopholes, ended subsidies, and really addressed Medicare and Social Security rather than changing the CPI index. It was DOA and so is this country.
|James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university.
James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of (more...)
|The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.|