Tuesday, October 01, 2013

You're An Idiot! An Observation About our Current Political Climate.

The current government shutdown seems to be bringing out the worst in some people. I know this won't matter in the long run, because I'm pretty sure nobody reads this thing anyway. But I wanted to send out a reminder to everyone that I know, whether you are on top of this developing situation or if you don't give a crap one way or the other.

I'm not going to get into the REASONS for the shutdown. We all think we know what the problem is. The truth is we don't, and we haven't for a while. Too many people think that THEIR side is right and the OTHER side is wrong and the fact that we are talking about SIDES is proof that we don't know anything.

I wanted to remind people that it is important for us to remember that this issue is not simple. There's not an easy solution. The thing you find important in this crisis is not the ONLY important thing in this crisis. Some of this weighs heavily on you. There's a good chance that what weighs heavily on me is something different.

And that's ok.

Let's remember to cut out the hypocrisy and the arrogance. If the Democrats pull something stupid, all you have to do is jump onto Google and I promise you will find out that the Republicans pulled the exact same stunt at some point. If you think the Republicans aren't listening to reason, trust me when I say that 50% of this country believes the same thing about the Democrats.

Congress is acting like a bunch of idiots. They have forgotten how to compromise and make the tough decisions for the good of this country. When the main goal of a public servant is to be re-elected, he or she becomes a politician. The difference between a public servant and a politician is that the former understands that there are hard decisions to make, and the latter doesn't make any tough decisions so that 51% of his or her constituents re-elect him. How do you keep people happy? By telling them YES.

The American People are also acting like a bunch of idiots. We open our collective mouths and make two things abundantly clear: We know very little about the Constitution, and we seem to have forgotten that if we ran our household budgets they way we think the government should run theirs, we would go to jail.

When was the last time YOU ran out of money and simply decided to raise your debt ceiling?

BE REASONABLE. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't make me an idiot, it doesn't make me wrong, and it doesn't mean that I hate this country or you.

MANY THANKS to my politically liberal friends who can have a conversation with me. I love you and you make me feel that, in spite of what's going on right now,  there is hope for us collectively acting like adults in the future.


Anonymous said...

This basic idea that the federal government needs to run their budget like a household is a flawed one. The federal government prints money, no one else does, including state and local municipalities (see Detroit). This means that the federal government can't go bankrupt. Sure, it could cause inflation, but in the last decade the US hasn't exceeded 4% in inflation. Furthermore, it is well documented that a healthy economy usually has between 3-4% of inflation. Any lower or higher is actually bad.

With that concept in mind, let's look at private vs. public savings. It's a very simple construct that is fact, not opinion. If the federal government runs a deficit, the private sector's saving increase. That means that economy gets "richer". If the federal government runs a surplus, the private sector loses money. In other words, the government taxes more dollars than it puts back into the economy. That means the economy gets "poorer". Without exception, 7 federal budget surpluses have led to 7 economic depressions. It's plain and simple. Borrowing gets tighter, spending decreases and the economy slows down.

Now, it can easily be argued that any and all government spendind is basically a redistribution of wealth as it comes from taxes and the "printing" of money. And sure, all of us would like to see those dollars in our pockets, which doesn't happen often. But the bottom line is, you want to see a government deficit, otherwise they are taking money out of the economy and putting your financial stability at risk.

Batez said...

Anonymous, while it is true that the feds do print money, that is not where they are getting the money that they are spending. They are borrowing it. If they just printed all the extra cash they spend it would not cause inflation. At least not anywhere near the 3-4% you cite as healthy. No, instead it would cause what is called hyperinflation. A rapid devaluation of the dollar which would make it practically worthless worldwide.
The hyperinflation in pre-WWII Germany caused a German mark to US dollar exchange rate of $4 trillion to $1.
No, they can't just print more money. They have to borrow it. And what is borrowed must be repaid, at least theoretically. Currently our "public servants" are spending 144% of US Federal Revenues. They have done this long enough now that they have put us in debt for around 690% of our annual revenues. That is akin to a family making $100,000 per year spending $144,000 per year and owing $690,000 on a Visa credit card.
That family would have to cut their budget in half in order to pay off the credit card in 40 years.
Can you see our "public servants" cutting spending in half? In the "Government Shutdown Battle" last year Republicans wanted to cut $60 billion in spending. They ended up settling on $40 billion. It was a HUGE fight for a 1.1% budget cut. So how can we ever dream of cutting the 44% we over spend, never mind the 690% we owe?

Richard said...

Anonymous, we all run a deficit. Credit cards and loans are a daily part of our life now. Not having any debt is bad for your personal credit rating. So, yes, the government should run about like my household does. I know, I know, it actually IS more complicated than that, but you (hopefully) see where I'm getting at.

I'm sorry, but the issue at hand here is how the pols in our country are dealing with the issue of when to say "when". I'd like to know your thoughts on that.

Batez, thanks for your comments as well. Personally that is the part I can't understand, this inability on the part of our government to understand that chickens always come home to roost. When do we say enough is enough, yes it's a good idea but we have to pay some of our old debts off, THEN we can add new debt? That's why people try to sell their old house BEFORE they start paying for the new one, because your monthly income can only handle so much! That is why the current crisis is so fascinating to me.