The Road To Hell…

Where Is Our Modern Day Cerberus?


…is paved with the hopes of our unborn.  And mortared with the ground up then watered down dreams of our forefathers.  We run rough-shod and headlong over them with nary a thought of where we are going.  The age of the hero has drawn to a close, and the age of the charlatan has begun.

And you thought I’d say “with good intentions…”
    Well kids, you can take the above passage to the bank.   I wish I could say this rather apocolyptic bit is mere prose, but I honestly, truly, from the bottom of patriotic heart believe the rhetoric I throw at you today.  I could point to a number of troubling man-made issues that our great nation can’t solve – Chinese dominance, N. Korean sabre rattling, Iranian recalcitrance, general global recession, etc, etc. 
    I haven’t even talked about the ones we didin’t control or haven’t convinced everyone on yet (who would have thought that global warming hangs out with big foot, the moon landing, and Elvis’ death)
   The one I do want to point out to you and one we can control is this pathetic rabble we have in Congress.  Look at these thieves and then look at yourself.  Everyone is SO concerned about the debt just one month ago in the mid-term elections that the sides were tripping over each other on how they can spend smartly.  The reason Republicans won wasn’t from a mandate, but  from dissatisfied voters who wanted less government and LESS spending.  Its a message that is more believable from them.
   Instead, what we get is a masked stimulus package part III.  There is no way that the President and Republicans could have outright gotten away with a two year $990 BILLION increase in spending and cut in taxes paid for by borrowed Chinese dollars.  It had to be surreptitious; this result from Congress doesn’t surprise me at all. 
Any semblance of responsible leadership has long been edged out by power politics and special interests.
  Fool us once, shame on you.  Fool us twice, shame on US. 
    Americans ‘want’ their children’s future to be secure, but they are not willing to sacrifice in the present to give it up, no matter what the cost and no matter how bad the policy.  Past generations certainly have sacrified for you, but you can’t bring yourself to return the favor. 
  You America – yes you, you are who I lament about in this article.  Look at what our leaders are doing to ‘stimulate’ the economy when we know it won’t stimulate jack AND YOU JUST LET IT HAPPEN!  There is no free lunch.  Those tax cuts were MEANT to expire.  Those rates for estate taxes were MEANT to go up.  Your uninsurance claims WERE meant to go tits up after 99 weeks – so you’d finally be forced to get a job!
    Just like the temporary national budget and our doctor’s medicare payment gap, its really easy to say ‘in 2 years rates will revert to the higher rates’…but its much, much harder to actually get callow Congressmen voted in by fickle constituents to actually do it.  The charlatans in Washington aren’t willing to fall on their political sword to do the right thing and you’re dumb enough to think this facade of a parade will go on forever. 
      This ‘stiumulus’ might help us bump along the bottom and not ‘lose’ 2.2 million jobs…but Congress and the President are not smarter than the invisible hand of the market.  We are losing those jobs because we are not competitive as a nation and are doing all the wrong moves to get competitive.  They only forestall the inevitable when they borrow more of your children’s money.  We’re going to lose those jobs anyways if you don’t actually invest the money borrowed.  There I said it.  I’m not opposed to spending, but it has to be an investment, not a bridge loan to the Chinese! 
    Our leaders refuse to invest in things that give us returns – REAL infrastructre reivestment – not repaving of perfectly good roads; subsidizing the renewable energy industry – to get the leg up on China; or doing a Manhattan Project like crash program on nuclear fusion (want to solve your energy problems, national securty woes, global warming, and job problem in one fell blow? – more to come in another blog post).    Instead, those same leaders rely on the overly touted and calculated consumer spending (cuts in taxes) and rewarding indolent behavior (extending unemployment) to ‘stimulate’ things.  Honestly, who really can’t find a job in 99 weeks? – you can, but you just don’t want to flip burgers at McDonalds.  You get paid the same (or more for some while being on unemployment) for doing nothing with your 40 hours a week.  That may be ok for the first month or two, when you are looking for a job that pays better and utlizes your skills and maintains your way of life…but eventually reality sets in.  You’re near the end of your recorded Tivo shows and your very meager savings (I am after all, talking about the AVERAGE American) with all of that free time on your hands.   Go work at McDonalds and if you are half the worker you think you are, you can be a manager in 6 months making more than what you were on unemployment AND you now have career prospects.  Or, do the same thing at Wal-Mart. Or start you own business.  That’s the only leg up on China we’ve got – we are an industrious and creative society when we aren’t killing ourselves with consumerism. 
   This false sense of entitlement that is out there has to stop.  We are literally destroying our future and our nation because no one is willing to admit the ugly truth and take the pain inherent in the generally 30 years of poor policy choices our ELECTED officials have made.  Eventually the tab is going to come due.  The longer we forestall it, the more we have to borrow with interest to pay it back – if ever.  Hence, the worse it will be.  There is no such thing as a free lunch. 
    For once, I agree with the rank and file Democrats, just not for the same reasons.  This libertarian says enough is enough.  I am willing to pay MORE than my fair share of taxes to secure my son’s future.  I certainly can afford it – and most people I know can too.  If you are so poor that you can’t, well the government helps you anyways and you aren’t paying taxes, so why do you care?  The problem is, no one else seems willing…and its all because they had no idea how to manage their finances personally or nationally.  How is that fair to future generations? 
   You think things are bad NOW?  Go ask some 90 year old how bad it was during the Great Depression.  It’ll be worse in the Second Great Depression when this game of musical chairs comes up one chair short for this nation.  Too much self-entitlement and not enough hard skills to go around.
The road to Hell indeed…
–   G.S.

One Response to The Road To Hell…

  1. Molly says:

    Alright, I confess. I skipped over the first post with a long list of excuses (not enough time, have to make dinner, I haven’t seen sunlight in a week [in Seattle for the past 2 weeks], yada yada yada), but you are not one to gratuitously repost looking for some validation. So I read it.

    You make some very valid points. Besides the fact that I keep picturing you standing at some political pulpit (for it was truely a fire and brimstone oration), I agree that we have learned nothing from our past. Anyone else remember Mrs. Schletty’s assignment to ask our grandparent’s about the Great Depression? What happened to the concept of lacing our boots up tighter instead of spending more than we can afford in the hopes of stimulating the economy? Does this not sound like the “spending on credit” that caused the first Wall Street Crash?!

    That being said, my liberal blood keeps screaming about the need to adequately fund crucial programs. But again, I think we reach some agreement in this area as well. I, too, agree that we continue to fall behind in the global rat race. We can no longer stand behind the aging title of World Power without noticing the improvements made in other nations. So, with all of this money that Washington (to use my backyard as the antagonist of this story) seems to be doling out so freely, why are teachers continuing to be laid off? Does it make any sense that in the burgeoning global marketplace that antiquated educational systems are going to produce individuals capable of competing? Or is the tax cut we get today (at the expense of so many systems that we all complain about when they no longer meet our immediate needs) going to somehow make us smarter, more self reliant, or even more cognizant of the situation in which we find ourselves?

    But enough ranting on my part. GS, you have an unfortunate way of ruffling even my tres liberal feathers. But, I once again find myself in agreement with your thesis, if not your supporting examples. I, too , and willing to tighten my belt in the hopes that the nation I leave to my (yet unborn) daughters and sons is one in which they are able to make their own way, in the same way my grandparents suffered discomforts to give me the opportunities I have enjoyed.

    Thanks again for making me think, even on a rainy evening in Seattle.

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