You get what you pay for. You pay for what you get. It’s the way of the world, always has been, always will be. It was the way government ran in the 90’s, thanks to Paygo, brought about by Former President Bush Sr., but came to have as it’s face President Bill Clinton, who made it work. During the Bush jr. administration, it went away. The Republicans had a penchant for being worse than the people they complained about, The Democrats. They called, and in some cases still call the Dems “Tax and spend liberals”, they earned the nickname “Don’t tax and spend conservatives” by spending like drunken sailors with no thought of the future.
And that was devastating for them. What made it devastating was the fact that they were creating massive deficits by simply putting off paying for a government that was taking in less money, but spending more and more each year. This was not what they wanted to be known for, but they could not run from the fiscal irresponsibility. This is what they are known for now, which is why the right is trying to re-brand as “Tea Party Patriots”.
The right has been trying to point the finger of blame for fiscal irresponsibility at the Democrats. At Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank, despite the fact that the mass of right wing politicos were in the main responsible for the financial downfall of the nation. But those who do lay the blame for the state of the nation at the feet of the Democrats seem to not understand that the simplest explanation is usually the best one, and the simplest one is that the Republicans were in power when things went wrong, and that the responsibility is theirs. From Richard Nixon, to Alan Greenspan and Ronald Reagan, to George W. Bush and Henry Paulson, the fault was in the main theirs. Yes there was Bill Clinton signing into law the Enron Loophole. Without Reagan and Nixon, Clinton never has the chance to do what he did.
So I am happy to see that fiscal responsibility has returned to the White House (It takes a Democrat to get that) with the re-institution of Paygo, where the government has to pay for itself. It isn’t perfect. No law, no rule is, but this is a much needed change in priorities for the government and the wild Republican, fiscally irresponsible spending spree that the last few years have been.
Fiscal irresponsibility, while it has been by and large an issue that was created by the preeminence of people who were pro supply side economics and the basic belief in the laffer curve, is also part of American culture. It is the “Me first and the gimme gimmes” mentality that has permeated much of America.
Most of what we see in America is an homage to decadence. Drink more and the pretty girls will dig you. Use our product and life is easier. 20% more for the same price! No money down. Images, thoughts and ideas meant to seduce rather than illuminate. All the messages we have gotten so used to seeing in our culture invite us to irresponsibility, to more when we need to learn to live with what we have. Too much is never enough? Wrong. Too much is too much.
What we need to do is ignore the messages we get handed in society, which we take too much for granted, when we shouldn’t. It sets us up for failure. What we don’t need is the ignorance that goes along with the current idiot culture. How much good have you gotten from it?
Irresponsibility in American government is merely the shadow of irresponsibility in American society. We bought the bullshit that is supply side economics, we were given a bill of goods, and got nothing in return. Which is why Paygo is a rare thing in America, a positive intelligent message that cuts through all the bullshit, and if done right, gets us back on track.
What we don’t need is trickle down theory, where wealth trickles, or more usually doesn’t, trickle down. I don’t remember getting any additional wealth from years and years of trickle down economic theorists who were in power for the vast majority of the last quarter century. Do you?
That’s it for me. Later!
Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote: One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license. P.J. O’Rourke
Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example, starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama
Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end. It is not for the sake of a good public administration that it is required, but for security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society, and of private life. Increase of freedom in the State may sometimes promote mediocrity, and give vitality to prejudice; it may even retard useful legislation, diminish the capacity for war, and restrict the boundaries of Empire. Lord Acton