Sunday, April 17, 2011

DEFICIT MADNESS

It's been almost a week since the last deficit plan landed (okay like four days, whatever) so, clearly, it's time for another one!

Can't you see it in your mind's eye? The brows being furrowed pensively, and then unfurrowed, and then furrowed again. Those distant harumphs. The deep and abiding concern for Our Nation's Fiscal Future and the Country We Are Leaving Our Children. Is it, can it be, just maybe, yes, yes, it is, just like we always dreamed, yes -- a group of Very Serious Men! Come to save us from our profligate ways! Maybe they will succeed where so many other VSMs have failed! Maybe -- just maybe -- our fiscal salvation is at hand!

And you know they're Very Serious because they say things like "Borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar we spend for missiles or food stamps is unsustainable," and they avoid acrimonious, partisan subjects such as, for instance, pointing out how much of that money is spent on missiles relative to how much money is spent on food stamps, and instead talk about the need for Bipartisanship and Compromise and how all of Washington should come together and lead us, their flock, to the promised land of balanced budgets and reduced entitlements.

If only we had more men who, like these, were willing to say what everyone knows is true, or at least what the New York Times editorial staff knows is true: that the only right course is the one where everyone loses and nobody's happy.

Our unborn grandchildren don't deserve to live in a nation that spends a trillion dollars a year on fighter jets that will never leave the ground. They don't deserve to live in a nation that spends a trillion dollars a year on pensions and medicine for the elderly. I think we can all hope that one day our grandchildren will look into our faces, look into our faces as they careen down the rotting highway to the hospital, with us, their aging grandparents, slowly expiring in the backseat, as they swerve to avoid a decade-old pothole, as they thank the heavens that Granddad has been living in the guest bedroom since retirement, they can look into the rear-view mirror and see the generation that had the boundless courage it took to cap domestic spending at 19 percent of GDP, to slaughter the sacred cows of the welfare state, to get down to brass tacks, to put the United States on competitive fiscal footing so it could remain the world's greatest nation, first among equals, now, then and forever.

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