January 2, 2012

So much for happy new year. Unfortunately, once the fireworks (or, as is tradition here in the Valley of the Sun, the gunshots in the air ) are over and the champagne has gone warm and flat, we all wake up to the fact that nothing really has changed. Oh sure, our intentions for the 2012 might be different, but the reality those intentions start off with is no different than it was way back when on December 31.

Mark Steyn’s column at National Review Online is a perfect illustration of that. Sure there’s a brandy-new year with all the hopes and dreams that a clean slate (supposedly) brings with it, but for the USA and its economic health and future are uncertain at best, and the slate is quite dirty indeed:

At the end of 2011, America, like much of the rest of the Western world, has dug deeper into a cocoon of denial. Tens of millions of Americans remain unaware that this nation is broke — broker than any nation has ever been. A few days before Christmas, we sailed across the psychological Rubicon and joined the club of nations whose government debt now exceeds their total GDP. It barely raised a murmur — and those who took the trouble to address the issue noted complacently that our 100 percent debt-to-GDP ratio is a mere two-thirds of Greece’s. That’s true, but at a certain point per capita comparisons are less relevant than the sheer hard dollar sums: Greece owes a few rinky-dink billions; America owes more money than anyone has ever owed anybody ever.

Steyn’s hope is that in 2012 the American public will wake up and realize just how much of a mess we’re in, and that, as much as the perenially well-intended progressives on the political left would like, there’s simply no more money for the nanny state to do anything else but go on a long and much-needed diet:

Underneath the patchouli and pneumatic drumming, the starry-eyed young share the same cobwebbed parochial assumptions of permanence as their grandparents: We’re gayer, greener, and groovier, but other than that it’s still 1950 and we’ve got more money than anybody else on the planet, so why get hung up about a few trillion here and a few trillion there? In a mere half century, the richest nation on earth became the brokest nation in history, but the attitudes and assumptions of half the population and 90 percent of the ruling class remain unchanged.

Tens of millions of Americans have yet to understand that the can can no longer be kicked down the road, because we’re all out of road. The pavement ends, and there’s just a long drop into the abyss. And, even in a state-compliant car seat, you’ll land with a bump. At this stage in a critical election cycle, we ought to be arguing about how many government departments to close, how many government programs to end, how many millions of government regulations to do away with. Instead, one party remains committed to encrusting even more barnacles to America’s rusting hulk, while the other is far too wary of harshing the electorate’s mellow.

The sooner we recognize the 20th-century entitlement state is over, the sooner we can ring in something new.

The politicians in Washington still don’t get it: we as a nation are broke. Beyond broke, actually. And the fact that President Barack Obama and his big-government cronies want to keep spending and increase the debt limit yet again should tell everyone that he, as much as anyone, is living in a state of denial. And that, my friends, ain’t no river in Egypt. Until we get grown-ups in the White House and in Washington who have the courage to tell the truth about the precarious nature of this nation’s economic state there will be no happy new years and no clean slates for anyone.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:09 | Comments (3)
3 Comments »
  1. Hey, I still wear patchouli and will die wearing it. I am most likely the most sane, uncomplicated, liberal you know and to know me is to love me…but then, I don’t bitch cause I don’t vote and most likely never will. When politicians stop running for office, I will vote or end up living with the Mek in New Guinea.

    Comment by Jana — January 2, 2012 @ 6:30 am


  2. Do the Mek allow patchouli? 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 2, 2012 @ 6:29 pm


  3. Of course they wear Patchouli…most likely it would smell really good on you too. I will send some in the next package of baked cheese grits.

    Comment by Jana — January 3, 2012 @ 6:12 am


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