[This is the transcript of my KVMR commentary broadcast on 1 March 2013.]
It’s hard to think good thoughts about what is going on in Washington and the competency of our government. We seem to have entered into an endless sequence of crises, questionable appointments, and scandals which literally have no end – they now stretch into the future as far as the eye can see, and then there are still more out there waiting that we can’t see. As a political junkie even I am overwhelmed.
We just concluded cabinet appointments that made it not because of the candidates’ sterling resumes – they are arguably awful - but simply because of party loyalty. The guy for Secretary of Defense was at a loss to explain anything that was relevant to his office, and the Secretary of the Treasury candidate told the Senate that he didn’t really know what he did in private practice, why he got those big million dollar bonuses, and what experience recommends him for the job. Nevertheless, these two are now the worthies one of whom will maintain our national security in the face of shrinking defense budgets, and the other one will be in charge of keeping China lending us money they will never see repaid.
And the borrowing will go on forever because we will never bring our federal budget under control – all budgets and obligations call for every aspect of spending to increase indefinitely. Washington’s claim of reducing spending is a very big fairy tale told repeatedly to a very large population of faithful morons. The rule to spending cuts is simple – publicly plan to spend at some arbitrary and prodigious rate, then with much breast beating reduce the planned outlays to their usual budget busting levels, and then credit the difference to your having reduced spending – the sheeple will never know. Meanwhile, the actual dollar amounts of spending just keep roaring upward year after year.
All of us have listened to the way that the sequester is supposed to be implemented – namely, with across the board cuts. Upon drafting President Obama’s recommendation into law, everyone knew that this was a ‘beyond stupid’ way to do it, but it would make the $85B sliver of a $3.8T federal budget wreak maximum havoc. So everyone signed on believing that it would never come to pass, everyone thought our vaunted federal government would never be that dysfunctional. Well, with the exception of President Obama, everyone was wrong – Washington has been and continues to be unbelievably broken.
President Obama knew exactly how to bring the crisis to a head – at the proper time when agreement might have been possible, and after the Democrats got their tax increase on the rich (and the middle class), Obama then ‘moved the goal posts’ and demanded that any new agreement must also include new taxes. Oh yes, and in case you didn’t catch it, he also lied and said that the sequester was never his idea in the first place.
When renowned journalist Bob Woodward went on national TV and pointed out what the President had done, he was taken to the woodshed by the administration. And after being yelled at for a good part of an hour, this former darling of progressives was advised “you will regret doing this.” The White House quickly denied ever having threatened Woodward, and promised never to do it again.
The bottom line of this kabuki dance on spending is that our growing national debt burden is taking us down as a nation in more ways than we can count. Thomas Jefferson advised us early on that there “does not exist an engine so corruptive of the government and demoralizing of the nation as a public debt. It will bring on us more ruin at home than all the enemies from abroad …”
My name is Rebane, and I expand on this and related themes on georgerebane.com where the transcript of this commentary is posted with relevant links, and where such issues are debated extensively. However these views are not necessarily shared by KVMR. Thank you for listening.