“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” George Orwell
One generation is born into debt slavery, continue the same reckless spending practices of their forebears, and effectively enslaves the next generation–in this perverse, self-perpetuating chain of injustice. Let the clownish academic economists and other establishment “experts” prattle on about why the U.S. fiscal/monetary situation is economically feasible; none of their lecturing can alter the reality that no nation, no company, no household has ever made a sustainable practice of continually spending in excess of revenue.
Yet this is precisely what the U.S. government has done for close to half a century. Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. Once new spending is introduced, it can be virtually impossible to ever curtail these expenditures. Wasteful bureaucracies are created or expanded to administer & manage each new spending initiative, which further exacerbates the whole unholy cycle. Elected leaders lack the political courage & will to cut programs when it means putting large numbers of people directly out of the job. They dare not risk the political capital it would cost them to scale back entitlement programs currently benefiting many of their constituents. Apparently it’s difficult to get elected by promising to take things away; sadly, we get the government we deserve.
A willingness to make the hard, even unpopular, decisions when it comes to contracting the size & scope of gov’t–this is the most important quality an elected official can have, moving forward. It’s the first criterion by which to gauge a potential candidate’s fitness for leadership, in this late hour. We must be the generation that reverses the trend of deficit spending, because the future livelihood of this once-great nation hangs in the balance (and most of us don’t really have any place else to go).
Referring back to a previous post, to the extent that responsible leaders find themselves having to defend their positions re: downsizing gov’t, I think they can get the moral (and rhetorical) upper-hand by advancing something like the following narrative:
“I question your moral compass if you think it’s ethical for us to take on spending with no real intention (or hope) of repaying what we’ve borrowed, knowing full well that these debts will be transferred to our own flesh-and-blood, for them to deal with after we’re gone.”
True, we found ourselves in the same position that we risk putting our descendants in, with the debt passed on to us by our forebears–that doesn’t mean we’re free from any moral obligation not to do the same. If someone’s molested, it doesn’t grant them license to later go and molest other innocent people. Extending this analogy: suppose someone who is molested then goes on to molest as a result of having been molested. But suppose he or she didn’t find new innocent victims to molest, and instead only went back and molested the same person they were previously molested by…we could call it morally just, since the former wronger is now the one being wronged. Note the cyclical way in which the two wrongs cancel each other out, in terms of the overall amount of moral injustice they introduce into the world–one adds more injustice, but then the other “completes” it, cancelling it out and restoring a neutral state in the “moral equilibrium” of the universe.
Now contrast this ‘cyclical’ manner in which moral injustices can function, with the moral injustice introduced when deficit spending results in burdening subsequent generations with one’s own financial burdens. In the latter case, we see a linear, perverse, self-perpetuating spread of moral wrongdoing. Each generation further enslaves the next, similar to the molestation victim going on to molest only other innocent victims (who do the same, ad nauseam).
So again, we must be the generation that breaks that pattern. We’re too late to right this ship painlessly, but every day we continue to sweep the problem under the rug & pretend it doesn’t exist, is another day spent inflating a bubble that must inevitably burst. At stake is only the future of the greatest civilization in known history, and the only home many of us have ever known.