Monday, September 5, 2011

Train Wreck America

The country's financial course is unsustainable. The way I visualize it is as a train on a track. We need to get off the track we are on, and switch onto another. Yet we continue to rumble past the switches that could head us toward safety, as government shows a lack of political will to do what is necessary to live within its means, which means within our means. Washington continues to spend money nobody has.

Representative Maxine Waters, long a proponent of generous government spending, is now calling for a trillion dollar jobs program. She is one of the most vocal proponents of a particular vision of government: To right wrongs and solve problems, the government must spend money. Lots of it.

She is not alone; there are many who share this vision, of a world where things are put to rights by the strong hand of government intervention, including the wielding of vast sums of public money.

I am not sure what Rep. Waters would say to it, but some of her fellow liberals plainly believe something like this: The reason stimulus spending has failed is that we have not done enough of it. The reason previous jobs programs have been failures, to the point of being ridiculous, is that we have gone too cheap on them. That is to say we should throw good money after bad. The money spent did not have its intended effect; the answer is to spend more. It doesn't make sense to me, but then I am not a member of congress.

What Republicans have done so far is not encouraging either. They have staved off a small tax increase and slightly slowed the increase in government spending. Of course, this made the Democrats howl like it was the end of the world, but it really was peanuts when you compare it to the total size of the problem. After the 2012 elections the Republicans hope to have more clout. They may have a great deal more. But even in the past years of their ascendancy they have not really been about shrinking the government.

The people we elect to look out for our interests, of both parties, are asleep at the switch. There is not the moral courage on either side of the aisle to say stop, enough, we are on the wrong track. The government is spending money the taxpayers do not have and may never be able to repay. If you think about this you know where things are heading: Right where they've been going all along. We are headed for the end of the line, and picking up speed.

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