Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

Still think we are heading in the right direction??

Looks like our government, and especially the current bunch of lunatics in charge which admit they are out of money, has an incredible 63.8 trillion dollars debt commitment.

Taxpayers are on the hook for an extra $55,000 a household to cover rising federal commitments made just in the past year for retirement benefits, the national debt and other government promises, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The 12% rise in red ink in 2008 stems from an explosion of federal borrowing during the recession, plus an aging population driving up the costs of Medicare and Social Security. That’s the biggest leap in the long-term burden on taxpayers since a Medicare prescription drug benefit was added in 2003. The latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008, according to the USA TODAY analysis. That’s quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined.

That Medicare Part D thing was the most shameful thing to come along with a supposedly conservative president at the helm of the nation. Libs still love to call Bush a right wing whatever, but the guy was a big government socialist. If he had had a (D) by his name he would right now be touted as the greatest president since FDR. Kind of like the crap we hear about the current collectivist nut job - the one responsible for tacking on all this extra debt and making our debt, which I should remind everyone he promised he would reduce, not double, when he was campaigning - from the MSM and the leftist twits that worship this emperor without clothes. My bet is that this 63.8 trillion number, because it makes the collectivist morons look bad, could actually be on the low side. Then again, considering the source is one of the MSM DNC outlets, the converse could be the case. Of course the reason this is published by these propagandists is not so people can finally realize that our government is out of control, that these democrats are lying scumbags, and that we where stupid to believe democrats would ever be fiscally responsible, but so they can soften us all up to the idea of the obligatory row of tax increases that Obama and his team of power-hungry collectivist robber barons will have to pass, and pass on everyone (buh-bye no middle class taxes lie) to cover a fraction of this debt obligation. And just so there is no confusion about how concerned the left is about this massive debt, be aware that they want to tack on a few trillion more, just so they can get even more control over our lives. Get ready to be destitute people living in a banana republic.

Cross posted at Wasting time with Alex.

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/29/09 at 11:05 AM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by on 05/29/09 at 12:27 PM from Canada

I find it funny when people put the current economic and spending problems in the political context of left v. right. 

The real problem is the inherent flaw in democracy that allows these things to happen.  Democracies have a tendency to fall apart economically because when everyone has a chance to put their say into the wealth of the nation, everyone tries to take a piece for themselves.  Ultimatly, no matter which party is in power, it’s supports are demanding the national wealth for their pet projects.

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/29/09 at 01:08 PM from United States

So Jabba, is your point that we should then just abandon democracy, and accept the rule of a tyrannical elite? I too understand there can be a problem with spending in a democracy (the Greeks figured out the stuff only worked until 50% +1 of the people realized they could use the power of government to get themselves some goodies), but considering the other options I don’t really want anything else.

The problem isn’t with democracy, to be honest anyway, but with the people that decide their power to vote is also a license to have the elected fleece others on their behalf. One party actually openly holds & champions the ideological belief that government should be the arbitrator of whom gets to keep what part of the fruits of their labor (guess which). To promote social justice, and all. The other simply has decided they are playing a losing game and sadly adopted a lighter version of that cancerous ideology.

If the people, the sane ones, fought back and made it uncool again to believe and push for your elected representatives to steal and give to them in return for a vote, I bet we could stem the tide. But to do this we would have to fix the stupid and vile notion that is now popular amongst too many that the successful are greedy cheats and they are losers in life, not because of their stupid choices, but because of others.

So pardon me if I say party does matter. One party is wholly invested in the ideology that promotes the confiscation of other people’s things. The other, at least for now, is supposedly against that criminal behavior.

Posted by on 05/29/09 at 01:59 PM from Canada

Tyrannical societies tend to burn out faster than democracies.  So tyrannical rule isn’t a better choice.

What is needed is an understanding of what is of economic interest and what is of political interest.  Walter Williams made a good point when he said that freedoms which need to be protected by a democratic government should cost nothing.  Freedom of speech, assembly.  Freedom from unwarranted search and seizure etc.  These are things that democratic rule can take care of because you don’t take from someone else to grant these freedoms.  Economic issues should be left to free markets.  This is pretty much the principle the US was founded on and for better or worse these ideals were abandoned.  It would be nice if we could live in an ideal world.

One of my solutions to these problems would be to establish protected savings/investment accounts for people.  Protected in that they can’t be used for collateral, can’t be taxed and can’t be drawn on for cash in most situations.  In order to use these accounts you can only draw on them when you are in a financial problem (ie out of work) using the same rules we used today for unemployment insurance and welfare.  When you do draw them in most situations you can’t get cash but only make direct transfers of money to cover things like mortgages, insurances and any other basics you need.  You could also have the money accumulating for post secondary education and later on retirement.  The most important thing would be to allow for a 100% transfer of funds into other protected accounts upon death.  This would push wealth forward in generations while keeping the future generations protected.  The other reason I think this would be a good idea is that money like this either through legislation or common sense would be invested in the most stable portions of the economy.  Let’s face it, we need to increase our savings rates in the west. The funds would be wholly owned by the individual but could only be used for specific purposes.  It’s a different idea with a lot of kinks to work out but I think it could work.

Posted by The Contrarian on 05/29/09 at 04:02 PM from Germany

I forget the exact quote, but I recall someone once said that individual rights end once the people discover they can use political power to rob one group of people to reward themselves. It isn’t a left / right problem and it won’t be solved by protected savings accounts. The root problem is one of education.

Neither the politicians in charge nor the people voting actually know what they are doing. They do not understand the consequences of their actions and lack the knowledge to see the damage they are causing. Does anyone think that those douchebags in congress actually know dick about economics, the automotive industry, healthcare, or energy production? Does anyone think that the average voter does?

It’s also a moral problem, as Alex pointed out. People have by and large accepted the idea that it is proper for government to expropriate the wealth (i.e. life and work) of some groups to reward others. They accept this idea because they believe there will always be a net benefit to themselves since there must always be some richer group who’s money they feel entitled to. The joke is on them. Once the principle is established, the only people who benefit are politicians, and as a society we are reaping what we have sown in the form of massive debt, financial crisis, etc.

Posted by on 05/29/09 at 05:48 PM from Canada

The reason I mention a protected savings account is that one of the major economic problems is that the west has spend all it’s money and borrowed it’s way to prosperity.  Having a large portion of wealth invested in high quality investments would provide more economic stability.  Putting it in the hands of private citizens (with some restrictions on use) would allow people to make their own decisions.

As for education, I am a huge fan of this but that won’t solve the problems with democractic societies and economics.  First off, education can lead to information overload and analysis paralysis.  Secondly and more importantly, you can teach the exact same lesson and have two totally different points of view on a subject.  This comes from the assumptions and ideals people live by.  Very few people can handle truly objective reasoning, their own personal views will always cloud their judgement. 

It’s for this reason that free markets are so important.  People need to make their mistakes and be responsible for them.

Posted by adagioforstrings on 05/29/09 at 08:53 PM from United States

re: The Contrarian :"I forget the exact quote, but I recall someone once said that individual rights end once the people discover they can use political power to rob one group of people to reward themselves.”

I believe you were thinking of the French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

So, it appears that the end is nigh…

Posted by adagioforstrings on 05/29/09 at 09:11 PM from United States

Ooops,as you were. According to wiki quotes, the above is misattributed. However, it appears to be a paraphrase from a similar sentiment expressed in the chapter:"WHAT SORT OF DESPOTISM DEMOCRATIC NATIONS HAVE TO FEAR” in his “Democracy in America”:

“A constitution republican in its head and ultra-monarchical in all its other parts has always appeared to me to be a short-lived monster. The vices of rulers and the ineptitude of the people would speedily bring about its ruin; and the nation, weary of its representatives and of itself, would create freer institutions or soon return to stretch itself at the feet of a single master.”

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/29/09 at 09:44 PM from United States

One of my solutions to these problems would be to establish protected savings/investment accounts for people.  Protected in that they can’t be used for collateral, can’t be taxed and can’t be drawn on for cash in most situations.

Who will do the protecting? The same politicians that get into power, expand their power by promoting more of the confiscatory and redistribution scams, and stay in power by stealing from the productive to buy votes from the others? I think I would prefer not to have them “protecting” me, if you know what I mean.

Again, the only thing that will work is people that are willing to take responsibility for their own actions and existence and expect others to do the same. People need to learn to detest the collectivist idiocy that has brought us to where we are now while claiming they are destroying our future to help whatever grievance group is looking for some kind of handout. Anything else will simply lead us down the same path eventually.

Maybe the cycle where societies become fat and prosperous and than implode because of the stupidity that follows as people lose their edge and hedge their best, is unavoidable.

Posted by on 05/30/09 at 09:48 AM from Canada

My protected savings idea is just one aspect of a society that could be beneficial.  I only gave a short synopsis of it, as I said there would be kinks to work out.

The point is that the asset in the investments would be the individual.  The protection part would run a lot like RRSPs (which I believe are similar to 401K).  Essentially I’m taking an already good idea and expanding it.  However, it would only solve financial and some of the social problems related to financial issues.

People here keep saying things like “people should understand....” or “we need more education”.  While these are great things and I don’t dispute them, they are also very vague and in many ways unrealistic.  When you say people need to learn.... someone will inevitably say the same thing back to you with a different point of view or an argument that you aren’t trying to defend against. 

People need to learn to accept Jesus and treat each other better.....

People need to learn to be more open and tolerant of others of all races, beliefs, religions....

People need to learn to act more as a community where there are no classes....

Common sense isn’t always so common.

Alex, I think you hit the nail on the head by saying that societies become so fat that they implode.

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/30/09 at 12:58 PM from United States

People here keep saying things like “people should understand....” or “we need more education”.  While these are great things and I don’t dispute them, they are also very vague and in many ways unrealistic.

If we can not get the majority of the people in this country to agree that wealth confiscation by the political class, no matter how nice they package that mess, so they can then turn around and use that wealth to buy perpetual government jobs by handing it out to life’s losers, then we can kiss this country goodbye Jabba. That’s the simple fact, and there is no way to sugar coat it. Nothing will fix the slide into Marxist hell we are now in until the majority of the people figure out this is not just wrong, but destructive, and eventually will lead to the implosion of our society and country. This is not about education or understanding: it is fundamentally about believing that things that our forefathers believed in and did, and which led this country to the top, are way to go, while this slide towards marxism is not.

No program ever will work, and there will be no way to save us from the coming fall into marxist oblivion and hell on earth, unless that critical mentality becomes the prevalent way people feel about things.

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