Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guns or Butter? - 2010 And Beyond...

Many people are excited about the Scott Brown win that has temporarily if not permanently stalled the health care bill from becoming law. I don't believe the Pelosi-Politburo propaganda that they can push/ram/shovel/pole vault anything through without a steep uphill climb. The house couldn't get 100 votes if it wanted to try and pass the Senate bill.  So, for that I am grateful that we have a bit more time before our country completely goes in the stink hole.  I still do believe it will be going that way no matter who controls the house, senate, or white house. Yes, I'm cynical, but I think I have some pretty good evidence to support the mechanic and economic reality.

I do not think there is anyone in Washington (save 1 or 2 people) or anyone currenty running for Congress (save a 2 or 3 people) who have the moral courage or gonads to make the truly hard decisions required for the job of protecting our liberty and natural rights, let alone balancing our budget. "Hard decisions" in my mind do NOT qualify as gimmicky spending freezes, cuts, or reductions in discretionary spending. Even if we found a majority of folks who abolished the Department of Ag, Energy, Nasa, Education, EPA, Labor, Transportation and so on.... that would not even be a pin prick to the budget (about 1/5th).

Let me put some things into perspective: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget)

Total U.S. Gov't Tax Receipts = $2.381T (Revenue)

Total Non-Discretionary Funding (Soc Sec, Medicare/Medicaid, SCHIP, Interest on Debt) = $2.184T
Total Defense, VA, Justice, State Department, Treasury (Discretionary) = $831.3Billion
Total All Other Departments (Discretionary) = $536.7Billion

The old saying goes: the government can spend its tax receipts on "GUNS" (military/warfare state) or "BUTTER" (social welfare state). But, it cannot spend unlimited amounts on both simultaneously since we are dealing with scarcity of labor, materials, and capital to produce either "guns" or "butter".

So, the 1.4 trillion dollar (deficit) question I pose to all of my peers:
Exactly what, how, when, where are we going to cut out of the "sacred cows" to make us solvent?

Unlike all of the supposed GOP spending [chicken] hawks, reducing the size of government requires a chainsaw, machete, and bayonet instead of a scalpel or hatchet. Believe me, no one in Washington (save very few) are willing to do this.  Why is this?

So, I pose this question to anyone reading this to think outside of the box. No matter how many taxes Obama or Congress enact, the problem still remains: spending on "guns" or "butter" with scarce resources. Where do you cut and by how much? What group or constituency is going to be able to stand up and say, "Yes, you can cut our social security/Medicare benefits"?  And, who is going to be the messenger being elected on the basis of saying, "Umm...yeah those promises we made to you back in the 30s... we're not really good for them anymore"? And, who is going to have the moral courage to draw down our forces and/or remove our military from foreign entanglements in 150+ countries when China (or the banks) stops buying our debt? If our dollar/currency goes in the tank with Helicopter Ben Bernanke dumping cash out of the sky, how do we even fund our military, our nation, or anything really?

I have searched long and hard to figure out how to answer these questions since all roads lead to bad. The only good part is that we all are in control of our own destiny and are sovereign individuals who (hopefully) love liberty and love our country. I've learned enough having just turned "30" to realize that nothing and nobody in Washington will ever change my path in life. My destiny and path to prosperity starts with myself, my family, and my faith in knowing what is the highest moral virtue.

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