Achieving A 'Grand Bargain'
August 16, 2011 by Robert Ringer
In picking the last three members of the new super committee on deficit reduction, once-relevant Nancy Pelosi said: “We must achieve a grand bargain that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
The devil is in the details — or, in this case, the details are in the devil’s words. Socialist-turned-fiscal-conservative Pelosi, who has previously said she believes unemployment benefits are the greatest job creator known to mankind, is a true believer in her religion — a strange religion that centers around one objective: spending other people’s money.
So what, exactly, does Fancy Nancy mean by a “grand bargain?” Clearly, it’s code for Republicans caving in again and doing what Democrats want them to do to avoid being called obstructionists: increase the deficit even more.
Likewise, what in the world does Pelosi mean by “strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security?” In any event, why are we “strengthening” programs that are unConstitutional? Why are we not working on a plan to completely phase out these programs over a long period of time, while making certain that people above a certain age (say, 50 or 55) still receive all their benefits?
Republicans now boast that they have “changed the debate” in Washington. But the appointment of the new super committee on deficit reduction makes it clear that Americans are in for more of the same: more committees, more accounting tricks, more regulations, more redistribution of wealth and, above all, more B.S.
It’s no wonder that a recent Fox News poll showed that 81 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress, while only 10 percent approve. Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy probably could have achieved better poll numbers at the height of their careers.
But that 81 percent number is misleading, because it’s a good bet that about half of those people want government spending to be cut to the bone, while the other half want even more government handouts. Thus, the results of the poll question don’t really tell us much.
The real debate should be about the real problem: the size and scope of government. Do we want to live in a society where we share a collective, psychotic mixture of guilt, arrogance, victimization, envy, anger and demonization so all-encompassing that it motivates us to destroy the wealth-producing capacity of our Nation? Or do we want to live in a society where self-reliance is the hallmark of our cultural identity?
The reality is that the entitlement policies that left-wingers have succeeded in implementing over the past 70 years comprise one big scorched-earth policy. If they don’t get their way, they will take to the streets and turn us into Great Britain or Greece. If they do get their way, Atlas will shrug, the good life will disappear (even more than it already has), and, again, they will take to the streets and turn us into Great Britain or Greece. Heads, we all lose; tales, we all lose.
The late Isaac Asimov, the renowned science-fiction writer, once alluded to this suicidal conundrum when he pointed out that the danger in demanding special favors from government is that you risk the ultimate destruction of freedom and free enterprise, which necessarily means the destruction of your own special interest as well. Asimov emphasized his point by suggesting the following analogy: “If my right arm decided to stab my left arm to death, my right arm would die, too.”
The right arms of Great Britain, Greece, Portugal and most European countries are stabbing their left arms to death, and their right arms are dying in the process. Class warfare has wealth destruction built into it.
We can listen to the pudding heads on television and pretend as though we really believe that the big question is whether we’re headed for a “double-dip recession” when, in fact, we’re in a depression — and have been for a long time.
We can delude ourselves into believing that Congress just passed a deficit-reduction plan, even though the reality of that plan is that the U.S. will be increasing its deficit by at least another $7 trillion over the next decade.
We can continue to pretend we are offended by Standard & Poor’s recent credit downgrade of the U.S. to AA+, even though the truth is that our creditworthiness is rapidly heading toward zero.
We can continue to pretend the chances of a U.S. hyperinflation are nonexistent, when the historical evidence makes it clear that hyperinflation is a virtual certainty.
But worry not. We will soon have a super committee on deficit reduction composed of people with superior intellects who realize that: “We must achieve a grand bargain that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
Now, if I could just figure out what all that means, I’m sure a feeling of American exceptionalism would sweep over me.