The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


A groundswell of criticism, even from some on the Left, has greeted the President's budget proposal. Terms like "unserious" and "cynical" are bandied about, not by Barack Obama's enemies, but by his friends. Only the most delusional partisans have leaped to his defense and even they can't defend the math. Barack Obama wants to spend still more money and then promises to fix the problem 10 years out. If he's thwarted, he threatens a veto and a government shutdown. It's as if stopping granny's social security check is a viable political strategy. Incredible.

Richard Fernandez (Wretchard) of the Belmont Club answers a question that every MSM outlet should be asking every day. Can the President's delusional budget recommendations be taken seriously, and if they are, how much longer can big government spending and the resultant debt go on?
The obvious answer is ‘not much longer’. Obama’s budget isn’t in trouble with Congress. It’s in trouble with arithmetic. It’s in trouble with a shrinking tax base and rising energy prices. Maybe you can’t fight city hall, but not even city hall can fight reality.

At some point the realization that the system can’t deliver sets in. This has the curious effect of freeing people from having to defer to it. Who gives a damn about dissing the political boss if he can’t pay you anyhow? He becomes a windbag dispensing empty promises and stupid boasts. But everyone knows he’s got no more game because they saw his wife at the hock shop and they know it’s over.

This collapse of prestige is happening already. The President has become a bystander to events he pretends to control. But only the claques still affect to believe it.

Only when the public, the Congress, and the President process the notion that there will be pain, can we begin to solve these problems. When they have the courage to tell us the truth, can we begin to drag ourselves out of this economic morass.

The pain? No one wants to hear about it as evidenced by teacher strikes today in Wisconsin (echoes of Greece anyone?). But anger and mass demonstrations don't change reality. We've spent too much, provided too many entitlement to too many people, kicked the can down the road repeatedly, and now?

Half a government pension is a whole lot better than none at all. A 10 percent reduction in government salary is a whole lot better than mass public sector layoffs. Brutal winnowing of wasteful social programs is a whole lot better than no help for those who really need it. Reduced funding for the military represents a far better national security option than government default.

Or maybe, like Barack Obama and his ideological supporters, we can fight against arithmetic. Yeah, that'll work. Sure it will.