Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We Get the Government We Deserve


In your recent posts I detect a note of dismay if not despair about the direction of the campaign thus far, and I share it. In the last 2 years we have experienced the spectacle of 4 reasonable efforts at fashioning a bipartisan solution to our fiscal crisis (Gang of 6, Simpson Bowles, Grand bargain, Gang of  6 again) and each  has tipped across the stage of national consciousness like a kabuki dancer acting out an ancient ritual- with lots of pleasing aesthetics but everyone already knows how the story ends. Each effort has failed not only because of a failure of leadership (although the principles have hardly distinguished themselves), but because the constituencies they represent don't want to accept a solution that changes their current economic level of comfort (low taxes for conservatives, generous outlays for liberals and conservatives). Both sides think cutting is fine as long as it comes out of the other guy's hide. Both sides are criminally delusional about just how much sacrifice and from how many actors that sacrifice will be required in order to fix the problem. Republicans fulminate that all we need to do is cut off the poor, and Democrats whine that all we need to do is tax the super rich and there will plenty of money for all. As you have pointed out, both sides are full of baloney. Partisans on both sides cling to the psychotic delusion that supreme victory in our 50-50 nation is just around the corner. We live in a country where President Kennedy's famous injunction is stood on its head.The only politicians who tell the truth anymore are those no longer in office and apparently no longer interested in seeking it. Better take my temperature, that's Jeb Bush I'm praising.

So my answer to Grandma is look to yourself honey. Look at all the country has provided for your generation at a cost 16 trillion bucks. Look at what you are prepared to give up, what problems you are prepared to solve before before you ask someone else to solve them for you. And ask the candidates to do the same.

Your cranky fellow blogger



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