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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pelosi’s Grand Bargain

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men." — John Adams

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.

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. And even more so I am willing to bet the farm that when asked about their congressperson the 81% will say that he or she is doing a good job — after all they voted for him or her. Congressional polls are very misleading as all politics are local. I like my representative, but all the others suck.

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? Do we want to live in a society where government plunder is the order of the day?

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 twelve 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.

Or we could hope for an alien invasion that would, as the brilliant Paul Krugman, claims would bring us all together. This is the fantasy of the childish science fiction flicks where the common enemy unites the earth.

Paul Krugman of the New York Times has suggested we need a war with space aliens, such as on an old Twilight Zone episode.

You can see a video of that comment at Newsbusters and a transcript where Krugman said:

“On Sunday's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," New York Times columnist - and, ahem, Nobel laureate - Paul Krugman actually advocated space aliens attack earth thereby requiring a massive defense buildup by the United States that would stimulate the economy.”

Obviously, Dr. Krugman is stuck in 1960s thinking. Has he not seen the 1983 stealth alien invasion television program "V" or its 2009 remake? Or how about the 1988 television series "Alien Nation," where many humanoid aliens settle among earthlings, encounter discrimination, yet are able to join an American police force? Or even better yet how about the current TNT/Spielberg offering of “Falling Skies” where the “skitters” and the “mechs” destroy our cities and kidnap the children to turn them into robotic slaves. I bet that old Paul really likes that one as the survivors must turn to communal living to fight the aliens.

Has Krugman considered that the space aliens might come here and apply for welfare and food stamps, claiming 1000 wives each? And single female space aliens might have 1000 children each? I'm sure there are liberals and UFO enthusiasts who would champion such a campaign. And if the aliens have gray or green skin, they could claim racial (and national origin) discrimination in job seeking and housing. Surely they'd apply for Pentagon jobs, both civilian and military. As the space invaders would definitely be illegal aliens they would qualify for welfare, free medical care, food stamps and a free college education.

I wonder if Dr. Krugman has considered the possibility that the space aliens would give away advanced robots that could actually do construction labor and also do service jobs at McDonald's and Wal-Mart. The unemployment rate would rise above 50 percent overnight. This could prove even more embarrassing for the liberals than their current "shovel ready" jobs plan(s). I wonder what Krugman would then advocate?

But wait. What if the space aliens had more advanced robots that could do knowledge workers' jobs? What if the aliens offered "Pinch" Sulzberger of the New York Times a free Paul Krugman-like robot to replace the Op-ed economics columnist? Surely it wouldn't be that hard to build a robot that had as little consideration or understanding of the real human condition as Prof. Krugman. I bet that's something Dr. Krugman never considered in his musings.

Be careful what you wish for, Prof. Krugman.

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