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Save Our State of Massachusetts

Sooner or later the music will stop

Kamal Jain http://kamaljain.com/ |Total Transparency!  Every Dollar. Every Dime. Online.

Political Cartoons by Michael RamirezThe music will stop, and when it does, it will be neither fun nor funny, as was the childhood game of “musical chairs” most of us played.

I know most of the people on this email list are Republican or Republican-leaning.  Some of you are Democrats, some Libertarians.

It doesn’t matter what your label is, and it doesn’t matter what the label is on the people who currently do and have occupied the White House or the halls of Congress for the past 40+ years.  As a whole, they’ve all sold us and future generations down the river.

The current debt ceiling charade, combined with deliberate misinformation and disinformation from all parties with ready access to microphones and the Internet is too scary and disturbing to be laughable.

Please take the time to read this blog post and think back over the past few years; think back over your life and ask yourself “upon what was all our so-called ‘productivity’ and ‘enrichment’ based?”:

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2640693

No one can defy the laws of physics or math, at least not forever and without great costs.  We can become airborne by expending great energy and with risk, but eventually we must either come back to earth or break free of her gravity and go off into space (and then things get really expensive, dangerous and difficult to maintain).

We can keep printing money, playing 3-coconut shuffle, and try every trick in the book to hide the cold, hard mathematical facts, but after 40+ years of doing it (“only” 30+ years if you want to be a stickler for non-interrupted lack of growth) it had better be clear to everyone that the music is going to stop, and we’re running out of options.  There are no ways to avoid great pain in making the changes we must make as a nation and a society.

For too long there has been a growing army of people living off other peoples’ money, a/k/a “the free shit army.”  And as easy as it is to blame those people, remember that has happened because of the desires of large numbers of people to use government to “pay their fair share” to “help those in need” because they had to impose their views, choices and values on others.  The willing politicians enabled this and created expanding generations of dependent people.Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

I’m not just talking about those on welfare.  I’m talking about every entitlement program, including and especially Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.  People foolishly (naively?) believed there was such a thing as a free lunch, and that somehow government planners and bureaucrats could provide for their healthcare, general well-being and very future and there would be no need for self-responsibility, or responsibility to help others including our family, friends and neighbors as we had done with great zeal and success for hundreds of years.

The music is going to stop in our lifetimes, in the next few years if not sooner.  When it does, our reality is going to change dramatically for the worse and will remain so until we all stop buying into false political premises and promises.  In the big picture, considering the incredibly narrow range of “debate” being discussed in the public sphere, it makes no difference if the critters in Congress or the White House are Democrat or Republican, what comes out is all still just BS.

Nothing put forth by the Obama Administration or any of the “leaders” in either house of Congress passes the laugh test.  I hope all of us can be smart enough and strong enough to call a spade a spade, a pile of BS a pile of BS, and to think about what sacrifices we’re willing to make in terms of the things we might think we’re owed.  No matter how angry that makes you, remember this: The laws of mathematics don’t care, and they rule.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

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4 comments on “Sooner or later the music will stop

  1. Kamal Jain
    July 31, 2011

    Congress and the President should (but won’t) get on TV and say:

    * Government spending and dept are both far too high and not one penny more of debt is sustainable;
    * We must come up with a plan to pay down the actual debt over a reasonable period, perhaps 10-15 years, which will come with a price tag (our monthly payment schedule for the period);
    * We need to come up with realistic government revenue numbers based on the reduced GDP that WILL result from reducing government spending, and from that identify top priorities that allow a budget based on ZERO additional debt and absolute debt reduction each year per the plan;
    * Once all the revenue has been allocated toward the aforementioned priorities, there will be NO other government spending. Period.

    Government must live within its means, and that must include a plan for solvency.

    Obviously coming up with a debt-reduction plan and prioritization of spending are both going to be incredibly loud and messy processes, with ridiculous amounts of political chest-thumping, posturing, posing and drama. And all of that will go on so long as we the people allow our elected officials to get away with partisan games and special-interest pandering, rather than addressing our dire situation.

    The truth is, we have to pay the price for decades of economic cocaine snorting and binge drinking. This is not complicated math, but it is a political mess.

    So the question before us, my fellow Americans, is: Are we going to grow up and accept the bitter medicine which will save our lives…or are we going to keep partying?

    Kamal Jain
    Lowell, MA

  2. sosmass
    July 31, 2011

    After reading your answer, Kamal, it struck me that the budget pain in Washington is greatly exacerbated by the horrible economy under Obama, especially mindful of the stimulus spending that was largely squandered and mismanaged. In contrast, under President Reagan, his tax-cutting policies help create broad and deep economic growth that brought in much tax revenue. Even though Gov’t spending was still obscene at that time, it was buffered by lots of tax revenue (income) to the Fed coffers. If government spending is reigned in by a Constitutional litmus test, along with pro-growth economic policies (neither of which we’re doing right now!), we can still yet sustain some new spending in the future. The problem with right now is we have a clueless President, a corrupt Senate and a House that may be willing but needs more Tea Party members driving the spending-restraint issue, getting rid of idiotic mandates like replacing all light bulbs with CFLs, etc, reigning in the EPA, and getting some SERIOUS pro-economic-growth and American-job-creation legislation through to a new President who will be responsive and not rely on two teleprompters. Hell, Reagan only used one didn’t he, and he was at least OLD at the time, lol.
    Best, Dana

  3. sosmass
    July 31, 2011

    Hi Dana,

    An important distinction worth calling out is short-term vs. long-term policies and effects.

    Reagan worked with Congress to push through significant deregulation and tax changes that did, in fact, boost government revenues. That’s why for a short time they were able to play the books to make it look like everything was good. But even then, we were seeing the beginning of massive accounting games which really was the genesis of the false GDP growth we’ve seen for 30 years and are still seeing today.

    All of this works because the Federal government has worked in collusion with Wall Street to employ fraud and deception to make our economic engine appear to be growing stronger. They used this as an opportunity to allow EVERYONE to appear to be getting rich and having more money to spend, without concern.

    Everyday American people found they could up-size their homes, buy second homes and boats, go on expensive vacations, have a third vehicle, etc. without necessarily seeing their actual income keep pace with the spending. It was OK though because the value of real estate and financial holdings, some of which were “ours” — through IRA, 401(k) and other investments — and we got to use those things as ATM machines to keep pulling our more cash and building debt.

    As long as the music played on, all seemed right in the world. And while we the people were living high on the hog, Wall Street and the big banks were, too, pocketing unprecedented amounts of cash, and Congress was not only doing the same, but also seeing continued incumbency rates that even challenge those of hereditary seats like England’s House of Lords, and even in spite of no shortage of scandals.

    The really insidious thing about this situation is that even for the many Americans who did not live beyond their true means, they are still getting screwed because of inflation and a devalued dollar which has less purchasing power. Normal passbook savings long ago became unable to keep pace with inflation, driving more and more people to put their money into Wall Street in hopes of just keeping up so they might actually be able to plan for their future. This is all part of a very deliberate collusion between the banksters and the politicians, and party affiliation had nothing to do with it.

    I submit to you that our national economic behavior has been binge drinking and snorting cocaine for decades. We can but one of two paths: Stop partying, sober up and deal with the effects which will, in the SHORT-TERM, be quite unpleasant and MUST necessarily see a reduction in GDP, or…think we can handle a few more shots and a few more lines, and “after that, then we’ll stop”.

    No doubt, the policies of President Obama and his party have made things far worse, but it is foolish to believe that if we just had a different President, everything would be OK; that if we had another Reagan, life would return to normal.

    While I miss President Reagan, we must accept that his policies were not just his own: He worked with a Congress (mainly Democrats) to push through those changes in tax policy and business regulation. We must also recognize that only some of those policies had positive LONG-TERM net effects because they laid the seeds for growth of Federal government spending at a scale never before seen in this nation except in times of war, and previous war spending always drew down. They laid the seeds for the S&L crisis, and one financial contagion after another where the banksters got their politicians on board with the “too big to fail” idea and…guess what tune is still playing 30 years later?

    Since around 1980, government growth has been monotonically higher, and sometimes in leaps and bounds that boggle the mind.

    (On an aside, I highly recommend you all watch “Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy”, and “Inside Job.”)

    Back again to my premise: The choice before us is to take it recognize our dire situation [that developed over a 30+ year period] and take some very bitter medicine for a time (probably at least 2-3 years) and then begin a GENUINE recovery, or fall back on false beliefs which still try to portray the post-1970s picture of Democrat vs. Republican as good vs. bad, and think that with the right brand of booze…the party could have gone on.

    We didn’t get in this hole overnight, and we’re not going to get out overnight

    Kamal

  4. sosmass
    July 31, 2011

    Thanks, Kamal, for that detailed feedback. I can find no fault with your analysis, nor would I argue that either Republicans (or Reagan himself) were blameless in this situation we find ourselves at the moment. With your seemingly solid understanding of the long-term processes that have begat this mess, it only makes me sadder that you are not our Commonwealth Auditor… I favor your “deal with it now” approach, personally, although with a suffering economy and high misery index, it is not a good time of course.
    Enjoy the nice weather today. Mighty fine indeed!
    Best, Dana

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This entry was posted on July 29, 2011 by in Massachusetts and tagged , , .

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