Frank J. Fleming at Pajamas Media:
Math Is Coming
Math is remorseless, and it will eventually balance its numbers, not caring who is hurt in the process.
All the debate over spending is starting to remind me of the movie Jaws. We have some people who believe there is this big threat headed our way, but the authorities all tell us not to panic — but instead of the mayor of Amity Island telling us the beaches are safe, President Obama is telling us we’ll grow our way out of this deficit.
Right now the Republicans and Democrats are hotly debating which of their two wholly inadequate plans we should use to avoid the fiscal cliff, but looking at the size of the deficit, they’re proposing different-sized Band-Aids where a tourniquet is needed. If you point this out, you’re called a Tea Party extremist who wants to throw old people off a cliff and deny underprivileged Ivy League law students free birth control. “You silly person. Budgets don’t have to balance. That’s just a superstition.”
Everyone is so used to politicians treating our tax dollars with less seriousness than the average person treats Monopoly money that they just don’t get why people are suddenly talking about the need for spending cuts. But this isn’t some idea invented by the Tea Party or Paul Ryan or the Koch brothers while sitting in their hollowed-out-volcano Koch Lair. They only mention cuts because they fear the one truly insisting on them: Math.
Politicians have long ignored Math. And it’s no wonder: Math is unelected, unsympathetic, and highly biased toward the rich and keeps demanding cuts to spending and changes to entitlements that are politically infeasible. In a nation filled with obese poor people, we’ve discovered a long list of things everyone should be entitled to besides food, clothing, and shelter — things people need, like subsidized hybrids — but heartless, uncompromising Math keeps looking at our revenue and telling us we can’t have all of that.
I never liked math. (To be completely honest, I hate it, but I never knew until recently that math is racist.) The reason I was never good at math is probably because I’m left-handed and us southpaws are creative and artistic but whatever the reason me and numbers never got along. They say that math is the language of science and guess what? I was never good in science classes either.
On the other hand I’m not any good at singing either, but I know what it is and I can make it through a church hymn or karaoke night without embarrassing myself. And you don’t have to be a mathematician to understand a profit and loss statement or to balance your checkbook. One thing I do know is that 16 trillion is a REALLY BIG NUMBER.
Now any Vile Prog will tell you (with sneering contempt) that the federal budget is not like a household budget. And that’s true. But money borrowed must be repaid because the books must balance. (That’s why they call it a “balance sheet”.) Right now we owe a shitload of money.
That’s why this “fiscal debt” kabuki is such a waste of time. The Republicans are talking about a fight to the death to avoid raising taxes on the richest Americans by a measly two percent. But even if the Bush tax cuts were completely repealed it would only reduce the rate at which we are going into debt.
The First Rule of Holes is “When you are in one, stop digging”.