Craig’s Cliff Notes on going over the financial precipice

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

I guess I could do the totally abridged version and say the government spends too much, there isn’t enough to confiscate to sate its appetite and we’re going over the cliff no matter what. But where’s the fun in that?

Actually, there’s no fun in any of this. Just ask Europe. How many times did we hear in the past year Europeans have “solved” their crisis? Fifteen? Twenty? But then comes the news the problem persists. Well, guess what’s coming to our shores? You got it — history repeating itself. And you can see this in how our leaders in Washington are once again “working together” to solve the fiscal crisis they’ve wrought in our country through their mismanagement and overspending.

Because that is all our future holds: crisis after crisis. And while just about every politician loves to find a problem, create a problem or tell us the problem they created is actually our problem to help solve, this particular group in Washington is expert at the art. And let’s not forget the White House actually has a policy of “never letting a crisis go to waste.” The fact is, this will not go away.

It’s for the same reason the European crisis won’t go away. The governments over there simply won’t do what’s necessary to solve the problem because it’s political suicide. The solutions are simple. Stop spending, lower taxes to generate wealth and make people more responsible for themselves. But seriously, who’s for that in politics today? Actually, you can tell who was for that in our last election, because just about every person who believes in doing these things was defeated.

And now we’re stuck with an even greater number of unrealistic, unaccountable leaders who care not a whit the government is already broke and will go on as if nothing will happen to them when they completely bankrupt our country. That’s because nothing will happen to them. When it all hits the fan, they’ll have jobs and power and we’ll have nothing. And with their jobs will come the cronyism, crony capitalism and favoritism we all say we despise, but yet elect leaders committed to doing exactly the opposite.

Folks, this is as simple as running your home or small business. But then again, when doing either of those things we are working with our own money, something the folks in our government don’t have to do. And the big difference is that when you and I run out of money, we don’t spend what we don’t have, live on a leaner budget or, at times, we go broke. When the federal government runs out of money, it simply prints more, lends money to itself or puts greater burdens on the states in terms of unfunded mandates to continue the states’ teat-suckling ways. I don’t know about you, but if I walked into my banker with a government-style balance sheet or profit and loss statement, I’d be out on my backside, if not arrested for fraud.

And it isn’t just the states crowding the trough at the “vomitorium” known  as Washington, D.C. Just look at the corporations, cronies, special interests and individual donors that always seem to be in the right industry to get that federal startup money, bailout or lucky contract. This is, indeed, history repeating itself right here in the good ol’ US of A. While all too many folks think Republicans are in the pockets of big business, it’s the Democrats that take the cake on cronyism. Just read the book “The Forgotten Man” by Amity Shlaes and be frightened by the comparisons of what FDR did with what Obama and Democrats are doing today. Is it any wonder where Ayn Rand got the ideas for “Atlas Shrugged?” Between escaping communism and seeing the devastation wrought by Roosevelt, it’s easy to see why the book is so long. There’s just simply too much material to not write about it.

As for unfunded mandates that put pressure on our states, FDR was one-upped by LBJ with his “Great Society” debacle from the 1960s. All you need to do is look at your state’s budget and see monies for things the state should be doing like higher education and social services being taken away to pay for the ever-increasing costs of Medicare and Medicaid. Now Obamacare will be added to that burden as well.

Wat will happen when the states go belly up? There will be the federal government with its mob-style loan programs to bail them out. Do you honestly think the federal government will let California go broke? OK, stay broke? Of course not. And I’ve got news for you: The government is already making these kinds of loans. Ever wonder where the extra unemployment money comes from? That’s right, the feds have taken out a loan in our names and gave us the money on the condition there’s no payment the first year and then interest only in the next few years. The burden may be on businesses, but the cost is passed to the consumer, as always.

Just like serial killers always use three names, wealth killers always use three letters from what I can see in history. Right, BHO?