To be clear: I don’t consider myself a “liberal.” Not because I have a problem with the term. Some of my opinions are more left, or liberal if you wish, some not. But I do have a problem with how terms shift in meaning over time. At one time I considered myself a proud Conservative when I thought the Bill Buckley brand: the more rational, intellectual, civil, side of that label, was the future. Now, the few times I find myself in agreement with my former more conservative self I still have a problem with that label too. The Savages, the Palins, the Bachmanns, the O’Reilly’s have ruined it for me.
Besides these labels are generalizations: what’s inside may be quite different from person to person, but people treat you as a cliche’ ready to be ignored if you adopt such. How many times have I tried to argue with those who go on and on with, “But you think this, and this, and this…” all the framing talking points they have swallowed whole posed by their fav talking heads. And before I can get through to them I’m not not some cliche’ they’re already already attempting to combat strawmen instead of me.
But if they did call me a “tax and spend liberal,” I say, “I’d be more proud to be called that than a ‘spend, spend, spend without paying back right wing ideologue.'”
Of course this will lead to a snide, “What does that mean?” And, of course, I willingly admit this “clever” comeback is also an over generalization, at best. But if the right wants to go to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc what happened during Bush is classic: keep most of it off the books then dump it into the next president’s lap: especially if he’s from the other party. But, more leftward presidents are famous for starting expensive programs too, I must admit. When it comes to funding them, well, at least a “tax and spend” liberal taxes to pay for what they spend, is my only point.
So, that out of the way, can we have an honest conversation instead of snark? I’ll start…
First an point must be made. Comparing a government’s budget to a family budget is a poor analogy, at best. They are not the same, and should never be considered such. For one, family’s don’t print money… well, they shouldn’t. Please don’t. Not all that legal.
“Who’s that knocking at your door, who’s that knocking at your door…”
“Hey, Bubba, Junior, shut off those damn presses or you don’t get your pacifier tonight!”
Got to put da little buggers to work doing something right?
Anywhosie, if we must use this family analogy here’s an explanation I think the right might understand…
Dad, or Mom, gets a raise, or has a new job that pays more. More money is coming in. If you must spend more, that’s when you would do so: more money coming in. You know: like taxes bring in for the government? Or you take out a loan but make damn sure you can make installments, and try to over pay if you can. The earlier you pay off the better, usually… except those who charge stiff fees for such… who IMO shouldn’t even be in the business of making loans.
Here’s when a family shouldn’t spend without trying to increase incoming: mother and father lose their jobs. Simple, right? But what if they lose their jobs then load down the credit cards and refuse to pay? They’ve made promises to pay for services rendered, you know: heat, electricity, gas, and refuse to pay. Now maybe some of those were extras, but the time to not pay is before the bill is due.
That’s what the debt limit does. Helps us pay what we owe.
Roughly, that’s what we have now. To blame the mess we’re in on merely the left is not only nonsensical, but an outright lie.
If you wish to no longer pay for programs then you change the program first, not steal from it and refuse to pay what you owe. But such is the nature of some: not “all,” of those who dare call themselves “fiscal conservatives” these days. They’re acting like thieves and con artists, instead of having an honest discussion.
Good example: force the post office to prepay benefits 70 years in advance, then declare it to be their fault so you can sell off their services to your corporate buds.
As Iraq, Afghanistan, gov shut downs, the 5,000th Benghazi hearing prove, folks like this have, literally, no problem with spending. They just wish to spend money on other things, and sometimes spend without the tax base that pays for what they spend. And, oh, how they love to sabotage the economy: like giving everyone a check from the surplus. Or giving pallet loads of money to warlords not to fight us: warlords who often also work for our enemies.
This all started with bad decisions: like training bin Laden and his cohorts because we hated the Soviets more…
…like giving weapons, gas and support to Saddam…
…like trading with Iran to support an insurgency in Nicaragua. You know, the same Iran that held our folks hostage and the right has been so eager to go to war with? “Go to war with” despite the demand for austerity when it comes to any program they don’t like?
It’s all a crock. The right, who I once supported over 40 years ago, has nothing to brag about these days, collectively. And much to embarrassed about when it comes to an honest, respectful, open, discussion about what we should be paying for: or not.
For tis those who have misappropriated the “fiscally responsible” label who are the irresponsible ones. And tis they who caused this mess we’re in now.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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