There you go again…

I’ve grown weary of the ongoing debt ceiling farce.  Arguing over a bullet train vs. a steam locomotive to arrive at our unavoidable economic collapse.  The word “doom” gets bandied about so often these days, but we’ve reached the point where I’ve given up hope.  Our doom is inevitable.  As former Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams once said about rape – you can’t do anything about it so you might as well lay back and enjoy it.

Heck, at this point I figure Americans wanted it.  Look at the way we’ve acted.  All tarted up throwing ourselves at Washington.  You can’t expect to lead a man on like that without him expecting a little something in return.  What jury could convict them?  Everyone saw us hanging all over them, loading up on cheap booze, and talking about how much we wanted them.  If they hurt us it’s just because they love us so much.

Acceptance.  The final stage of grieving is indeed the most cathartic.  Accepting the inevitable frees the mind and spirit.  Since I’ve accepted doom I am completely open to a sudden end to our suffering.  If the economy’s going to collapse I want it to happen now while I’m still young enough to fight through it.  I don’t have a problem with not raising the debt ceiling.  I wholeheartedly endorse the immediate 40% reduction in government spending.  It still wouldn’t save us, but it might awaken our collective consciousness.

Naturally, such a violent course correction terrifies some people.  Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum mocks the 40% Plan:

So suppose the debt-ceiling deadline passes. Nothing to worry about, right? There’s still enough money for Social Security, Medicare, interest payments, military payrolls, and veterans benefits, isn’t there? That’s more or less true, but unfortunately, that’s all there’s money for.  Megan McArdle runs down a small sample of the things that will have to be zeroed out:
  • You just cut the IRS and all the accountants at Treasury, which means that the actual revenue you have to spend is $0.
  • The nation’s nuclear arsenal is no longer being watched or maintained
  • The doors of federal prisons have been thrown open, because none of the guards will work without being paid, and the vendors will not deliver food, medical supplies, electricity, etc.
  • The border control stations are entirely unmanned, so anyone who can buy a plane ticket, or stroll across the Mexican border, is entering the country. All the illegal immigrants currently in detention are released, since we don’t have the money to put them on a plane, and we cannot actually simply leave them in a cell without electricity, sanitation, or food to see what happens.
  • All of our troops stationed abroad quickly run out of electricity or fuel. Many of them are sitting in a desert with billions worth of equipment, and no way to get themselves or their equipment back to the US.
  • Our embassies are no longer operating, which will make things difficult for foreign travellers
  • No federal emergency assistance, or help fighting things like wildfires or floods. Sorry, tornado people! Sorry, wildfire victims! Try to live in the northeast next time!
  • Housing projects shut down, and Section 8 vouchers are not paid. Families hit the streets.
  • The money your local school district was expecting at the October 1 commencement of the 2012 fiscal year does not materialize, making it unclear who’s going to be teaching your kids without a special property tax assessment.
  • The market for guaranteed student loans plunges into chaos. Hope your kid wasn’t going to college this year!
  • The mortgage market evaporates. Hope you didn’t need to buy or sell a house!
  • The FDIC and the PBGC suddenly don’t have a government backstop for their funds, which has all sorts of interesting implications for your bank account.
  • The TSA shuts down. Yay! But don’t worry about terrorist attacks, you TSA-lovers, because air traffic control shut down too. Hope you don’t have a vacation planned in August, much less any work travel.
  • Unemployment money is no longer going to the states, which means that pretty soon, it won’t be going to the unemployed people.

Different people obviously look at the same list of worst case scenarios and see very different problems.  Kevin sees lunacy in anything other than continuing to add $1,500,000,000,000 a year to our national debt until more money can be found.  The Rocking Horse Winner Plan.  The find 7,500,000 people making $200,000 a year and tax them at 100% plan.

I look at those possibilities and wonder why the hell our government has so extended itself into every facet of life.  Our government is a face-hugger.  It’s keeping us alive but if we try to take it off it will kill us.  FDR broke quarantine and doomed us all.

As I’ve said before, cutting spending by 40% takes us back to 2003-2004 levels. Are you telling  me we can’t survive with the same amount of government we had in 2003?  If we can’t, why not?  What happened between now and then that requires 40% more spending?

Is it entitlements?  The one hundred trillion dollar unfunded Social Security and Medicare liability?  The same to-the-moon-sized stack of c-notes sized bill we’ve been kicking down the road for fifty years and have no plan to fix now?

Whatever it is, were better off taking it in the can now.  He sees doom in the 40% plan, here’s what I see:

  • Without lobbying by thousands of unionized IRS agents the tax code can be simplified to comic book size.
  • The nation’s nuclear arsenal is upgraded creating high-tech jobs of the future using money from…
  • The Department of Energy is closed after 30 miserable years of failure.  Since the DOE America’s oil production went from 70/30 domestic/foreign to 30/70 domestic/foreign.  Electricity generating capacity has been stunted in conjunction with…
  • The now closed Environmental Protection Agency.  Their closures create a flood of new jobs in our new free-from-government-distortion energy market.
  • Federal prisons and Border Patrol operations are funded by eliminating a Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Our embassies are operating as usual funded by eliminating the Department of Commerce – but with a 40% budget cut.
  • Federal emergency assistance, help fighting things like wildfires or floods is more than adequately funded by eliminating the Department of Interior.
  • Housing projects shut down, along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Fortunately for families the simultaneous closure of the Department of Labor and repeal of ObamaCare has given companies confidence to hire people who want to work.
  • After thirty years in which money spent per pupil tripled in real dollars while achievement levels remain statistically unchanged the Department of Education is closed.
  • The money your local school district was expecting at the October 1 commencement of the 2012 fiscal year does not materialize, which would force school districts to renegotiate union contracts and possibly institute school choice.
  • The market for guaranteed student loans plunges into chaos. College tuition subsequently plunges.  College are forced to reconsider tenure and unnecessary staff.  After the tuition bubble burst more students can afford college.
  • The mortgage market evaporates.   An overdue market correction occurs and houses become more affordable.  Without Fannie and Freddie distorting the mortgage market lenders can rebuild their portfolios based on actuarial data rather than diversity.
  • The FDIC and the PBGC suddenly don’t have a government backstop for their funds, so private third-private reinsurance companies bear the risk rather than taxpayers.
  • The TSA shuts down. Yay! But don’t worry about terrorist attacks, because you and your fellow passengers will subdue any potential terrorist.  Air traffic control is funded with the money saved closing the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Unemployment money is no longer going to the states, which means that pretty soon, with millions reentering a revitalized workforce the need for unemployment money vanishes.
  • Displaced government workers receive shovel-ready jobs building the wall of the future on our border at a cost of $1.8 million per mile.  They have families, so we’ll make three walls 1/4 mile apart.  I do have a heart, you see.

In two years we’d be running a huge surplus.  Not enough to avoid doom without reforming Social Security and Medicare, but enough to actually reduce the national debt.

It’s nice to dream.  But silly dreams can’t make our collective reality go away.  Washington is drunk on our money, feeling randy, and they’re ready for another go.  I’ve heard they like it better when you put up a fight.  Might as well quietly lay back and think of the seniors eating dog food if Washington doesn’t get its way with you.  Watching the kids get it?  That just makes me sad.

One Federal Employee Has A Non-PC Idea On How To Reduce Spending
Tired Gray Crone once again caught running with Democratic Party Line