By Joe Klock, Sr.
HEADNOTE: Following is a verbatim reprint of my 4/12/11 column, since which date the can-kicking has continued unabated.
As the 2012 election cycle comes into heat, the plot sickens, while principal players gather their assets and cover their asses in preparation for the winner-take-all free-for-all lying ahead.
Aside: Lying is an appropriate double entendre for what is to come in the months ahead, since truth will be among the first casualties of the prevailing rhetoric.
The ugly truth is this: Our country is broke and unable to meet either its present or future obligations.
That is the can (of worms) which has been kicked down the road by politicians of both parties for several years, pretty much for the same reason that people tend not to probe the contents of an overflowing cesspool.
Instead, they attack the problem of a smelly fiscal mess with futile strategies:
Most visibly, they stumble, bumble, fumble and grumble through a jumble of “remedial” actions, which have an effect similar to rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship, while ignoring gaping holes in the hull and icebergs in the course ahead.
To all but the filthiest rich among our readers, the phrase, “we can’t afford it” is a painfully familiar fact of family life.
Almost all of us are constrained by budgets that rule out extreme luxury and mandate uncomfortable cutbacks when “things” get tough.
The same should be true of our elected reprehensibles, from the White House to the whorehouses of Congress. (Sorry if you’re bothered by that reference, but look it up.)
Within those unfettered fantasylands, costs are merely lines on a report, either of the projected future or an irreparable past.
Out of money? Let’s just print some more. Out of balance? Just cook the books and/or place the blame elsewhere. Made promises we can’t possibly keep? Just kick the can farther down the road than the next election.
Now, then, here’s what is under the lid of our fiscal cesspool:
– Trillions (that’s thousands of billions) of dollars of unpaid bills.
– More (borrowed) trillions added to the deficit in the years just ahead.
– Even more trillions in commitments that we can’t meet to “entitled” people.
Want to put familiar faces on those burdens? Think Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other social services, pork barrel projects, public pensions, preferential treatments, waste, mismanagement and downright thievery.
Only in Governmentland could such practices survive, much less thrive – and they do so there because of an absence of accountability, combined with a citizenry which tends to be either ignorant or apathetic, or both.
In the most recent national election (2010), it appeared that voters were becoming aware that our ship of state was headed for an iceberg of bankruptcy, seemingly suggesting those in power might face the facts and behave accordingly.
Instead, for the most part, and excepting those not facing a Judgment Day in 2012, our elected reprehensibles, their hirees and those feeding at the preferential trough have switched into full “reelection mode.”
This involves pointing with pride to the virtues of their own political ilkfolk, viewing with alarm the sins of their opposition, reassuring those who benefit from the status quo that their status is secure and, simultaneously, ignoring the fiscal tsunami which will, unless dealt with in the immediate future, drown America as we have come to know it.
We flat-out can’t continue to live in a national style which would make drunken sailors-on-leave look like clones of Ebeneezer Scrooge.
Neither can we postpone the day when Uncle Sam, through the aforementioned reprehensibles, sits his nephews and nieces down and tells us that the party is over and the hangover unavoidable.
If he (and we) lack the guts to bite that bullet, our children and grandchildren will rightfully remember us as having robbed their piggy banks and turned their bright aspirations into impossible dreams.
Please waste zero time listening to any officeholders or seekers who will not admit that our problems are here and now, and serious.
Then, support them only after they have told you very specifically what it will cost us in general – and you in particular – to solve them.
Those unwilling to do so are can-kickers, who will do nothing more than make a really bad situation really worse.
During the past six-plus decades, Firstwife and I have often had to tell our family that “we just can’t afford it,” and they’ve never failed to tighten their collective belts.
Gotta wonder why our elected reprehensibles don’t have the guts and good sense to do the same…and before November, 2012!
Reprinted July 13, 2012
The KlockWorks, Inc., P.O. Box 72, Holderness, NH 03245
Phone: (603) 968-4449 E-Fax (954) 333-2944 Web: www.joeklock.com
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