"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Two Stories, One Story IV

Two stories in yesterday's headlines were really part of the same story.   The first story was Paul Ryan issuing the House Republicans' proposed budget, a plan that reforms the tax code to simplify it (two rates at 10% and 25%, fewer deductions) and to spur growth (cutting capital gains and corporate tax rates), reforms Medicare (retaining the program for people over 55 while shifting it to a market-based approach for people younger than that), and putting the budget on pace to balance.   Over the 10 year budget window, it would cut $5.3 trillion from the Obama proposal.


The second story is something of a dubious achievement:  yesterday the deficits racked up by the Obama administration in 38 months exceeded the deficits of the Bush administration over eight years that included the aftermath of 9/11 and two wars.  

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush's last day in office, which coincided with President Obama's first day.

The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.
Can Americans really re-elect a man who blithely will have presided over four straight years of trillion-dollar plus budget deficits?   Who has added more than $5 trillion to the deficit?  A man who proposes more of the same as far into the future as the eye can see?    I hope we are not that foolish.


So... two stories, one story:   this is a yarn about a responsible adult and a petulant child.   A story about the man who would fix things and the boy who breaks his toys in a fit.   A man who knows that money doesn't grow on trees and a baby who thinks golden unicorns will come from the sky to save him.  

So the election comes down to whether America is a responsible adult nation anymore, or whether we are spoiled children.  

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