The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Don’t Blame The Class, Blame The School Of Thought

Posted on | March 25, 2012 | 10 Comments

by Smitty

Insty links Mark Steyn’s latest lamentation:

But these comparisons tend to understate the insolvency of America, failing as they do to take into account state and municipal debts and public pension liabilities. When Morgan Stanley ran those numbers in 2009, the debt-to-revenue ratio in Greece was 312 percent; in the United States it was 358 percent. If Greece has been knocking back the ouzo, we’re face down in the vat. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute calculates that, if you take into account unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare versus their European equivalents, Greece owes 875 percent of GDP; the United States owes 911 percent — or getting on for twice as much as the second-most-insolvent Continental: France at 549 percent.

Insty concludes:

No organization can survive corruption and ineptitude at the top forever. And we’ve had the worse political class in American history for a while now, though its rottenness has really accelerated lately.

My contention is that if Barack Obama had not been located to #OccupyResoluteDesk, the plutocrats would have located another tool. The worm eating the heart out of everything is the Federal Reserve. If you haven’t diagnosed the problem, and told me what we’re going to do to halt the longest-running heist in human history, then, I submit, you’re merely re-arranging the tungsten on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Of course, returning to Insty’s point, the only GOP candidate discussing the Federal Reserve seriously is the one with the lowest likelihood of election. But is Paul talking about the Fed despite, or rather because of his relatively lower chance? The U.S. has to realize that crude propaganda plays like the Sandra Fluke farce or leveraging the Trayvon Martin tragedy are symptomatic of an utterly broken, dysfunctional President. If we are insufficiently exceptional to call ‘nonsense’ on #OccupyResoluteDesk, then we’re collectively justifying his idiocy.

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Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/Stan25 Stan Brewer

    I agree with Ron Paul on the matter of the Fed. Instead of just auditing, it should be abolished. Just as Andy Jackson did when he closed down the Bank of the United States (the only good thing Jackson ever did).  Oh sure, that move will make a lot of crony capitalist very unhappy. Especially, the bankers.  

  • Quartermaster

    “…banksters.”

    There. Fixed it for you.

  • Quartermaster

    Ron Paul is pretty good on the domestic front, it’s just that he’s insane on the foreign relations part. Declaring Bradley Manning a hero broke it all for a lot of people as well.

    I could handle closing the Fed too. Jackson did well on the US bank in his time, but the rest of his time in DC was a total loss. Even in Tennessee we recognized the man as deeply corrupt.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Steyn’s a bit off:  the US federal government isn’t responsible for state obligations; they are on their own fiscally.  It’s like saying your adult child ran up her credit card bill – do you have to pay it?  Not if you didn’t co-sign for it, you don’t, and it doesn’t count against your credit score, either.  Our situation is bad enough without inventing metrics to make it sound even worse.  Why not just include personal debt in the mix?  That would be REALLY scary.

    And of course all this “End the Fed” nonsense is just insane babbling from those who haven’t the first clue about monetary policy or how the system works, and who have no replacement in mind (beyond  a Gold Standard, which makes them the rightful objects of derision), but who, like aborigines who see an airplane for the first time, believe the thing they don’t understand has magic powers. 

    Bernanke has done an awful job, true enough – but so has Obama, and we don’t talk about eliminating the Presidency.

    Our principal problem isn’t monetary, and it isn’t even revenue (although it is down due to the economy).  Our problem is we spend too much.  WAY yonder too much, and a lot of it on things we shouldn’t even be thinking about spending federal funds upon.

    Making the Fed your personal Emmanuel Goldstein isn’t helping anything.

  • DaveO

    Disagree: the Feds are responsible for the states. Our government is already propping up a number of states, with noticeably large Progressive populations (and incomes that contribute handsomely to re-election campaigns. States are ‘too big to fail’ or we’d’ve sold California back to Mexico or to China.

    Agree with your point on our spending habits. Whenever it’s Other People’s Money, spending goes through the roof.

  • Wombat_socho

    You’re talking about two different things. Adjoran is correct that the Feds aren’t on the hook for state and local muni bonds. You are correct that there are a lot of Federal payments going to the state and local governments, as well as an indirect subsidy through the tax deductions for state and local income/sales/property taxes.

  • ThomasD

    What I’d like to see, should the Republican gain both the House and Senate is not a simple audit, nor the all too common Congressional investigations.

    I want truth commissions.

    The concept is simple.  Take all the big messes – the Fed, TARP, all the shenanigans leading up to TARP (Freddie, Fannie, etc.) throw in Fast and Furious and haul in all of the involved personages – from the top to the bottom-  for deposition under oath.

    Then, when their moment in the kleig lights comes,  grant each and every one of them conditional immunity – they will be immune from prosecution for whatever misdeeds they cop to so long as they are substantially truthful in their testimony. 

    Lie or make any material misrepresentations, or fail to provide frank answers and you lose your protection against prosecution.

    Everyone comes clean and the American people can choose who they want to keep around, and who needs to GTFO of town.

    Any chance this would ever happen?

    No chance in hell, which is why we  are screwed and collapse is not an if, it’s a when, and a what comes next?

  • Larimerica

    you’re merely re-arranging the tungsten on the Edmund Fitzgerald

    One of the pleasures of reading TOM is Smitty’s frequent word puzzles. I have to admit this one has me stumped, so I’m asking for help.

    This one starts out with the common metaphor about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, which expresses the futility of a tiny, inappropriate action in the face of an overwhelming catastrophe. But then Smitty puts some fiendish twists on it. He replaces the Titanic with the Edmund Fitzgerald, a cargo ship that sank on Lake Superior while hauling taconite to a steel mill. Then he warps the metaphor even further, replacing taconite with tungsten. Both materials are used to make steel, but then Smitty finishes off by linking to an internet rumor about gold buyers being ripped off with tungsten-filled ingots.

    Has anyone solved this yet? Is it a warning about the Obama administration imposing a Canadian-style steel industry? Does it mean that buying Gold International’s products is futile? Or is the answer that Obama is Gordon Lightfoot? 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

     Nope.  We call it “federalism” and it means the states conduct their own business – within the broader framework of all citizens’ Constitutional rights – and pay their own bills.  Federal largesse is as transitory as a stripper’s affections.

    State debt is certainly a problem, especially since almost all of them have strict constitutional restrictions of their own, but it isn’t a federal problem and should not be considered as part of some hypothetical national balance sheet.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

     Nah, it ain’t all that complicated.  The reference to the Edmund Fitzgerald is because he likes the song, and it fits with his predilection for nautical metaphors.   The tungsten story is his way of apologizing for his past silliness about gold standards.

    Message received!  Aye-aye, sir!