Fiscal Cliff or Economic Collapse?

The tug of war over tax hikes and government spending intensifies as we get closer to January 1.

Part of the reason we can’t get traction is that the American public does not understand what is at stake. Purposefully. The media helps that by obfuscating. Most of them are reluctant to show why Republicans hold to their tax cut/spending cut ideas; the Democrats’ mantra that they are for the middle class sounds more appealing but it is hollow. Their ideas don’t tackle the problems at all.

Following the election many of us realize the appalling state of our voters. Obama supporters came out of the woodwork to ensure that they’ll continue to get their goodies. The rest of us realize that there won’t be any goodies for anyone if we are taxed to death and spent to death.

Trace it back to schools where students evidently don’t get much in the math department. They don’t understand the enormity of the money the government takes out nor the even bigger amount it spends. Let’s face it; it’s not a concern for most people. They run up the credit card and payment day keeps getting extended. Meanwhile, they enjoy their purchases. How much this will cost them in the end doesn’t matter for the fun of today.

Selwyn Duke writes “I’ll See Your Economic Collapse and Raise you National Demise” in the today. He puts numbers in terms maybe even the morons can grasp.

Let’s get real. Federal revenue this year will be approximately $2.5 trillion.

That’s $2,500,000,000,000.

How much, again? Well, updating some examples Rob Bluey provided at The Foundry lends the following perspective:

It is 2,500 billion.
At $45.8 million per year, LeBron James would need to work 54,607.5 years to earn it.
Average life in the U.S. lasts 2.4 billion seconds.
2.5 billion seconds ago = 1933.
2.5 trillion seconds ago = 74,250 BC.

Furthermore, a stack of 2.5 trillion dollar bills would reach a height of 169,665 miles — more than two thirds the way to the moon. This brings us to the second part of the problem.

We’re set to spend this year $3,500,000,000,000.

Stacked up, that many bills reach to the moon. And that’s where we’re headed fiscally.

Perhaps that can make an impact.

As he says, “if the government cannot get by on $2.5 trillion a year, guess what! Pull it up root and branch and start anew.”

Yet some still argue that liberals do care about fiscal restraint and want to tackle the problem. Duke reminds us

Ronald Reagan learned this the hard way in the 1980s when he agreed to a budget deal that included three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases. The taxes came first.

The cuts never came at all.

As Reagan later wrote, “[t]he Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts.”

So here’s a message for Republicans who think that liberals can be negotiated with on the budget. I’ll be blunt.

Hey, idiots, they’re not going to stop spending. Capisce?

Yes, I screamed that. How do I know they won’t stop? Ooh, maybe because they haven’t stopped for 50 years? Maybe because the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior? It’s also because a liberal is a liberal is a liberal. A scorpion stings, a cuttlefish expels ink, a skunk sprays mercaptan fluid, and a liberal spends. It’s what the species does.

Many conservatives don’t grasp this, however. They make a common mistake: they assume that others think as they do. They’re largely rational, so they expect rational behavior from their fellow man. But as I explained recently, emotion prevails in people’s decision-making far more than you may think. What feels right often trumps what is right, even when the former is downright stupid.

So maybe, bad as it might be, a jump off the fiscal cliff is better than death by drowning in the debt drowning pool.

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