Lunacy and the Politics of Debt

Federal Debt Chart

This one chart should end the partisan bickering (at least among the voters!) over fiscal cliffs and debt ceilings. The explosion of government borrowing and spending is a catastrophe visited upon American taxpayers and citizens by both parties – this is a dereliction of political leadership and it’s time we stopped being fooled by the nonsense that comes out of Washington D.C. For those who still believe the net benefit to US wealth creation is positive, one need only cite the rising ratio of debt-to-GDP to see our debt-driven, public ‘investments’ are not paying off.

The reason we have a financial disaster in the making is because we allowed the Federal government and politicians to take control of the supply of the currency by removing any accountability for its real value. Gold is not ideal, but it’s far better than nothing. How much clearer does the evidence need to be and when do we stop the partisan one-upmanship and pay attention? Ultimately, you and me are responsible for this fiasco because we have failed to hold politicians accountable. We’re still failing.

A couple of good quotes:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

– Carl Sagan

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

– Aldous Huxley

Why Read the WSJ?

Yes, this is a media plug. If there’s anything we need in this world of dysfunctional politics, it is more honest media. This passage is excerpted from an article by departing journalist, William McGurn, who will become the op-ed editor of the NY Post:

My [WSJ] editors made it clear they were guided by a very different idea: that human beings ought to be seen as minds rather than mouths. The more I read while at the Journal, the more I appreciated that some of the most hopeful writing about human possibility was being done by economists—from Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek to Milton Friedman, Gary Becker and Julian Simon.

Put it this way: When China transformed itself by moving from Mao to markets, the Journal’s editors were as dazzled by the results as anybody. They just weren’t surprised.

I believe that this same disposition—to see potential where others see only problems—is what leads these pages to welcome the immigrant and the refugee; to fight for the inner-city schoolchild stuck in a rotten public school; to champion the guy who scrapes and saves for a hot-dog stand only to have some pol try to force him out in favor of something more chic; and to look beyond the noble intentions of a new tax or regulation to the unintended consequences for those least able to afford them.