Damn Lies

My progressive friends, for the most part, are happy to point to graphs and tables which reveal that the reason for the huge deficits created in the last three years lies at the feet of the much hated George W. Bush, and before him, the Dark Lord, Ronald Reagan.

My conservative friends have, at their fingertips, equally compelling charts, trendlines, and datasets that lay the blame squarely on Barack Obama and his compliant side-kick, Congressional democrats, who wish to take more money out of the pockets of the earners and give it, in larger chunks, to the non-earners.

While the two sides fiddle, Rome burns.

It really doesn’t matter now who spent the money that our country doesn’t have anymore. We can blame the recession, which has reduced GDP to the point that the economy cannot pay for our future expenditures, or we can blame the tax cuts that reduced federal revenues during these perilous times. From this sofa, the situation is two sides of the same coin. That is, no matter how it is sliced, we tried to have it both ways. We wanted to drive that Cadillac without making the payments, and our buddies in Congress gave us the keys.

The only statistics that matter now are the ones that tell us that we cannot sustain this level of spending. The only question remaining is the point in time when the people we elected to give us anything we wanted finally realize that they cannot fulfill their promises. After that, the only question is whether our nation will have enough time, and the national will, to solve the problem.

Promises are going to have to be broken, either voluntarily, and in a controlled fashion, or involuntarily, with the subtlety of a dull knife. We cannot remain on this path.


Politics and Politicians

From the pen of P.J. O’Rourke:

After all my time covering politics, I
know a lot of politicians. They’re intelligent.
They’re diligent. They’re talented.
I like them. I count them as friends.
But when these friends of mine take
their intelligence, their diligence, and
their talent and they put these into the
service of politics, ladies and gentlemen,
when they do that, they turn into
leeches upon the commonwealth.

They are dogs chasing the cat of
freedom. They are cats tormenting the
mouse of responsibility. They are mice
gnawing on the insulated wiring of individualism.
They are going to hell in a
hand basket, and they stole that basket
from you. They are the ditch carp in
the great river of democracy. And this
is what one of their friends says.

Read the rest here.

If I can get past my disgust, maybe I’ll put something up about politicians, economics, and the Strategic Petroleum Preserve (you remember that program don’t ya, the program that ‘consumes’ .05% of our oil purchases, terminated by the Congress in an attempt to lower gasoline prices).