Shutdown is Over. Now What?

by Heather Robinson

Ted Cruz
Lots of commentators act like the shutdown was the height of irresponsibility. But it’s really more irresponsible to continue a pattern of excessive spending that could saddle future generations with financial catastrophe.

Look at what has happened recently in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Finland, and Ireland. All of these countries, in which people were heavily dependent on government, have suffered near financial ruin. In some cases such as in Greece, masses have taken to the streets in violent protest.

Liberal commentators tend, perversely, to blame “austerity” measures for the riots – instead of the over-spending and over-dependency on government that led to the crisis in the first place. To me, this is analogous to blaming the people who attempt an intervention to save an addict’s life for the addict’s public and disruptive breakdown rather than correctly identifying the source of the problem – the addiction itself. Addictions can rage for a long time before there’s a breakdown. But as any recovered addict knows, eventually you hit bottom. And unless this country stops reflexively raising the debt ceiling to cover its addiction to over-spending, we – or future generations – will face financial catastrophe.

That is short-sighted, selfish, and stupid. That is the direction we are headed under this President’s policies. And that’s where the Tea Party Republicans came in when they dug in and shut down the government to stop the irresponsible spending.

Like rehab counselors doling out tough love to severely addicted clients, they took a hard line, and they were demonized for doing so. That has allowed everyone to project and avoid the real problem. Unfortunately, the Democrats’ and moderate Republicans’ enablers in the media and elsewhere were all too willing to focus on the short-term pain inflicted by the shutdown (the people out-of-work and inconvenienced for several weeks) to obscure the big picture: this county is addicted to spending, and it is not sustainable.

Whether or not one agrees with the Tea Party Republicans’ strategy in this case, the underlying reality is, spending at the level Obama is and proposing to spend more is a prescription for financial ruin of this country.

No one knows the future. Is it possible Obamacare will be a resounding success? I guess anything is possible. But again, if one looks around the world at the economic crises facing far smaller countries with socialistic economies and populations heavily dependent on government, the future does not look rosy. With 40-some-million people on food stamps, more than ever in the country’s history, and the economic picture looking worse for the average family, there is nothing here to inspire confidence in this President’s economic leadership.

Yet following decades of over-spending by both Democrats and Republicans, a few hard-liners took a harsh but understandable hard line and found a way to dramatically scream, “Stop the spending!” it is they who are demonized by the media, which makes no real attempt to explain to the ordinary citizen why the overspending is not sustainable.

And so, with the shutdown characterized as the height of irresponsibility, both Democrats and Republicans remain free to continue their dysfunctional patterns of overspending. The people will probably continue to vote for politicians who refuse to cut the budget down to sustainable size, instead re-electing those who tell them not the truth but what they want to hear – essentially handing the people whatever goodies they want. (Simultaneously cursing those bums in Washington without looking in the mirror and acknowledging who is re-electing those bums). Since this is a representative democracy, the truth is that the irresponsibility of this government reflects the irresponsibility – at this point in time – of the American people.

And the nation, weakened by an over-dependency on government that is not sustainable, heads more in the direction of Europe’s sluggish nanny-state economies.

Welcome to the New America. The “crisis” is averted, but the real crisis looms. And eighty percent of the population continues its pattern of denial. The Tea Party Republicans get branded the bad guys and no one faces the real problem.

Anybody wanna smoke a joint?

This entry was written by and posted on October 18, 2013 at 10:48 am and filed under Blog. permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Keywords: , , . Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. */?>