I had some time to waste this evening and feeling too lazy to read, I opted for the option of least resistance: to watch Meet the Press after pretty much having boycotted it all year for its incredibly low caliber breadth and total lack of intellectual rigor. I fast-forwarded past the David the Puppet Axelrod until landing on planet John McCain. The ever-unintelligible and increasingly incoherent John McCain in response to a question about his presence at the infamous October 2008 White House meeting to discuss the economic crisis – the one you may recall he suspended his campaign to urgently attend to – stated that he had gone to the White House only because he wanted the Republicans to be represented at the meeting. He might have forgotten that at the time the White House was Republican. As you can imagine, I immediately moved on.
Then I got to the round table made up of Alan Greenspan, Newt Gingrich, and Harold Ford, Jr. on the state of the economy; in other words, three people who have been consistently wrong about everything related to fiscal and monetary policy for the past two decades. As always, Mr. Soft Ball was the host, and as you can imagine, all of the panelists – including a forth one who had recently written a book about the crisis – all agreed on almost everything, namely that we are on the verge of a devastating debt crisis that requires immediate action. There was no evidence presented, no science, no math, not a single expert – unless you don’t considered Mr. Greenspan discredited yet. Just a bunch of guys who always and have always gotten it wrong.
Forget for a second that nobody cares about the deficit other than the politicians, that the worst thing for the economy would be to take more money out of circulation by cutting spending, or that absolutely everything that New Gingrich ever says is an absolute fabrication and that no one on Meet the Press ever calls him on it, but why is the bi-partisan logic that has failed us for almost three decades and has turned us into a banana republic continuing to prevail? If the deficit were so important, why would we increase it by 300 billion just to reward the wealthiest Americans with tax relief they don’t need? Gingrich might not remember this, but it wasn’t the average citizen that decided to invade two countries for decade long wars while lowering taxes and not paying for either. It wasn’t the average citizen who toppled the economy through misfeasance and corrupt practices. So why should the only solution ever be to make the citizens pay? Why should we have our services cut so that the wealthiest at the very top (who can afford to live without public services) and corporations can reap all of the benefits? Because the money will trickle down? How has that worked for us over the past 30 years? Answer: Banana Republic.
Special thanks to Meet the Press for making life easier for the politicians and the status quo. And instead of a leisurely Sunday evening spent on what could have been an interesting political discussion, I’ve gotten to waste it on this post.
Update: I just read that Social Security accounts for only five percent of the economy. Regardless of the fact that “making the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent is a huge budget issue — over the next 75 years it would cost as much as the entire Social Security shortfall,” yet cutting Social Security is still considered by the serious players as the key area of concern while continuing the tax cuts is a welcome compromise.