Lunch

Today I had the pleasure of having shared company with my US Representative during lunch.  He was on town for a Town Hall meeting, and met with a civic group that I am a member of for lunch.   Just for the sake of what little anonymity I have left, I will omit his name.  However, he is a Republican, and seems to be a down to Earth guy.

I do not particularly care for the Republican Party.  But I far, far prefer them over the Democrats, primarily because the GOP tends to have a theory of less laws, less government, less spending.  Yeah, I know.  I almost cannot type those words, as it is nowhere near an accurate representation of what the GOP actually is.  Their war making tends to run up quite a bill, and is a big part of what is wrong in America now.  But on the same token, the DNC has shown to be no different.  Obama is as war like as anyone else, having more Predator Drone strikes in his first year as Bush had in 8.

But the silly political dichotomy aside, the lunch was good.  I got to hear his views on many of the issues we face today, wrapped up in a nice 20 minute presentation followed by a non existent Q and A (can’t be asking tough questions at a civic luncheon, after all).

Some comments that were made that I have further thoughts on:

–  “America has just recently received a call from their credit card company, telling us that we have maxed out our credit”

This is true.  And the way he has put it is the best metaphor I have heard thus far.  We have financed 2 full wars and TARP with borrowed money.  He did go to the effort to blame the DNC for the TARP program, however.  That untruth is bothersome, as it is well known that GW Bush not only instituted the TARP program, but that Obama basically carried that same team forward using the exact same plan.  So much so that former Bush officials claim it is the only thing Obama has done right.

Obama owns many turds.  TARP happens to be one that he shares with his predecessor.

– “I think most Americans understand well enough that we are in a tough spot.  And I want to make sure that my constituents are being told, truthfully, where we are and what we need to do.  I think Americans are ready for that.”

Well, how about that.  One of our DC officials finally feels like we should be given the truth about how bad management has been.  How refreshing.  However, to be truthful with America you first have to be truthful with yourself and your party.  It isn’t just the DNC that got us here.  It may be their car, but it was the GOP driving.

– “We need to balance the budget.  We, historically, have spent about 20% of GDP, while collecting about 18% of GDP in taxes.  Now we spend about 25% of GDP, and only collect 15% of GDP in taxes.  The hope is to close that gap, and then over the years pay down the deficit.”

This is what really gets me.  If this is the mindset in DC, no wonder we are sitting in this handbasket on our way to hell.  First, why would we think we can sustain spending more than we gain in revenue?  The problem starts with spending 20% 0f GDP and earning 18% of GDP.  Anyone who runs a household knows that this is a recipe for disaster, as there is no discretionary money left for emergencies without taking out a loan or charging credit.

But even moreso, if we are 14 trillion in debt (good luck getting a consistent and accurate number for that…14 trillion just seems to be the number most people use), how will we ever get to where we can pay down that debt?  The payments alone are enough to bankrupt us.   We are like a minimum wage employee that has taken out a payday loan for twice their normal paycheck.  The payments alone are so high that, without a massive increase in earning (i.e. tax revenue) there is no way to get on top of the debt and make it manageable.

Paying it out over the upcoming years is not the way I wanted to treat my son.  To make them pay for the drunken party that our Military Industrial and Financial sectors have been on for the past 30 years is evil.   And knowing that my sons children will still be paying on that debt (if the USA still exists by then) when they die is among the most depressing things I can imagine.

Of course, balancing the budget is a start.  And it is a start that must be made.  However…

– “Pelosi didn’t even bother submitting a budget for this year.  So we have been running the governments using C.R.’s (continuing resolutions).  This year the House has a solid budget, but I don’t expect Harry Reid will allow it through the Senate.  So we are in the same position all over again.”

This is a problem that should not exist.  The only reason that we cannot decide on the best path forward for America is because they have to work all their special interests into the equation.  Without all of that, Americas needs are fairly clear.

So when November comes around, remember this.  Remember that for 2010, and likely 2011, we won’t even get a budget passed.  We will continue spending using C.R.’s, spending trillions without taxpayer oversight.  Remember that we are in this tough financial position, and our elected officials cannot even put their own special interests aside long enough to save our nation.

Remember that America comes second to the people who got us here.  And then replace them.  Not with more Democrats and Republicans.  Replace them with a completely different animal.

I keep hearing that Ron Paul is crazy and unelectable.  My question is, why not?  Could he really be worse than what we have had for my entire lifetime of 4 decades?

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