Sunday, November 14, 2010

‘If You Don’t Play By ‘MY’ Rules, I Am Taking My Basketball Home With Me!’

The upcoming 'debate', such as it will be, on the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Deficit-Reduction Commission remind us of the annoying kid who would invite you to play basketball at their house on their backyard court with their basketball.

Inevitably, almost as if scripted, some foul would be inflicted on said annoying kid (SAK) and he would say it was ‘intentional’ or ‘not fair’ or ‘that really hurt!’  In the aftermath of the ensuing argument, SAK would then threaten to ‘take my basketball and go home!’ and we would let him and then the game would be over and done with for the day.

Aren’t both sides already revving up over the Bowles-Simpson Commission to become the SAK of American politics to the detriment of us all?

And the heck of it is that Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson have not even gotten 14 out of the 18 commissioners to produce a final set of recommendations to send to Congress to consider passing one day, we all hope.

Liberal economist Paul Krugman and Nancy Pelosi have already lurched hard to the left and declared that any changes to Social Security are ‘off-limits’ and not touchable.  They say this even though SS is technically bankrupt this year, 2010, because it is paying out more than the payroll tax receipts coming in to fund the program.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, has lurched hard to the right and declared that any abolition of the mortgage interest deduction is a ‘tax increase’ even though making the tax code ‘simpler’ and devoid of a myriad of deductions has been a goal of the American conservative movement since the income tax was declared constitutional in 1913.

So here's what people like Mr. Krugman and Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Norquist are really saying like SAKs when they dig their heels in on any deficit-reduction package:

'We do not care one whit about the national debt exploding. We don't care that we are adding on at least $2 trillion in debt by the extension of the W tax cuts in 6 weeks. If the debt goes to $20 trillion in the next 2 years, we just plain do not care! And if you don't agree with us 100% on everything my side wants, we are going to take our basketball home and end this game!'

What these so-called 'leaders' don't understand is that they are not writing the rules to this game. And neither did the Founders, as brilliant as they were.

The rules to 'this game' were written long ago in the physics of fundamental economics and the Natural Laws under which economics operates. Rampant inflation, exorbitantly high interest rates and a further debasement of our currency awaits those who adamantly refuse to negotiate any deal on deficit-and-debt reduction that will benefit the entire nation.

So congratulations Mr. Krugman, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Norquist and the AARP on trying to give us a much larger debt that we can't handle because of your obstinate obstructionism.

For those of you who see the Tea Party as the salvation, here's a pleasant conversation we had with a Tea Party activist right after the election. (S)he said: ‘If we don’t see a budget put out by the Republicans by the end of January, 2011 that balances the budget in several years, we are gonna primary every incumbent in 2012 and go after the Democrat incumbents in primaries as well!’

Which all sounded well and good until the following disclaimer came out of the same mouth: ‘And if any of them touch my Medicare benefits, I am gonna take them all on myself!’

We hate to inform well-meaning people in the Tea Party movement but Medicare is perhaps the largest example of federal government involvement in any industry ever in the history of America and almost defines the word ‘socialism’ in any textbook or dictionary you can find.

In short, everyone wants their programs to be protected from any changes that will balance the budget.

‘And if you don’t like it, I am going to take my ball with me and go home!’

If by that, activists on all sides mean that everyone else has to come to their way of thinking of 100% before an agreement can be struck, all we can offer is this following observation:

‘You have picked the wrong country to be a totalitarian dictator to live in then.’

There is no way on God’s green earth that we are ever going to be able to balance the budget without touching any existing program in SS; Medicare; Medicaid; Defense; Education; Welfare; Environment; Energy; Housing or any other of the hundreds of thousands of federal programs now in existence.

There is no way that a bill is going to get 50%+1 votes on final passage of any deficit-reduction package without eliminating many of the tax deductions and/or raising taxes in some form or fashion now that the House is in GOP control; the Senate is ruled by the Democrats and President Obama still resides in the White House with a trusty veto pen by his side.

Ain’t going to happen in this lifetime or any other. That is one thing you can go to the bank with 100% ontological certitude as the commentator John McLaughlin used to say.

The American Democratic Republic will then be working precisely as the Founders intended:  Pass a bill for the common good of the nation using reason and persuasion with a majority of support in Congress while protecting the rights of the minority.

The essence of a functioning democracy is to be able to persuade, cajole and/or reason with enough legislators to get over that 50%+1 goal line.  This debt is not going to go away on its own without adult leadership in Congress.  If they don’t negotiate a deal to do it early in the session, they'll have to redouble their efforts and get it done by the end of the session.

Real American leaders don't run away with their ball back to mommy and leave the game. You'll see who they are based on their involvement with a deficit-reduction package that has real substance in it.

All the rest are pretenders.


  1. yeah, well, in this case, SAK is one of our bratty siblings, we all live in that house, and we are already home. So it is time to work it out.

  2. Time to kick the SAK out of the house then in the electoral process...they are there on both sides of the aisle

    and then let the adults play the game for real for a change


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