The Right Opinion

Math Is Coming

Math is remorseless, and it will eventually balance its numbers, not caring who is hurt in the process

By Frank J. Fleming · Dec. 29, 2012

All the debate over spending is starting to remind me of the movie Jaws. We have some people who believe there is this big threat headed our way, but the authorities all tell us not to panic – but instead of the mayor of Amity Island telling us the beaches are safe, President Obama is telling us we’ll grow our way out of this deficit.

Right now the Republicans and Democrats are hotly debating which of their two wholly inadequate plans we should use to avoid the fiscal cliff, but looking at the size of the deficit, they’re proposing different-sized Band-Aids where a tourniquet is needed. If you point this out, you’re called a Tea Party extremist who wants to throw old people off a cliff and deny underprivileged Ivy League law students free birth control. “You silly person. Budgets don’t have to balance. That’s just a superstition.”

Everyone is so used to politicians treating our tax dollars with less seriousness than the average person treats Monopoly money that they just don’t get why people are suddenly talking about the need for spending cuts. But this isn’t some idea invented by the Tea Party or Paul Ryan or the Koch brothers while sitting in their hollowed-out-volcano Koch Lair. They only mention cuts because they fear the one truly insisting on them: Math.

Politicians have long ignored Math. And it’s no wonder: Math is unelected, unsympathetic, and highly biased toward the rich and keeps demanding cuts to spending and changes to entitlements that are politically infeasible. In a nation filled with obese poor people, we’ve discovered a long list of things everyone should be entitled to besides food, clothing, and shelter – things people need,  like subsidized hybrids – but heartless, uncompromising Math keeps looking at our revenue and telling us we can’t have all of that.

Thus Obama wants Math locked completely out of the fiscal cliff talks and instead wants unlimited power to raise the debt ceiling and then tax the rich because of the demands of Fairness – Fairness being the left’s favorite imaginary friend. Math won’t stop laughing at Obama’s plan to pay for everything by taxing the rich, so Obama just won’t work with it at all.

The Republicans at least acknowledge that Math exists but are only trying to compromise with it. We’re broke, and Obama wants to buy a Ferrari we can’t afford, and they’re trying to argue him down to a BMW we can’t afford. I guess they think if they make some changes to entitlements, Math will just relent and allow 2 + 2 to equal 5 so the rest will add up.

But Math can’t be ignored and won’t compromise. We can plead and cry all day about how much spending cuts will hurt those in need, but this will not move Math. It’s a remorseless adding machine, and it will eventually balance its numbers and doesn’t care what it will have to destroy in the process. But the politicians don’t believe this, and while Obama has so little concern about Math that he sometimes even taunts it (“Obamacare will reduce the deficit!”), some of us see what Math did to Greece and wonder when it’s coming for us. Thus we few ask for spending cuts, as they’re all that will save us. I know it’ll be hard to tell a five year old he won’t get the exact same Medicare coverage as his grandma – especially since he won’t understand what you’re talking about – but that’s the only way to turn Math’s wrath.

People don’t want to listen. But Math is coming. It’s $16 trillion in debt and growing, and one day it will rise out of the water, and even those ignoring it will finally be afraid and gasp, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

No, you idiots! Haven’t you been listening? We need a smaller boat. One we can actually afford.

Frank J. Fleming is the author of the books “How to Fix Everything in America Forever: The Plan to Keep America Awesome” (out now) and “Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything” (free for a limited time), writes columns for PJ Media and the New York Post, blogs at, and would vote a hundred times for Obama is not for Idaho’s racist voter ID law.


Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

DeCartes figured out a way to solve Geometry problems, using Algebra. Brilliant mathmaticians today, are awarded the Fields medal, every four years.I earned $40 dollars once, to use at the Syracuse State Fair, back in '74. I spent the 40 before noon. I learned plenty about economics and math that day! One cannot spend money that one doesn't have. National govmint-GO AND DO LIKEWISE!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 7:10 AM

d.w.hudson in Michigan said:

Unlike the 1920's, when much of American citizenry still knew how to take care of itself, the impending crash will find some 200 million citizens who have no idea how to survive. When the water stops coming and the toilets stop working, the grocery shelves are empty, the heat won't work, the trash piles in the streets, when they can't buy the next crack hit with a welfare check or a Mercedes, when the riots are in the streets and killings don't even make the news anymore,.....well, I hope I get to see it. Maybe I can make things better for my kids and grandkids.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Frank in Ohio replied:

D.W. I keep seeing the prediction that water supplies will stop or be unreliable in a crash scenario. What would be the cause of that? Interrupted electric supply? Just curious.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Greg South Shore Mass. in Weymouth, Ma.North of the filming of JAWS said:

In saying that they don't want to hurt the poor and disenfranchised by these drastic, meanspirited, noncaring cuts. Who does everyone think will be affected the most when the BIGGER BOAT capsizes? Why the afore mentioned groups, but only harder this time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Peter in Nevada replied:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

Obviously they have to disarm us before Math arrives. That effort has begun.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

The bigger question concerning the poor and disenfranchised is just who are they? Is it the welfare queen paying for her food with food stamps and wearing enough gold jewelery to have paid for the food 4 or 5 times over? Is it the poor living in subsidized housing but are driving cars that are no more than 1 to 3 years old? Is it the lady buying $50 worth of lottery tickets and you see sitting in her car are 4 children wearing ragged clothes and just plain dirty? Is it the kids on free lunches taking a couple of bites and then throwing the food in the garbage can? I'll tell who I thnk is the poor in this country. The taxpayers who are trying to make ends meet and seeing the government spend money on those to damn lazy to get an education and find a job.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 12:42 PM

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia replied:

Hey Sarge... I'm seeing the same folks you are,, we are not far apart.
The meaning of "poor" sure has changed. The last time I was poor I was a baby and I didn't know it, but my parents sure did. But they worked and scraped and got educated, and made sure I did.

I am working hard trying to provide for my kids, giving to the "gubmint" just to see it wasted on the worthless rather than provided to the truly needy.

I predict we will go over the cliff, then Obama and the Republicans will be fighting to see who can "restore" tax cuts to "their" group. One thing Obama will not restore is lower estate tax rates. It is the 50% plus "death tax" that Obama wants to stop thr transfer of wealth, and the family farm. He wants all that redistributed to the queen with the gold jewelry, the lottery tickets and the nice car.

By the way, I just watched the recent "Total Recall" movie and noticed that picture on the money was not George Washington or even the Queen
but guess who -- Obama,,, president of the world after the chemical wars. Hollywood wishful thinking???

Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 8:38 PM

d.w.hudson in Michigan said:

Frank, I'm supposing that during a full economic collapse, the dollar will be worth squat, noone will be paying electric bills and company workers would have much less incentive to continue work or repair damaged lines. But since electric power is the MAJOR necessity for continued individual as well as national survival, government would soon have to nationalize the grid. Until then....... After seeing what happened to New Orleans and the east coast after the hurricaines, one can only imagine.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

Lisa Jackson's war on COAL is over-she has kwit her elitist position, as TSAR of Environmental Protection. Jackson was the kook, who started mesuring Mercury outputs, of coal-fired power plants, and systematically shutting them down, without any replacements or contingency plans!

Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 6:45 AM

JAC in Texas said:

The problem with the Ferrari/BMW analogy is that if the Republicans do convince Odickhead to downsize from a Ferrari to a BMW, the Democrats will take credit for implementing a spending cut.

Monday, December 31, 2012 at 2:21 PM