The Right Opinion

Spending Junkies and Their Shameless Scare-mongering

By Arnold Ahlert · Feb. 25, 2013

In Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan compiled a nice list of “horrors” that will befall our nation, should the latest, never let a crisis go to waste “calamity” known as sequestration come to pass. “Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start,” she writes. “Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back.”

That’s a remarkable list, and for the sake of argument, let’s suppose it’s all true. (Before you get started, anyone with a brain knows this manufactured hysteria is just that, but bear with me). If it is true, what occurs to me is that people are looking at this whole drama one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase.

The total amount of spending cuts that will occur in FY2013 come to $85 billion. That’s $85 billion out of approximately $3.5 trillion in irresponsible, deficit-driven, national debt-increasing spending that will take place over the same period. I say approximately because, once again, Senate Democrats have punted on crafting a budget, despite their legal requirement to do so.

So here’s the thing: if a mere $85 billion in cuts, which is approximately 2.4 percent of a $3.5 trillion budget, can cause such “devastation,” how is it that the federal government needs another $3.415 trillion to make ends meet?

Look at that list again, and remember that all of it supposedly costs $85 billion. Now multiply the number of job losses and cuts by a factor of ten. A couple of examples: instead of seven thousand layoffs of TSA workers, customs workers and air traffic controllers, make it seventy thousand. Make it seven million children dropped from head Start instead of 700,000. Now realize that, using the same Calamity Calculation Index cited by the Community-Organizer-in-Chief – and again, flipping it one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase – we could have ten times as much government employment, Head Start, troop readiness paid civilian contractors, etc.,etc. for $850 billion.

So why are we spending anywhere near $3.5 trillion?

I’ll tell you why. Because we have a Marxist/socialist Democrat party supported by takers on both ends of the economic spectrum, from entitlement junkies to crony capitalist, no-resignations-necessary-for-the-TARP-bailout bankers, for whom the status quo is just peachy keen. At the top of this unholy alliance we have a president completely comfortable whacking middle class America because, despite four years on the job, he remains little more than the rabble-rousing shakedown artist that forms the essence of every community organizer.

That in and of itself is rather remarkable when you think about it. It takes an almost willful resistance not to grow into any job, much less the most important job in the nation, after experiencing it for four years.

And to reiterate, this is a president quite comfortable with whacking middle class Americans, who haven’t quite figured out that “taxing the rich” is an elastic euphemism sitting atop the most slippery of slippery slopes. When the entire tax increase Obama extracted from the fiscal cliff deal gets completely eaten up by the Sandy relief effort/porkfest, it’s pretty clear that the definition of “rich” will be sliding lower and lower down the pay scale. Ever-expanding government demands nothing less, all protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

As for the ultimate in one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase thinking, it is critical for Americans to remember that these socialist utopians believe government comes first, and we get to keep whatever’s left over. That’s why these hacks can wax hysteric about “draconian” spending cuts that total $1.2 trillion over a decade, even as we’ve run more than $5 trillion of budget deficits over the last four years.

Ergo, the sky is falling. Ironically that’s true, but for exactly the opposite reason than the one being promulgated Democrats and their media lackeys. Quite simply, government spending has reached unsustainable levels, maintained only by the grace of those still willing to lend us money. Yet even that reality is misunderstood. Ask a hundred people who finances the lion’s share of America’s debt and one hundred of them will say the Chinese do. Wrong answer. The right, and most frightening answer, is that seventy percent of the nation’s debt is being underwritten by us. The Federal Reserve is printing money to buy American debt that nobody else wants. In the process it is destroying the currency, and encouraging the kind of commodity speculation that is driving up the cost of gas and food. In the process, America is engaged in one of the most despicable acts any society can perpetrate: we are literally robbing our children of a viable future in order to avoid any of the consequences of our current infatuation with unbridled irresponsibility.

Yet the “Forward! Folks” claim we can’t cut 85 billion bucks without calamity. That’s beyond shameful. It’s apparently also beyond the comprehension of a majority of Americans for whom economic literacy will be an eternally elusive concept.

Until, amidst the wreckage of a once great nation, it isn’t.