I’m behind on my reading, so I’m only up to the March issue of Reason. Matt Welch, always superb in his ability to expose political reality, outdid himself when he wrote Spending Denialists and the Fiscal Illusion. In it he quotes the position of the late economist James Buchanan on the topic of deficit spending.
“The attractiveness of financing spending by debt issue to the elected politicians should be obvious. Borrowing allows spending to be made that will yield immediate political payoffs without the incurring of any immediate political cost.”
This is concise and to the point. Politicians willingly fuck over future generations for their own political gain. And they do this openly and with great enthusiasm.
What’s more, Buchanan warned, “the replacement of current tax financing by government borrowing has the effect of reducing the ‘perceived price’ of government goods and services,” with the result that taxpayers “increase their demands for such goods and services.”
Which, of course, is why the same wicked politicians keep getting reelected and why this behavior will continue until it culminates in disaster. This impending doom will never be averted by the likes of Barrack Obama, or John Boehner, or Mitch McConnell, or Nancy Pelosi, or Paul Ryan, or Harry Reid. They don’t begin to have the necessary integrity. In their capacity to rationalize their destructive irresponsibility, they are no different from every other dime-a-dozen corrupt politician.
By what perversion of logic do we honor these “national leaders”, who spew forth lofty declarations of the heroism of soldiers who “risk their lives for their country” (in a perpetual manufactured war), while they themselves don’t even have the minimal courage it would take to risk losing an election in order to do what they know is decent? There has to be something deeply wrong with a country that rewards soldiers who risk their lives with anonymity and a pittance while showering wealth and fame upon the cowardly scoundrels who pillage the livelihood of its children to enrich themselves.