There’s a lot of hot air floating around these days as politicians and pundits address the theme du jour – America’s mountainous debt.
When I sort it all out, the message I’m getting is that Americans must give up the social programs they’ve earned over the years because Uncle Sam can no longer afford to fund them.
And as my laconic father used to say while listening to some tirade or other, I suppose you could look at it that way.
But these commentators are like the blind men in the fable who were trying to describe an elephant – one grabbed a leg and thought it was a tree; another got hold of the trunk and figured it was a snake; and the third stumbled against the animal’s side and thought he’d hit a wall.
But those of us who can penetrate the fog of self-serving rhetoric should have no trouble seeing the whole elephant.
Of course the United States cannot indefinitely sustain a 14-trillion-dollar debt, especially when the country is digging itself deeper and deeper into the abyss with relentless annual deficits. When you have to borrow money to pay the interest on money you have already borrowed, it’s time to change your ways.
A lot of people blame President Obama for the debt crisis. These people are not just mistaken, they are deliberately lying (or mindlessly repeating lies) as part of a shameless propaganda campaign.
The horse was out of the stable when Obama took the reins. He has been struggling to get it under control – admittedly with not much luck.
Everyone knows in their heart of hearts that the immediate crisis was triggered by the Bush Administration.
Obviously, when you go to war while slashing taxes, lavishing subsidies on agricultural giants and oil billionaires, and bailing out Wall Street gamblers, the result is going to be massive debt.
But that is not the heart of the matter.
And the panic measures being pondered as a means of stemming the flow of red ink are doomed to failure.
Addressing the deficit by slashing government spending just starves the economy and makes it weaker. The real answer is encouraging robust development, producing more government revenue and initiating a cycle of success.
But that won’t work until the government addresses the underlying cause of America’s decline.
The real engine of America’s destruction is misconceived and mishandled globalization.
America gave away its birthright to enrich a group of mighty corporations. These corporations were allowed to move their production facilities to low-wage countries and send the goods they produce back to America duty-free.
That’s a prescription for exporting jobs – plain and simple.
These companies also export the technology developed in America through research funded by the American taxpayer. So no amount of investment in American research and development will give the nation’s economy an edge in global competition. There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza.
The 50 or so top global corporations end up winning no matter what country comes out ahead.
And until some American politician has the guts to tell them the party’s over, they will continue to rake in the loot – while the American people get poorer and poorer.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. And I say technology developed in America must stay in America.
Furthermore, goods produced abroad should pay an appropriate price to enter the American market.
And, if America is serious about that debt, how about closing some of those military bases around the world, winding down the wars and bringing the troops home?
The question is: does anyone have the guts to bell the cat?