Thursday, September 13, 2012

We Must Pay For What We Buy

"It is a Moral Issue; It is an Economic Issue"

 ~ Only in the bizarro world of Washington do we get what we don't pay for.

This socialist makes a lot more sense than the latest crop of economic fabulists:

Sure, economic performance lags policy, and one can fairly argue about how to apportion blame for economic performance based on policies and conditions from prior presidential administrations and Congresses. Pointing fingers does not, however, solve the problem.

One cannot fairly argue that the current deficit and debt hysteria has reached a febrile pitch for any reason other than politics. Sanders notes the verifiable fact that much of our current deficit and debt are the direct result of not paying for historically massive expenditures, specifically the wars, the tax cuts and Medicare Part D. If anyone is serious about not leaving this problem to "our children and grandchildren" (and maybe their progeny as well) then it will be necessary to actually pay for those things.

In the real world in which most Americans live, if you take something home you have to pay for it. Like a car, or a house. If you don't fully pay for it, then those things get repossessed. What if you can't take them back, because you used them or trashed them? People are not then punished by having other things taken away; instead, their wages are garnished, or liens are placed on those things they bought, but didn't fully pay for.

We can't take back the wars; we will have to follow a payment plan for those out of our future earnings. We can take back the tax cuts, and we should. (We can also take back Medicare Part D, and we should do that too; but our healthcare "system" is going to require a complete overhaul to make it affordable in any case.)

Saving our offspring from our foolish profligacy, no matter which presidents or Congresses we blame for it, should not mean forcing our offspring to foot the bill. Sure, leaving the problem to future generations would be morally wrong, but so would forcing the currently innocent and needy among us to do so today.

Deficit scolds are fond of likening the federal budget to a household one. If they were honest about that, they would make those in the household who didn't pay for the stuff in the first place start paying now, not force their extended family to do so. Or pass their bills to their neighbors. In our federal budget, those who benefited, but didn't pay for the purchases—primarily the rich and profiting corporations—need to be held responsible, not those who gained nothing.


  1. Chris, have you ever blogged about the NDAA, indefinite detention, drones, extra-judicial killings of US citizens, and such? Would love to read your writing on these topics!

  2. A bit. One of my most-read posts places some of these topics in the context of the ongoing vitiation of the Bill of Rights. I might write more at some point, but don't want to seem too cranky!