Erskine Bowles, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff and co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform along with former Republican senator Alan Simpson, raised a lot of eyebrows when he said, on CNBC’s Squawk Box, “If I had to tell you the probability, I’d say the chances are we are going over the fiscal cliff.”
Gosh, really? Now I know how poor Rodney Dangerfield felt. I tell you, I get no respect. In the late seventies and early eighties I was shouting to the world that the U.S. was “going over a fiscal cliff,” which resulted in a lot of snickering and derision from the mainstream media.
With the authority to print counterfeit money, tax its subjects at will, and borrow virtually any amounts needed to keep paying its bills — and, in addition, with its monopoly on the use of force — the government has been able to keep from reaching the edge of the fiscal cliff for more than three decades. Some argue more like eight decades.
Bowles went on to say, “This is not only the most predictable economic crisis in history, it’s the most avoidable if we just come together and put partisanship aside and pull together.”
Spoken like a true politician. Erskine, old pal, the one thing we don’t need is to “put partisanship aside and pull together.” It reminds me of pseudo-conservative Rick Santorum saying, “Sometimes you take one for the team.” Yuk!
Let’s get real here. The real problem is partisanship! When the Republicans rush to cooperate with the Democratic Socialist Party next January, two things are certain: Both spending and taxes will go up.
However, Bowles is right when he says, “If you take last year, 100 percent of the revenue that came into the country — every nickel, every single dollar that came into the country last year — was spent on our mandatory spending (principally entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) and interest on the debt.”
He was also right to point out the inconvenient truth that every dollar the U.S. spent last year on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, national defense, homeland security, education, infrastructure, etc., was borrowed — half of it from foreign countries.
But fear not. On the same CNBC show, that jolly old liberal toady, Warren Buffett, assured everyone that he has “unlimited faith in U.S. leaders to do the right thing.” Which raises the question: How can a guy accumulate a net worth of $44 billion if he is so naïve as to have “unlimited faith in U.S. leaders to do the right thing?”
Hmm … it almost makes one wonder if he’s in bed with the criminal class in Washington and has geared his business operations to profit from working hand in hand with the government. Nah, forget I said that. A good ole boy like Warren would never do such a thing. Obviously, I have to stop being so cynical and learn to have more faith in our leaders.
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ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.
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