Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tightening The Belt? Try Adding Some Green!

Well, we all knew it had to happen sometime. Our government is doing the necessary work of trimming the fat from the budget - by putting YOU on a diet, and tightening your belt for you. This, because we've excused the fat cat from the treadmill, at least for the time being. Still, we can't keep maxing out our credit card forever, can we? So here come the budget cuts. We all know about cutting discretionary spending. But no budget can be balanced unless we do one of four other things:

1. Cut Social Security
2. Cut Medicare/Medicaid
3. Cut Military Spending
4. Raise or levy a tax.

Any politician who tells you we can balance the budget without doing all four is lying. This is because our deficit is nearly 50% of our total tax revenue, and so eliminating that deficit means throwing away a full 1/3rd of the pie. That's one hell of a big cut! Even if all discretionary spending were tossed aside, the deficit still wouldn't be eliminated. That means some "entitlement" spending simply has to go, and some additional money has to be raised, and there's simply nothing else for it.

Yet I persistently hear politicians say that they can balance the budget by ruling out one of the above four items. On the right, they say that military spending is sacrosanct. On the left, that Social Security and Medicaire will not be tampered with. The right is screaming for tax cuts, and the left is screaming for infrastructure spending programs, as if we can afford to do either.

But wait! There is something that might, just might, make it possible to balance the budget and leave one of the four above items alone.

Really, you ask? What on earth could it be?

Simple. Stop wasting 18 billion dollars every year on a failed drug war, then legalize and tax cannabis, thus generating hundreds of billions in revenue!

I mean seriously, when our Little Boy Blue of a governor is blowing his horn about putting the National Guard on his own citizens' right to redress the government for grievances, was there ever a better time to stop lighting nearly 20 billion on fire every year? And for what? What does that 20 billion buy us? It buys the destruction of our inner cities and the strengthening of Mexican drug cartels, that's what!

The puritans who once burned witches have not gone away. They're still here, hiding amidst the DEA and the FCC, and still seemingly irrationally paranoid about toking kids who might try to end a war in Vietnam. If ever there was a time for inflexible old men to shake the cobwebs out of their skulls and get a clue, it's now!

Talk about reefer madness!

Eric

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