Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bread and Circuses

President Obama explains his economic philosophy of "I'll give you money."

The quote gets attributed to Ben Franklin, or maybe Alexander Fraser Tytler:

"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."

Whoever said it, the President is going to test it. We have to hope that the country is sober enough to put the whole picture together and reject it.

Of course you're going to get college kids who want free money. Would free birth control be nice? Sure, let's have that! What about Cash for clunkers? Yes! How about open ended unemployment insurance? $ 10,000.00 towards an electric car? Yay! How about free health care? You bet! Unions extracting every dollar possible from your employer should you ever actually get a job? Sounds like a plan!

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
-Mike Tyson

Here's the problem with bread and circuses: in the end, you're the one getting punched in the mouth.

Have you ever stood at the Sam's Club register and watched the items being added up? $22 - $85 - $143 - $214 - $285 and before you know it you're paying over $300 when you just came in for toilet paper. Pushing the cart out to the car is not the time to wonder if you really needed muffins bigger than your head and tubs of garlic big enough to sicken every vampire in Sunnydale.

The solution to overshopping at Sams is easy. When you run out of money, you can't do it anymore. You're forced to stay at home and live off of the infinite box of Pop Tarts until you've earned enough money to go back shopping again; hopefully with a more cautious attitude this time.

You could of course obtain credit cards and spend money you don't have on things you don't need; but that would be stupid, right? Right.

But that's what Obama is doing. And the election will hang on how many of us are children - watching daddy run up the bill but not really knowing what it means, and not really caring because he's getting that ginormous jar of animal crackers. It's time to look up at the register and see what we're spending.

"The national debt is equal to $48,700 for every American or $128,300 for every U.S. household,"

And that number will be going up. We need to be angry at politicians who try to bribe us with our own money. It's easy to oppose extravagant spending that doesn't benefit us personally. The test of character comes when we have to reject government spending that does benefit us personally. Because it's crazy. Because we can see that it must stop if we're to avoid the fate of Greece. Because my $1000 "benefit" doesn't stand alone; it comes as part of a package that we just can't afford anymore.