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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "Sorry, Kids. We Ate It All.": Obama and Friedman, Card Carrying Tea Party Members?

In March 2006, opposing an increase in America's debt ceiling to a "mere" $9 trillion, Senator Obama declared:

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. . . . Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

Today, under the stewardship of President Obama, the US is facing default unless Congress raises the current $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Sorry, Kids. We Ate It All." (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/opinion/friedman-sorry-kids-we-ate-it-all.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1381886081-6IgZZNIjNavDTwi5fR242A), Thomas Friedman similarly acknowledges that the future of America's "children and grandchildren" is bleak. Friedman writes (my emphasis in red):

"Eventually this shutdown crisis will end. And eventually the two parties will make another stab at a deal on taxes, investments and entitlements. But there’s one outcome from such negotiations that I can absolutely guarantee: Seniors, Wall Street and unions will all have their say and their interests protected. So the most likely result will be more tinkering around the edges, as our politicians run for the hills the minute someone accuses them of “fixing the deficit on the backs of the elderly” or creating “death panels” to sensibly allocate end-of-life health care. Could this time be different? Short of an economic meltdown, there is only one thing that might produce meaningful change: a mass movement for tax, spending and entitlement reform led by the cohort that is the least organized but will be the most affected if we don’t think long term — today’s young people."

Friedman goes on to say that "if current taxes and entitlement promises are not reformed, the cupboard will be largely bare for today’s Facebook generation."

And indeed, this is what we are also being told by Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, who recently declared, "The federal budget is on a course that cannot be sustained indefinitely" (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101065200).

And as much as I believe in universal health care, the disastrous rollout of Obamacare demonstrated that government is incapable of efficacious policy implementation. If a public corporation were to introduce a product in this same manner, top management would be fired, unless of course, the debacle didn't first result in bankruptcy.

But the federal government need not file for bankruptcy, inasmuch as more money can always be printed until it is finally understood that US government credit ratings need to be significantly downgraded, prompting a cataclysmic world economic disaster.

Indeed, our children and grandchildren are being sold into servitude . . . or even worse.

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