You can feel the budget bucks blowing as unprecedented government spending continues to 1. Fix the immediate problems in the economy and 2. threatens major future disruptions of the economy and standards of living.
Unfortunately the polarization in politics has the most vocal folks in the camp either keeping quiet about the looming time bomb of massive debt or unfairly lambasting the president for the bailout and spending sprees that are more a function of the democratic process (where voters reward foolish spending by legislators if it’s in their own district) than a function of Obama’s ideas.
The solutions are not clear but they clearly involve a shift in spending priorities that must begin very, very soon. I’m not very optimistic, thinking that neither party can possibly make the cuts needed. There’s a lot of Republican and Tea Party talk about fiscal restraint, but until the massive military budget sits squarely on the budget table those fake conservatives are just flapping their gums. Real spending reform will require *massive cuts* across the board, a move that is so politically impossible it’s not going to happen.
A point I’m struggling to study is the notion that the entire recovery has simply been purchased at the expense of our kids, by pushing the debt sky high with borrowed dollars that we are unlikely to be able to repay. The reason China and other countries keep loaning the US money can be understood in very simple terms – they don’t really have more desirable alternatives since our economy is what keeps their economy growing so robustly.
I think many in the Obama administration sincerely (though very foolishly) believe that there will be a “green revolution” that will bring unprecedented levels of prosperity and allow us to repay the debt. Possible but in my view very unlikely, especially as we watch how quickly “green” has been co-opted by marketeers and others for whom this is simply another profit vehicle. Nothing wrong with profit, but it’s tricky to mix profit motives with “good will” because there are often conflicts between the two.