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Garland Robinette

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Who will make the hard choices on our debt?

Garland Robinette commentary

The Tower of Babel is up and babbling again.  This time the high-rise buzz is about our national deficit. 

It's amazing how quickly some of you assimilate really complicated stuff.  If the progressives' "herd" leaders say we have to pursue Keynesian economic theory…you liberals, who while making groceries, picking up the kids and going to work, have become fully educated on plans to print more money and throw it at the problem until it goes away.  You must be, because you still believe in the Democrats' club and back most everything the leaders profess, right?

But, I've got to give it to the conservatives too.  They must have taken time out from paying bills, helping the kids with homework, and cutting the grass, to immerse themselves in Friedman Monetarism. You know, you want less government…right?

We independents are jealous of all of you.  It's much simpler to just go in the direction of the herd leaders…the cowboys.  For us free-thinkers this is really confusing stuff.  Except for one thing that few of any in the media have no noticed or if they have, they've ignored it.  There is a smell of something really disconcerting coming out of Washington.

That is fear.  That is survival.

If you look closely you can smell one and sense the other and they actually overrule the importance of the growing debt.  It's the fear of leaving Washington…politicians fearful of being pushed from their lofty perches by voters for actually addressing the growing debt crisis.

Newt Gingrich unintentionally reveals the fear when he says, "I think it is a dangerous political exercise."  He means trying to lower the debt by spotlighting social programs for cuts.  He fears you'll throw politicians out once you understand that you're being affected.  Then Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist and writer for the New York Times, inadvertently reveals the "Washington survival gene" when he says, "Mr. Obama's plan already relies more on spending cuts than it should, and moving it significantly in the G.O.P.'s direction would produce something unworkable and unacceptable."  In other words:  Don't get too close to the Republicans or we (politicians) will be sent home.

The stealth message in both cases is:  Republicans don't talk about too much reduction because they fear voters will send them home; Democrats don't follow the deficit reductions changes too closely because they fear voters will send them home.

This, at least to me, is incomprehensible.  How do you go to sleep at night knowing that the ticking time bomb of debt will eventually blow us up, if painful changes are not implemented?  The danger of the debt is one of the few things liberals and conservatives agree upon!  How about this:  Try voting what you have learned is truly best (in the long run) for the American people.  If they vote you out, so be it. 

We're making groceries.  We don't have time to learn Keynesian-Friedman economics.  We don't have time to read what Germany is doing that Greece and Portugal are not.  We don't know if Europe is falling apart because of social programs.  We hired you to figure it out and do the right thing.  The history of the world is replete with heroes who went against the wishes of the electorate for the benefit of the electorate.  Start with Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln; their stories will lead you to a number of others who did the same.

“Fear” and “survival” are overriding the Tower of Babel.  So far few have noticed, but if answers are not found, if painful changes are not made…sooner or later your fear of leaving Washington will become so unavoidably visible that we will make you leave Washington.  Let's just hope it's not too late by then.
Garland Robinette hosts "The Think Tank" weekdays 10am to 1pm on WWL Radio in New Orleans.  Garland is also an accomplished artist; you can see his work by clicking here.  You can also read more of Garland's blogs by clicking here.

Tags :  
Topics : Politics
Locations : New OrleansWashington
People : Abraham LincolnObamaThen Paul KrugmanWinston Churchill

09/01/2011 11:20AM
Who will make the hard choices on our debt?
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