Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Party That Wrecked America

Downloaded from Jesus' General
Time For the Grownups To Speak

Have you, as a parent, ever gotten home from either a vacation, or a necessary business trip to find that the kids went wild while you weren't looking? I have.

Usually, I tried to be philosophical about it. Hell, I was a pretty wild kid. No, that's bullshit, I was a wild kid who spent most of his adult life probing the depths of irresponsible self-indulgence. I'm pushing sixty hard and I've only been sober for fifteen years. Except for that last fifteen years I was living my life pretty far to the left of Whoopie.

Also, I grew up poor. Poor enough that on more than one night of my childhood food was an issue. It was an issue that we dealt with, but once that's an issue on the table your perspective and outlook on everything else changes. Once you go to bed hungry again, because there simply isn't enough food, it's a feeling that never leaves you.

I, through a combination of hard work and dumb luck got to where I wasn't poor. My kids have never wanted for things I had to scuffle for. I served in the military for eight years and in return I got a college education. I am proud and happy that none of my kids had to make that devil's bargain. They went to school on my dime and I was happy to do that. I'm very proud that when my daughter graduates from Medical School in a couple months she won't be burdened by a monsterous college debt.

Over the last two weeks I've seen a bit over 40% of my net worth simply disappear. Real Estate values, the tanking of the stock market have hit me. It's not as bad as it would seem. Most of my holdings remain at a worth more than I paid for them. It's just that there are commercial real estate properties that have a very real chance of turning from income generating concerns into things that will require funding to enable me to hold them. Usually as an investor that's my strategy, buy & hold. It's very conservative, but it also, except for two times under Republican administrations has served me well.

That's where they remind me of teenagers. It's like getting my credit card statement and finding out that while I was in Seattle playing a gig, somebody bought four kegs of beer at a liquor store back home. I figure, Ok, kids will be kids, and I'll straighten this mess out when I get home. Then I get home and I find out that not only was there beer consumed, somebody thought that it was a great idea to drive a pickup truck into the swimming pool, and that brilliant thinker was my kid. So, now the bills not only have to be paid, but the bills for draining the pool, getting the truck out, and then repairing the damage caused by it are also due. Even faced with that I could be pretty cool. If it can be solved by money, and I've got the money, I figure, "What the hell?"

The Republicans have thrown a seven year house wrecking party in Iraq and Afghanistan. They've thrown that party on our credit cards. They've, with those two adventures alone, damaged the economy to a point where if the wars were ended tomorrow there would not be any rational expectation of a Peace Dividend. Remember that phrase? A peace dividend is what you get when you quit having to spend money on a war and find yourself with more money to apply to other things. The G.I. Bill that paid for my college was a result of a Peace Dividend in effect after World War Two.

There ain't no peace dividend on the table here this time. Because the wars have been fought on credit there simply isn't any money that's magically going to appear in the budget because we stop spending it there. That money didn't ever exist in the first place. It worked like this, we printed up T-Bills, the Chinese printed up Yuan, and we called it cool. Right now on the world markets there is so much bogus paper flying about that things world wide are shakey. Our irresponsibility has the very real possibility of damaging the economy of the world for generations to come.

It must be addressed. Much like an adult coming home to where the party was thrown, things need to be prioritized. First thing that happens is that the kids don't get to hold the plastic anymore. If they start swiping it or start going online where the numbers are stored, cancel that fucking card and start that whole thing over. Remember, the kids don't get the card.

The bills still have to be paid though. Just because you stop them from getting worse it does not follow that things are going to be better right off the bat.

It's time for the grownups to take control. The days of simply writing a check and trying to pretend shit didn't happen are gone. When one party has so clearly and single handedly driven us down the road where we find ourselves, they are not the ones to trust to bring us out. Them being behind the wheel for all but eight years since 1980 is one of the reasons we are where we are.

Tell them no. Tell them no, not this time. If that's not good enough tell them "NO, MOTHERFUCKERS."

You can't fix a problem of fiscal irresponsibility by giving more money to these guys.

It's like when my oldest girl was back doing dope. I would look at her with a broken heart, I would also know that my two grandchildren were in the middle of that mess. I would do things like call the local grocer and give them the money for my daughter to buy things like food and diapers. I would deal directly with her landlord to make sure that my grandkids weren't turned out onto the street. I would pay her electric bills directly. Stuff like that. I even paid off a couple of her dope dealers. I didn't want her kids having to deal with shit like that. I paid them off and said "Don't give her any more fronts dude."

Finally things got better. That can happen here.

First thing though, the credit cards have to be taken away.

It's the only way.

Follow the links in Jesse's stuff, call your Representatives and Senators. Don't fall for a bunch of bipartisan bullshit. The Republicans always pull this shit. They run things into a ditch and say "this is no time for partisan politics, we have to get out of this mess."

Don't believe a word that comes from their mouths. If we fix it, we fucking own it. The Republican party as it has existed needs to find itself as dead as the Whigs after the Civil War.