Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Throw another shrimp on the barbie

Back in the old, old, days the big men of the tribe used to react to problems by placating the gods. When the rains failed, or when there was too much rain, or when the tribe was faced with some other sort of disaster the big men would have their goons grab a virgin, or two or three, and throw them into the volcano where they believed, or professed to believe, that the gods lived. They did this to soothe the worries of the tribe. And, of course, they did it to preserve their own positions of power and prestige.

In these more enlightened times the big men no longer throw virgins on the barbie. Instead they burn great quantities of your money as their answer to worries on the part of the great herd of the common people. Deep down almost everybody knows that burning great quantities of money will have no more effect on the problems than burning virgins would; but it makes people feel better to see the government "doing something." And, of course, it dampens down the urge on the part of the common people to put the blame for problems where it belongs.

Last fall fifty plus percent of the American people very properly rose up and kicked out the tired old Republican administration that dithered while our current economic problems developed. But they failed to toss out the Congressional Democrats who were every bit as responsible, and perhaps even more responsible, for the problems.

In October, to placate the economic gods, the then Republican President and the Democratic Congress made a midnight rush deal to burn 700 Billion Dollars. Half of that money has already been burnt up with virtually nothing to show for it except for allowing incompetent bankers to party on for a few more months. Ironically, the very same politicians who voted to burn up that money are now the loudest in complaining that the money is going to banks that were and are run by incompetents. The other day the President proposed that the incompetent executives who ran their banks into the ground should be limited to no more than $500,000 a year in compensation. That, of course, begged the question of why those incompetent executives are still in charge of the banks.

And now, the new Democratic President and those same Democratic Congressmen who voted for the last big virgin burning are running around saying that it's urgent that they act quickly to burn up another 900 Billion Dollars. The Democrats in Congress who are fueling up the great big barbie on which to burn the $900 Billion are the very same Democrats who did a very great deal toward creating the economic problems by fueling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with unlimited money to pour into the mortgage markets and by requiring Fannie and Freddie and the other banks to make loans to people who could not afford to repay those loans.

So, thus far they've burned up about $700 Billion, and shortly they will start burning up another $900 Billion. By the time they're done these two rounds of virgin sacrifices they will have burned up about $5,300 for every man, woman and child in the country. Think about that, they could have sent out checks for over $5,000 to you and every other person in the country. They could have sent $20,000 to every family of four; but instead they decided to burn the money.

They will tell you that "The Treasury" is providing the money they've been burning and the further money they plan to burn; but there are only two ways "the Treasury" can lay its hands on Benjamins to throw onto the barbie. It has to borrow the money, in which case somewhere down the road you're going to be taxed to pay that money back. Or it can print the money, in which case somewhere not very far down the road you're going to find out that inflation has reduced even further the value of your retirement money.

Once the Benjamins are burned up they're gone, just like those virgins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that they throw a few Congresspersons on the barbie; however, I suspect you wouldn't find a virgin among the lot. :)