[I swear, fridge post tomorrow...I don't have any empty food storage containers left]
Hoo, boy! My head hurts. After yesterday's comments, I decided to research such facts as deficits, budgets, etc. After a lot of reading, I just have one request:
Don't make me do that again. It was excruciating.
Anyway, the most balanced assessment and complete numbers (that was readable) was here at politifact.com. Take some Tylenol before reading - you'll need it. And if anyone could elaborate on the difference between deficit and national debt - gently - I surely would appreciate it.
Reading it, I can see why a lot of people are upset about the numbers. They are very, very large. (Stop me if I am getting too technical here.) But I stand by yesterday's assertion that when you inherit a whole lot of problems, it costs money to fix them. In theory, President Obama could cut the deficit more right away. But then he would be unable to address long-ignored problems that in the long run will cost us even more: health care, foreign entanglements, energy dependence, to name a few. He's thinking that to bequeathe to our children an economy that isn't ready for the 21st century and a health care system that, while extremely expensive, does not cover millions of people in our country, is more damaging than leaving them with a deficit to pay off. It is a choice between 2 evils, isn't it?
I agree with Obama's approach, because he's African-American.
(Ha, ha, kidding! Just making sure you're paying attention!)
Seriously, I agree with his tendency to think long-term on these issues, while the Tea Partiers (some of whom commented yesterday - thank you!) think it is the worst idea since...since...I don't know...FDR pushed LendLease through Congress? (I'm sure one of you has a better analogy there.)
I also stand by my assertion that the Tea Party movement is at least in part headed by some mighty cynical/hypocritical people, people who benefited from the tax cuts and deficit spending of the Bush administration but who are now raising their hands in mock horror at the thought of leaving their children to pay our debts. If these people really cared about the future, they would have questioned the expenditures years ago, not just now. They say that it is because the deficit is growing larger, but that is a relative term. It's been growing larger for years now.
Also, if you are that concerned with paying off the deficit, why are you protesting taxes? Shouldn't you want to pay more taxes, to pay it off faster? From what I understand, the Obama budget returns us to 1993 tax levels, hardly an unprecedented level of taxation in our country. I'm sorry, but the Tea Party gig smacks of insincerity at the leadership levels. Hey, whatever happened to "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's"?
Look - I've been in the military. I have seen our government at its most inefficient and wasteful, believe me. I totally agree with those people who say that the government wastes boatloads of our money. You are absolutely, positively correct. What I have seen would curl your hair (whatever that means). Government, in my mind, is a necessary evil. Appealing as it is to say, "Let me keep my money, I'll make better use of it than politicians would," that approach doesn't help us solve problems involving energy policy, foreign affairs, and inadequate health care coverage for millions of Americans. I will go with the guy who at least is trying to spend some of the money on issues I consider important.
But don't worry, Tea Partiers - it's a democracy. Election 2012 isn't too far away, you know. 2010 is even closer...
WSJ report on the passing of the budget - makes me more aware of how complicated the whole thing is, and how much political wheeling and dealing goes on in this process...
Commentary on the protests at the Atlantic Monthly website - fairly evenhanded, I thought
Thanks to the readers who sent me those sites!