Federal Entitlement: “Send Me the Stuff And Send the Bill to Someone Else”

I’m thinking about changing my economic strategy. My parents were raised in the Roosevelt Depression and they taught me to work hard, save money, and pay for what I wanted. I was a deficit hawk when being a deficit hawk wasn’t cool. Now that it isn’t even an option, why should I stay at the party when there’s no one left to dance with?

In our new Omerica, I think I’ll join the winning side and try spending more than I make every day for the rest of my life and see how that works out. If I can just manage to get to where I owe so much that I’m too big to fail, I can start really living large on federal handouts—excuse me bailouts—excuse me stimulus. Won’t that be sweet? I’ll hold seminars on “How to Borrow Your Way to Wealth,” or “If You’ll Take a Check I’ll Take Two Please.” What a great racket—excuse me scheme—excuse me program. And technically, it’s not a shell game if you don’t use shells.

According to a USA Today study back in 2009, at the beginning of the present Imperial Presidency, American taxpayers assumed an additional $55,000 per household for federal spending and promises in the just the last 12 months of the Bush Debacle. That represents a 12% increase in the deficient just in George II’s final year in office, and the media tells us he’s a conservative. Of course, he’s the kind of conservative who can also use modern double-speak. I think this one should be above the door to his multi-million dollar presidential library down in Dallas, “”I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” This spending spree raised the per household federal debt to $546,668, which is four times the average personal debt for all mortgages, car loans, and credit cards combined. Instead of “Don’t Tread on Me,” perhaps we should have flags that proclaim “Send Me the Stuff And Send the Bill to Someone Else”

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Don’t tell Someone Else, but this means our runaway government assumed a staggering $6.8 trillion in new obligations during the government-created crash of 2008 alone. Then, along came Obama. His explosion of excess, when added to the creatively hidden realities of the federal entitlement programs, brings poor old Someone Else’s debt load (including unfunded liabilities) to the incomprehensible total of $187 trillion.

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Some might say, “Wait a minute! This guy is way over board! Our national debt is only
$18 trillion.” I wish I could convince myself it was only $18 trillion; that would help me sleep at night. However, government books are so over-cooked they make Enron and WorldCom look as honest as the day is long. The real number doesn’t just cover what we’ve borrowed so far, but what we’ve promised to pay in the future minus what we might conceivably raise to offset future borrowing. When you lump that all together, you end up with the $187 trillion or some other such ridiculous number.

At least we can tell Someone Else that all this national shopaholicism isn’t being wasted buying $7,000 toilet seats and $800 hammers—it is buying things we really need. Remember the stimulus? The one that ended the Great Recession? It paid for such needed items as: $97 million for a program that was already cancelled at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the interests of national defense, our government decided to replace old nuclear warheads with new ones. The rocket-scientists in the planning department said they needed two new buildings to produce the necessary plutonium components. Then the program was cancelled.

Never fear, government is here. And when has the lack of common sense ever gotten in the way of a good boondoggle? Along came our earmark-free stimulus, and the $97 million enters stage-left. Now that the money was there, of course we had to spend it, otherwise, who would get stimulated? So the construction continued for buildings that were no longer needed. At least all these shovel-ready jobs have the economy purring along like a well-oiled machine, even if they weren’t as shovel-ready as our Dear Leader thought.

Remember the GM Bailout? Now there was a deal that just couldn’t lose. It inspired the following joke.

A man walks into a bank to open a checking account the teller says, “I have good news and bad news.” The man asks, “What’s the good news?” The teller says, “When you open an account with us, you can have either a new toaster or 1000 shares of GM stock.” “What’s the bad news?” “We’re all out of toasters.” No one would buy GM stock, which is why it fell to the 1$ range, and our Glorious Leader decided to spend money that was authorized under TARP to buy up toxic assets to instead buy GM. So out comes Uncle Sugar’s checkbook and out go billions of Someone Else’s money to buy the majority share in a company that was estimated to turn a profit when?

How could this ever fail? It turned out, after all the celebrations of success, that Someone Else lost $11.2 billion on that deal. And how is the resurrected auto giant? In 2014, GM recalled more cars than they made, and while they are closing plants in America, they are building them overseas.

What dolts we were, working and saving when all we have to do is want something, charge it to Someone Else, and shazam! We get the stuff and Someone Else gets the bill. That Someone Else sure is a generous person, isn’t he? There’s only one problem with this perpetual-motion money machine: when you look in the mirror, Someone Else is looking back.

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