Austerity Coming To The USA?

Alex Jones seems to think so.  According to him, the erstwhile “third rail of politics” – Social Security – is on the cutting table.

Maybe.  You could certainly interpret John Boehner’s latest comments that way.  We don’t want the government shutting down.  We’ don’t want it spending what it has to spend to stay open.

Something’s gotta give, in other words.  I guess it’s for the children, right Congressman Boehner?

Yes, this debt is a mortal threat to our country.  It is also a moral threat.  It is immoral to bind our children to as leeching and destructive a force as debt.  It is immoral to rob our children’s future and make them beholden to China.  No society is worthy that treats its children so shabbily.”


The Social Security scam has been unraveling almost since the ponzi scheme first started.  The first thing the government did when it started doling out the cash was to tout the windfall to its first recipient, in one of the big news stories of 1940, in a pitch that would have embarrassed the lowliest flim-flam man for its crudity.

Alex Jones wonders if we are going to just take this abuse.  I don’t think it’s abuse.  Maybe self abuse.  As ludicrous as Boehner’s dichotomy is, anyone with a lick of sense, as my grandparents used to say, could see that Soc Sec. was doomed.  We’ve been victimized, certainly:  just like Hadleyburg.

Jones thinks rioting, or maybe foot-stamping or yelling, is the right way to address this double-cross, I guess.  I would tend to disagree.  It might be a double cross, but the handwriting’s been on the wall for so long it seems to me that people should have been prepared for this.

They’re not going to stop the checks entirely, you know.  They’re not stupid.

No, everything will just dwindle down.  The reality will set in slowly, bit by bit, so people have a chance to adjust to their new, lower level of peonage.  It won’t be that different than the peonage they’re in now.  Just a little more….austere.

You see, in the end we in the US really are no better off than Greece or Ireland.  We have no special exemptions from the laws of nature or the laws of physics.  We’re mortal like everyone else.  We’re flawed, too.  Deeply.

We could take a hand ourselves (There are a lot of posts after that linked one.  Read at your leisure – or as if your life depended on it, which it might.  It’s up to you.) in righting the ship of state rather than let morons like Boehner and the rest of the clownish cabal tell us what’s going to happen.  But this would require fortitude.  Patience.  Thought.  Faith.  Knowledge.  Wisdom.  Truth.  Justice.

You know, those unreal things that nobody can define, except they really seem to matter when TSHTF.  When, that is, it is already too late.

Does the rule of law matter?  Take a look at Libya and Tunisia and Egypt and let me know.  Sure, they’re a long way off.  Geographically.  But remember, the rule of law is like most good things in a fallen world:  it is erected only with a great deal of pain, sacrifice and effort, yet it is easy – frightfully easy – to destroy it.  The rule of law can fall apart seemingly in the blink of an eye, for those whose attention has been elsewhere.  When you haven’t been paying attention, though, it’s probably a good idea to listen to someone who has been.  Like lawyers.  They pay attention to the rule of law and how it’s faring.

Nah, that would make too much sense.

We are treating our children shabbily.  Boehner’s a jerk, but that doesn’t mean everything he says is wrong.  But you know who else we treat shabbily?

Lawyers.  Especially real lawyers.

Both of those errors are going to come back to haunt us.  In fact that’s what’s happening right now.





Filed under financial crisis, Judicial lying/cheating

7 responses to “Austerity Coming To The USA?

  1. Bc

    In the spirit of Lenny Bruce…Thank you Masked Man. I mean that.


  2. Alan

    It is not social security that is unsustainable; it is medicare.


    • The two aren’t mutually exclusive; they could both be unsustainable. You don’t still believe in a social security “trust fund” or “lock box”, do you?


      • Alan

        They are two different things. The one is MUCH more expensive than the other. Vastly more expensive. Could they both be unsustainable? Possible, but unlikely. It is possible that SS is unsustainable, but that would assume something like economic collapse much worse than the Great Depression and lasting for 40 years (i.e. teotwawki, doomsday). OK, if that happens then all bets are off and maybe SS IS unsustainable. But short of that, it should be OK. It is medicare (and indeed the whole medical/industrial complex) that is the whopper — a crushing burden that is almost unquestionably unsustainable.

        It is important to make this distinction. SS and medicare are two different things with two VERY different pricetags. And yet they tend to be spoken of together as though there were no difference. There IS a difference — a huge one.


        • Here’s an article from 09 setting forth some numbers, in line with your position:

          I’m not sure insolvency in 6 years v. insolvency in 25 years is a “huge” difference in terms of sustainability. The implication would be that both are unsustainable, just that SS is going to take longer to go bust. In any case, since both are simply transfer payments and since the “trust fund” is a crude fraud, I don’t think it matters.


          • Alan

            I would say that that difference is huge, because a lot can happen in 25 years. 25 years is enough time to take meaningful action to forestall collapse or serious problems, whereas 6 years is not enough time. 6 years, when we’re speaking of stuff this big, is almost NOW.

            Medicare (and the medical-industrial complex in general) is the 900-pound gorilla in the room, along with the military-industrial complex and auto-industrial complex. Those three complexes are consuming many trillions of dollars, and vast quantities of resources. The great bulk goes for nothing. Approximately 80% waste. Our treasure, squandered.


            Could not have said it better myself department (so I will not try, and instead quote): a comment on nakedcapitalism:


            rd says:
            March 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm

            The single-minded focus on destroying Social Security and the refusal to address the real issues with Medicare have been the most baffling aspect of the political debates in the past decade for me.

            Social Security is essentially an enforced savings plan with a bit of income redistribution to it. It generally appears to have been quite successful at its primary purpose of minimizing elderly and disabled poverty. Possibly people don’t like it because it is successful and efficient since americans don’t appear to believe that either of those words belong in a sentence with the word “government”. There are some tweaks that can be done to make it more actuarily sound, but I have seen no evidence that these tweaks should be on a top 10 list of budget priorities.

            Medicare on the other hand is a massive time bomb that is beginning to explode. However, it is really no different than the overall US health insurance problem facing the private sector. Medicare is announcing with great fanfare that the entire US health care system is broken and needs a massive overhaul in the next decade. I have seen no evidence that Obamacare is the answer. There needs to be a complete rethinking of priorities on reimbursement models and allocation of healthcare resources involving both the public and private sectors. So far there has been no rational debate. It is just ideological posturing, fear-mongering, and more politicians lying about health care than about their mistresses.

            end quote

            here here!


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