Saturday, April 16, 2011


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Older liberals wax nostalgic about Camelot, the magical time in the early '60s when Jack and Jackie were in charge, and the first wave of Baby Boomers were in high school.

Right now we Baby Boomers are hitting our entitlement prime like a runaway big-rig with the driver on meth. We are set to soak Social Security and Medicare fabulously, having recently had a practice run scoring a $14 trillion national debt.

FYI to future generations: We BBs couldn't care less about you. We've killed 48 million of our own children so far through an elective procedure we like to call "family planning." You think we are going to go all soft over distant descendants?

In our sunset years we need a magical government, though, like the Camelot of our youth. I say we call the present Administration Spendalot, and make do.

King Of Spendalot.
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As King of Spendalot, call him KOS, President Obama made clear in his recent speech that we BBs are gung-ho for more debt. Gordon Gecko said "Greed is Good;" KOS, who is more nuanced and well spoken, says "Debt is Desirable." For instance, KOS recently thundered Progressive doom on Republicans for having the temerity to propose changing "Medicare as we know it."

Now "Medicare as we know it" is going broke. So says Spendalot's chief Medicare actuary. I know that's a heck of a thing to say, but it's really not even arguable.

Since I am sure KOS is not in favor of our entitlement programs going broke, the plan seems to be relatively simple: borrow more, or "Tax the Rich."

Either that or raise magic unicorns that crap million dollar bills. Which I am sure evolutionary biologists are working on right now, funded by a federal grant. To pay for our current 1.6 trillion dollar annual deficit, the unicorns will have to crap exactly 1.6 million of those million dollar bills every year. So they better get busy.

Our Last Best Hope.
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Now "taxing the rich" is a doofy charade, as I am sure the crowd in Spendalot is fully aware. The rich are almost universally in business. That's how they got rich. Businesses do one of two things with new taxes: they avoid them or they pass them on to consumers.

Which would be us.

So "Tax the Rich" does one of two things: it makes lawyers and accountants a ton of money helping the wealthy avoid the new taxes, or it burdens the middle class and the poor with higher commodity prices.

"Tax the Rich" comforts people who want to believe there is an easy way out of the current mess that doesn't involve reforming entitlements and drastically cutting the federal budget. Like all the best lies (e.g., Garden of Eden) it tells people what they want to hear. The best lies don't depend on being particularly credible. They depend on people's desire to escape the truth.

Tax The Rich.
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Getting out of this mess through taxation is laughable. Spendalot currently spends 50% more than it gets in taxes. So is the plan to hike tax revenues by 50%? Because unless it is, the new taxes are like putting a dam half-way across a river. A lot of trouble and a complete waste of time.

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The flip side of the new, brutal, binary world we BBs have created is to cut government spending by 1/3. But that ain't happening, not in Spendalot. Not while KOS is around.

As for the option "let's just keep doing what we're doing," which has been the BB mantra for three decades, what we are doing right now with entitlements is a Ponzi scheme. We make exorbitant promises to "investors," (taxpayers) and then pay off the first investors with money received from the latest investors, all the while fully aware that the promises can't be kept because we don't have the income stream to keep them.

Charles Ponzi. The Master.
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Eventually this mess, like all Ponzi schemes, will dissolve in a sudden and massive collapse. Think Bernie Madoff, but with 100 million victims instead of 100 thousand. The pool of money from the latest "investors" dries up, and is no longer adequate to pay the exorbitant promises made to the first "investors." The first investors scream, and the last investors scream even louder.

Bernie Madoff. $65 Billion Fraudster.
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Since they are not going to cut spending, I urge the folks in Spendalot to jam tax increases through like we did with Obamacare. My advice is to refuse to call the taxes "taxes," just as we finessed that little problem with Obamacare's mandatory health insurance. Call the taxes "investments." The tax fairies in Spendalot can require taxpayers to fork over "investments" worth 50% of whatever their federal tax bill is each year, and voila, problem solved!

The "investment" gets paid to a new firm, called the "Bank Of America's Future." BOAF will be just like Fannie Mae, but without all the failure and corruption and such. BOAF will lend all its money to the Federal government, after making a sizable donation to the 2012 Spendalot reelection campaign.

In return for their "investments," taxpayers will receive official "Shares in America's Future," which can be sold whenever the budget gets balanced. Which will be at the exact moment hell freezes over.

Once you get the hang of the compelled "investment" idea, the possibilities are endless. Which they will need to be to pay for all the BBs waddling up to the entitlement trough over the next 25 years, as the pool of available worker drones paying taxes into the programs grows smaller and smaller.

Baby Boomers Lining Up For Entitlements.
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If only we could develop a derivative that would allow me to sell the federal government short right now, I could make a fortune. Ah me. Where is Wall Street when you really need it?


  1. EO thank you for your wonderful metaphorical ode describing our current pathetic financial condition.
    I was on an eighth grade field trip to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and was walking through the great train room when I first heard that Lee Harvey Oswald had brought the curtain down on Camelot. Certainly any remaining living unicorns left the building with the closing of that show. While finding a real life unicorn today is an exercise in futility, this fact does little to stop the KOS from offering up his false hope and more misdirected change.
    I too would love to option a few puts on the federal bureaucracy but in the absence of any investment vehicle to do so, (and also because I think it a better strategy) I have decided to trust my God, not my government in these matters.

  2. "I have decided to trust my God, not my government in these matters." Well put.