THE ABYSMAL OR THE ABYSMALER

Even though the presidential election has long since passed, I’m still getting e-mails from both the Republican and Democratic parties asking for donations. I guess, these days, as soon as one election is over it’s time to start campaigning for the next one. Thus, the race is already on for the congressional elections in 2014, followed by  the next presidential race in 2016. The early favorites in 2016 are Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Marco Rubio for the Republicans. So if you thought the previous election cycle was the height of obnoxiousness, be prepared for this obnoxious overkill to continue nonstop until the end of time. In any event, when the Republican e-mail arrived, instead of a donation I sent back my own e-mail. I said that I considered the Republican agenda to be, on the fiscal side: trickle-down-economics, tax-cuts for the rich, and slashing government assistance to the poor, the sick and the elderly. On the social side it was anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, anti-immagration, and anti-gun control. I told them to let me know when any of that stuff changes, and then, maybe I’ll toss a few shekels into the kitty.

On the Democratic side it becomes more complicated. While usually operating with the best of intentions, Democratic ineptitude is so mind-boggling, that Democrats themselves, become their own worst enemies. (There used to be a saying in Washington, that the Democratic version of a firing squad was to form a circle.) A perfect example is Obamacare. It was the Democrats intent to enact universal health-care, certainly an admirable goal. But instead of doing it smartly, they bungled the whole enterprise, and now everybody hates the resulting legislation. The smart way was to have legislated Medicare for everyone, from the moment of birth. When Obama became President in 2009, the Democrats had a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress. Within 6 months they could have passed a 10-page piece of legislation that would have given everyone the right to enroll in Medicare from the moment one was born. If anyone couldn’t afford the very modest Medicare fees, they could be enrolled in Medicaid. To pay for all this, Congress could have passed a 5-10% value-added tax, (sales tax) on all products except for food and medicine. This is how all the first-world countries of the world pay for their universal health-care, which they all have.

Instead, the Democrats screwed around for 2 years and finally passed this 2600 page Frankenstein, who everyone opposes, including the health insurance companies which initially supported Obamacare. It would be as if you were planning a trip from Baltimore to Boston; but instead of booking a direct flight between the 2 cities, you booked a flight that went from Baltimore to Atlanta; to Denver; to Phoenix; to Los Angles; and then back to Kansas City; on to Chicago; and then, finally, to Boston. Now major headaches loom as the new law is supposed to be implemented starting later this year and early 2014. Most Republican governors in the 30 states they control are vowing not to implement the health exchanges that are at the heart of Obamacare.

Democratic ineptitude shows up in other areas as well; such as the weak economy, huge and mounting budget deficits and disintegrating foreign affairs. Unemployment numbers remain stubbornly high as the economy barely limps along like a wet noodle. That alone will be enough to doom Democratic chances for complete congressional control in 2014. Plus, Democrats are refusing to acknowledge the damage that is being wrought by a gargantuan accumulated budget deficit nearing $17 trillion, and annual deficits running in the vicinity of $1 trillion. While China has bought about $1 trillion, and other nations own smaller portions of our debt, the largest debt-holder by far, is the Federal Reserve System. As I pointed out last time, that is the height of an incestuous relationship-one government agency buying the debt issued by another government bureau. It means printing up and flooding the market with dollars which become more and more valueless, thus risking hyper-inflation. Right now interest rates are at historic lows; but when they start to rise due to inflationary pressures, it will cost the government hundreds of billions of dollars more to pay the interest on the debt. Eventually, there won’t be enough money left in the world to service our debt; and at that point the entire economy will collapse.

On the foreign affairs front, North Korea is threatening us with nuclear war while Iran plows ahead unchecked with their development of a nuclear arsenal. In Syria, between 70-80 thousand civilians have been killed in a civil war that has been raging on for 2 years with no end in sight. So, if you feel that the bad guys around the world are on the ascendency, there is ample justification for those beliefs. Yet we have an incredibly weak foreign policy of “leading from behind,” while evil appears to be triumphant.

I know that many young people feel that all these “political” problems are beyond their scope of attention. It’s stuff for the old fogies to be concerned with. Besides, there is so many more important issues to worry about, such as which of the Kardashians is getting divorced or having a baby, or who will be the next American Idol. But just the opposite is true. Seniors like myself can probably muddle through the rest of our lives until it’s time to go cloud-dancing, before the really, really bad stuff comes crashing down. It’s young people in their 20s or 30s or even 40s that will have to face the consequences of a collapsing economy or nuclear, world-wide disaster, if world events continue on their present courses. So young people here, and around the world, really need to pay attention and attempt to change the course of these destructive human events.

Thus, when I get requests from 2 political parties asking for donations, I view them as a choice between the abysmal and the abysmaler, and it’s not a very entertaining choice. Both parties, these days, seem far more interested in winning elections and grabbing power, than in fixing the overwhelming problems that beset us. So for the time-being, I think I’ll keep my money in my wallet, and view the world as it spins on its wobbly axis.

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