Balance the budget by 2039? Wanna bet?By Michael Applebaum, MD
A recent budget proposal of Paul Ryan's purports to balance the budget by around 2039 -- possibly a decade or so earlier based on an alternative scenario. The plan will take decades to work (if at all).
As with every federal budget, certain assumptions are made.
One assumption that is made: the people will sit still and let the budget plan do its magic.
Assuming BHO is tossed and the Democrats control neither chamber after this November's plebiscite, is there any real likelihood that the entitled public and their facilitators, the entitlementalistas, will sit still to await the prestige?
Because attempts to be financially responsible and effect a cure to what ails the USA budgetarily will be opposed by the entitlement class and the entitlementalistas. The auguries are inauspicious.
Widespread, instantaneous communications technologies (some of the devices are, you guessed it, government-subsidized) have made it possible to organize opposition, criminal, and other mobs at warp speed.
And techno-calls to throng action need not be founded on fact -- rumor is adequate to break out the pitchforks. To wit, Spike Lee, who intentionally sicced one-quarter of a million people, among whom were threateners of violence, on an elderly couple (a mistaken target) in the apparent hope of making George Zimmerman (of Trayvon Martin fame) "pay."
Violence and/or Threats of Violence
Those who perceive themselves as being treated "unfairly" and of a Progressive bent tend to use the tool of violence with some frequency. Recent examples include the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-endorsed OWS actions, the G8/G20 protests in Toronto, and the IMF protests in 2009.
The New Black Panther Party is one of BHO's and EHo's thug brigades of choice. Mikhail Muhammad of the New Black Panther Party has called for "the mobilization of a 10,000-strong black male mob to capture George Zimmerman" and reportedly placed "[a] cash bounty for Zimmerman, 'dead or alive[.]'"
Violent responses, as exemplified by NBPP and others, are aggravating factors that speak against segments of the public waiting for a budget plan with a long horizon to work.
Adding to the problem of rapidly organizing mobs and goons with violent proclivities are the demographics. They, too, are working against the success of any budget plan requiring a bunch of years to succeed.
Receiving government munificence -- i.e., other people's money -- is a growth industry. When you rob Peter to pay Paul, an awful lot of Pauls, Paulas, and Paulettes show up.
Food stamp use has been increasing. Just under half of the population (46%) pays no federal income taxes. "[A]bout half of the people are getting something from government and the other half are paying for it[.]"
The entitlement rolls tend to be populated by persons with a flair for reproducing, at least as compared to the non-entitled. The number of those who enjoy receiving something from others is growing. Many of them will reach the de jure voting age in the next couple of years. Many have already reached the de facto age for carrying weapons and using them against others. More will reach the age of weaponization over the next two-plus years.
This spells trouble for any long-term plan that relies on a popular vote and/or cool heads to keep it going.
The short attention span of the American public is a matter that exacerbates the above. Violence is resorted to sooner, mobs are organized before other efforts have a chance to work, etc.
The nation is rife with ADD, and unless an Adderall-4-All campaign is started, it is unlikely that the entitlement class will be perseverant enough to give a realistic budget-balancing, debt-reducing program a chance.
What do we want? Our entitlements! When do we want them? Yesterday! For how long? To infinity and beyond!
The National Short Attention Span (cause for a telethon?) has been blamed on TV (oops, skip the telethon), other devices, the web, whatever. The result is that people apparently do not have the stick-to-it-iveness of times past.
For those who want a change towards a balanced budget that might take 25+ years to achieve, the odds are overwhelmingly against them.
Add to these the distractions and additional red-ink costs of whatever civil unrest ensues following Obama's re-election loss (remember the goon squads -- count on Al, Louis, and Jesse to feed the flames), and the job seems pretty tough.
Perhaps too tough.
Michael Applebaum is a physician and attorney practicing in Chicago. His website FackBarack.com is up and running. His website CivilWarWatch.us is in public beta. He asks that you come visit so he can work out any bugs over the next few months. Thanks to those who help. To those who have already registered -- sincere appreciation.
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