Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We Gotta Cut Government....But We Can't Cut THAT!

Our local news featured a story yesterday that warned that the proposed "America First" budget of Trump would lead to the end of three Amtrak runs through Indiana, including two lines that go through the nearby station of Waterloo, Indiana.

My first thought was that if those lines close up it would suck for the Amish both here and in Northern Indiana (LaGrange/Shipshewana) as they use Amtrak from that station to provide cheap long-distance transport to places like Missouri and Pennsylvania.

My second thought that was thinking like that is exactly what got us $20,000,000,000,000 in debt in the first place. Pretty much every spending line in the Federal budget has a constituency. If you cut spending anywhere, it will impact somebody.

The "any cut to spending = the apocalypse" mindset is sort of like what we used to call NIMBY, which stood for Not In My Back Yard. In other words, we like power plants and factories, we just don't want them built near us because they are dirty and unsightly and often not very healthy. Now the equivalent is "We need to cut spending but only spending that doesn't impact me" and that doesn't work any better than NIMBY did.

If we don't get out of this mindset, we are doomed to insolvency. In fact even if we do get out of this mindset, it might already be too late. With 2/3 of the Federal "budget" taken up by non-discretionary spending, the path to righting this ship is going to mean a lot of shared sacrifice. There was once a time when that idea didn't frighten/anger Americans but those days are mostly over. We have moved from "The Greatest Generation" to "Ask not what your country can do for you.." to "Me first" to "I should have everything I desire and someone else should pay for it".

The American experiment has failed and the collapse is inevitable and coming soon.
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