For the sake of argument, I'm curious if any of the following developments exasperate others as much as they do me. Granted, I may be a bit of a “Chicken Little” when it comes to the exploits of our government, but somehow these types of things really stick in my craw. (For the benefit of the thousands of next gens who clamor for my articles, the word “craw” means throat. Try using that word in your next text.)
The government announced that it lost only $14 billion of taxpayers' money in its $80 billion loan to General Motors and Chrysler. The government is touting this loss as a good thing because it is only one-third of the loss originally estimated. Golly, I don't remember anyone saying that we should expect to suffer major losses from the stimulus package loans. But then this quote in The Washington Post made me feel a lot better about the whole idea. “Geithner said U.S. auto companies are now at the forefront of a comeback in American manufacturing. We cannot guarantee their success, and at some point they may stumble, but we've given them a better shot. While we will not get back all of our investments in the industry, we will recover much more than most predicted, and far sooner.” Must be another “happy juice” moment for our politicians.
In 2010, the government added a mere $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations, mainly for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. This addition brings the total of unfunded obligations or federal debt to $61.6 trillion, which amounts to $534,000 for every household, but who's counting? Just in case you're thinking it's not all bad, consider the fact that the federal debt is only what the government owes the public and does not include what is owed to seniors, veterans and retired government employees. Since politicians at this writing are apparently incapable of balancing the federal budget, can anyone explain how they would even approach reducing, much less eliminating, our national debt?
Boeing Aircraft elected to relocate a second production line of its 787 Dreamliner to a new assembly plant in South Carolina, instead of Seattle, because South Carolina is a “right-to-work” state with a law against compulsory union membership. Two months ago, the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Boeing to prevent production in South Carolina, which represents the first time the federal government has interceded to tell a company where it can or cannot operate a plant in the United States. In addition, the NLRB, with the full backing of the administration, openly admits they are defending unions, which are suffering from the departure of companies to states where workers cannot be required to join a union. In my opinion, this is an unprecedented and blatant overreach on the part of the federal government against all businesses.
It seems like we are on this merry-go-round where the value of money, the significance of debt and the right to operate businesses as we see fit are slowly slipping away. Even more demoralizing is the notion that perhaps government and its problems have become so enormous and unwieldy, and our politicians so afraid or inept, that we might simply slip into an economic death spiral.
I wonder when, as a nation, we will summon the courage to elect officials who have the guts to eliminate or genuinely control entitlements, taxes and special interests. I trust we will start today.
Oh, one more thing. Take a moment to consider Representative Anthony Weiner. Is there a chance he would not have had all those social network troubles if he had had a pet caterpillar? It really helped me, as many people know.