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Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

August 29, 2010

Do you remember that little ditty sung on the playground from your childhood?  Yes, I know I’m dating myself, but I’ll bet many of you recall “Ring Around the Rosie” when you were little.  I don’t know the true origin of the rhyme.  Some say it is related to the “Black Plague”, others are skeptical, but whatever the origin its suffix is apropos for our current economic and political situation.

Whether you hail from the Left or the Right, Democrat, Republican or Independent, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our political class has completely lost touch with the American people and reality for that matter.  In issue after issue, the common sense of the People cuts right through “elite speak” like a hot shovel through…well, you know.  It’s the “Summer of Recovery”; the Tea Party is full of racist, bigoted, homophobic red-necks “clinging to their guns or religion”; jobs are the number one priority of this Administration; yada, yada, yada.

Here in Illinois, we’ve taken the title as number one in the country for “Most Likely to go Bankrupt,” overtaking California.  How proud our politicians must be!  “I’d like to thank my mother and father for this opportunity to ruin the chances of future generations to pursue any sort of happiness!”  But don’t fret Congress, you too are in the running for an even greater title, “Most Likely to Destroy the Country!”, with your whopping unfunded liabilities having surpassed the $110 trillion mark enslaving generations to come with a debt they can never repay!  I can hear the sharpening of pitchforks and lighting of torches already as the crowd goes wild!

I think it’s become painfully obvious that a disaster of biblical proportions looms on the horizon if we continue on this course.  The economy has stalled—headline unemployment at over 9% and underemployment over 16% with no foreseeable decline; anemic GDP; foreclosures at record highs; commercial loans defaulting—and Obama’s economic advisors are abandoning this titanic fiasco—Christina Romer and Peter Orzag—as Geithner and Summers play on.  Democrats talk of raising taxes, Republicans talk of cutting spending, and round and round the ring we go.  Do we really believe that our politicians at the State and Federal level possess the political spine to do the massive restructuring that must be done to create a sustainable economy and avoid the abyss that lies ahead?  Do we believe that many Americans who live on the entitlements, that our political class doles out as they pander for votes like bureaucrats in a banana republic, have the will to say “no more”?  Can you say Greece, sure you can!

And you know what’s so incredibly sad about it all?  It was completely unnecessary and avoidable, and still can be, albeit not without pain.  How?  Why not try something novel, like reinvigorating our economy with the other guys’ ideas—Adams, Hayek and Friedman—and electing common people with common sense to office, instead of driving madly down the road ignoring the signs warning us of a desperately needed course correction like Thelma and Louise? But human nature, most especially the Progressive nature, just doesn’t seem to roll that way when utopia sings its siren song.

The American people are the most innovative, entrepreneurial and generous ever to have walked the planet.  Have we made mistakes?  Of course we have, but who hasn’t?  Show me a perfect person, group, or nation anywhere.  The very presentment of the standard of perfection as something any human or nation could attain is specious. So what can be achieved?  The renewal of an America that continues to offer the best for the most with as much liberty, freedom, and economic opportunity as possible provided by the least amount of government necessary to guarantee the rights and security of the people, from whom its power is derived.

Think I’m an alarmist? Read Mortimer B. Zuckerman, “The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History” and allow me to offer my take on the old rhyme— “Ring around the Capitols, pockets full of cash, ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”  My only hope is that our children and grandchildren aren’t singing that tune anytime soon.

  Copyright protected 2010 Julie Schmidt.


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