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Monday, February 28, 2011

God on His Knees

According to CNN, 7 of our 50 states do not have budget deficits. Seven. That means (I can do the math) that 43 states are looking at millions of dollars of deficits in the coming year. Some of these deficits are stunning. California leads the way with a $28 billion deficit with Texas closely behind with a $27 billion deficit. Illinois has a mere $15 billion shortfall and New Jersey is looking at a $10.5 billion problem. Of course, compared to the federal government, this is peanuts. The feds are looking at a $15 trillion of red ink -- 1,000 times that of Illinois.

Now, over in Wisconsin there is a battle going on about the topic. Wisconsin has a $3.6 billion deficiency. That's "billion" with a "b". So the governor wanted to cut the problem down. It's too big. Something has to be done. But, of course, not by the teachers or police or fire departments. No, get it somewhere else. Not from the goverment. "No, we don't know where else to suggest. Just not us." New Jersey is looking at a similar problem. Where to cut? "Not us!" So ... what?

While I sit here and think, "Well, what do you expect?", I suspect the whole thing is inconceivable to the Democrat mind. The primary thrust of the Democratic approach is "Let the government take care of you." They've produced a host of social programs to take care of folk. The latest is perhaps the health care initiative, but that's only the latest. The programs range from Welfare and food stamps to Medicare and Social Security. Mind you, I'm not saying, "Those dirty, rotten Dems; they're so evil!" I'm just pointing out that this is the primary approach of the Democratic mind. Like a benevolent god, they sit there with arms open encouraging all to come and put their trust in them. so ... what happens when god runs out of money?

"No, no," the thinking seems to go, "that simply cannot happen. While you and I can easily run out of money, the federal government is able to print more. Why can't the states? How is it possible that our Caretaker can fail to take care?" So when the news is shouted, "The state is out of money!", the response is, "No, it's not!" And the conclusion is obvious. "They're just trying to rip us off!" Because, you see, we've been told for almost a century that the government is our caretaker, the god who will tend to our needs when problems arise. And, big government has tried. They really have. But now they're running out of other people's money and the god goes to his knees.

What now? If the government is broke, where do we turn? The concept of cutting Medicare (like they plan to do in Arizona) or restricting social programs or decreasing the wages and benefits of government employees is unthinkable. So ... what? The alternatives aren't pretty, even to conservatives, but if we don't start looking at them soon, it just won't matter anymore.

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