7/26/03





An added note to the letter below: This was interesting and important:
Our troops:
We owe them something more -- to come home to a country that isn’t bankrupt
-- Sen John McCain
, quoted on McLaughlin Group TV program Sat. 5/22/04

Honorable Mary Bono

Representative,  U.S. Congress

 

 

Dear Representative Bono:

 

            The word “appalled” has not come readily to my lips,  although perhaps it should, with what goes on in this world --  with the massive death toll and devastation in Congo, for example,   or the brutalization of the North Korean people by their twisted regime while it seeks to make trouble for others.      The last time I remember using “appalled” was an action of the Dixie Lee Ray administration when I lived in Washington State.   However,   when I realized that the Bush Administration and Congress propose to run our country in debt at a rate of  roughly one trillion dollars every two years,  I was appalled.

 

            When I was in high school in the early 1960’s,  my history teacher told me that the classic experience of democracies is that they are very fine governments until the people discover that they can vote themselves benefits out of the public treasury.   Then they dissolve in fiscal chaos.    We survived the ballooning debt of the Reagan years;   we got used to the idea that the federal government was different and could borrow endlessly;    Bush has covered the present strategy with the snappy line,  we have a jobs deficit, not a budget deficit.”    Personally,  I think that the reason the profound borrowing has worked so far,  is that there is a massive attempt to save by storing money in safe fiscal  instruments,   as the “Boomers” prepare for retirement,   and U.S. bonds are viewed as the safest of the safe.     This analysis draws us to the edge of the precipice,  for if the present system works because people are willing to pour money into it,   the mention of “Boomers” reminds us that soon and very soon,   the system will be required to pay out money rather than take it in --  the retirement of those very “Boomers” will make the government’s bonds a legal requirement for major pay-out rather than a source of surplus.

 

            Bush will not be around to be held “accountable” when that shift happens.    You, personally,  may or may not be – and what good will it do to define who is “responsible,”   when they cannot personally make good the pledges to pay?     We are facing the issue now in California of the responsibility of those who “held the reins  (with the recall of Gov. Davis,  of whom one commentator said,   “if he had done what he promised in 2000,  there wouldn’t BE a fiscal crisis”).

 

 

                                                            Sincerely,   your constituent,

 

 

                                                            (original signed & address provided)

 

 

 

 


Appendix:   Dangerous Illusions in the Popular Press

 

The Press-Enterprise, in reporting the record-breaking $455 billion deficit,  carried the comment that “using what most economists say is the most reliable measurement,  the $455 billion deficit represents 4.2% of the total economy,  somewhat less than  the 1983 deficit.”     This is comforting at first glance …     But what would happen if the government moved to recoup this not-so-large 4% ?      On the same page  (A1 of 7/16/03 paper)  tuition is headlined as “soaring” – yet the $500 tuition increase for a community college student is under 4% of that person’s money, unless the student exists on less that $12,500 a year.    Perhaps the more affluent will be more willing than community college students to fork over what the government has not been able to find up to now?     Try it and see!      (Was the “greater 1983 deficit  ever liquidated?     The past use of this “stimulus tool  has left a fabulous debt load that still hangs over the future,   waiting to be compounded by these “lesser” deficits.   

 

 

 

 


ANOTHER DATA APPENDIX OF MATTERS THAT INTERESTED ME,   AND IF WE ARE GOING TO “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER,”    THIS NEEDS TO BE SAID…

 

 

 

Some notes I saw on America,  source below:

 

With 5 percent of the world’s population, this one country accounts for 43 percent of the world’s economic production, 40 percent of its high-technology production and 50 percent of its research and development. If you look at the indicators of future growth, all are favorable for America. It is more dynamic economically, more youthful demographically and more flexible culturally than any other part of the world. It is conceivable that America’s lead, especially over an aging and sclerotic Europe, will actually increase over the next two decades.

President Bush has, after all, worked with the United Nations on Iraq, increased foreign aid by 50 percent, announced a $15 billion AIDS program and formally endorsed a Palestinian state.

In a global survey taken last year, the most intriguing—and unreported—finding was that large majorities of people in most countries thought that the world would be a more dangerous place if there were a rival to the American superpower. Sixty-four percent of the French, 70 percent of Mexicans, 63 percent of Jordanians felt this way. (Ironically, old Europe was more pro-American on this issue than new Europe. Only 27 percent of Bulgarians agreed.)

FROM article by

Fareed Zakaria
NEWSWEEK

MSN news 3/17/03

 

 

 

A note by Bob:     this fascinated me.    Other sources say the U.S.  uses 25% of the world’s resources.      If we produce 43% of the economic output with 25% of the resources,   we must be a model for emulation,  in some regards!!! [I suspect the "43%" is undoubtedly high, and everyone's figures disagree -- but the question of what American does RIGHT is a good one!

 




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