The social democratic model is running aground first in the states, which can’t simply print money to pay for their unfunded liabilities. At the federal level it’s experiencing rough waters as it heads for the reef.
UPDATE/ASIDE: from Via Meadia
The only problem is that the state [RI] could never afford the beautiful utopia [of lavish retirement promises, unfunded] it was crafting, and so politicians and union leaders chose the path of systemic deceit. Taxpayers weren’t told what the bill for the system would be; public service workers weren’t told that the pension guarantees they’d been sold were worthless because taxpayers would not and could not foot the bill.
An economic crisis is nature’s revenge on those who make and those who accept false promises; it is a holocaust of lies when the dross is burned away and only what is real and true remains. Think of cotton candy melting and charring in the flame of a blowtorch; that is what is happening to the secure retirements that “caring” blue politicians and “committed” blue union leaders promised gullible state workers.
There is simply not enough money to pay for all the future promises, even if we were to confiscate all the wealth of “the rich.” So pensions, entitlements and discretionary spending (education, welfare, defense, etc.) are fighting for the same resources. Something’s got to give, and when it does, one group of special interests or another is going to be displeased.
And if we’re not careful we will kill the golden goose: those who build businesses, create jobs, provide benefits. “Government money” isn’t gold in a treasure chest in the basement of the White House. It’s skimmed off the top of the wealth created only in the private sector. Govt can take it from one citizen (or future citizen when it borrows) and transfer it to another. There are good reasons to do this. But it doesn’t create wealth or jobs.
“David Kahane” @ NRO: The Consequence of No Consequence
Let me put this in terms you morons might possibly understand. For activists and advocates of my father’s generation, there were two career choices back in the ’60s through which they could effect their desire for fundamental change. The first was the law, the second (for the less intellectually gifted) was journalism. The tolerance-teaching Southern Poverty Law Center — founded on the belief that there would always be racist-caused poverty, now and forever, amen — or the New York Times — the only place on earth where it is always 1964 and that premature anti-Republican Lester Maddox is still taking a baseball bat to the black patrons of his Pickrick Restaurant in Atlanta.
Those too stupid to do either went into academe — but you knew that already, because you probably had some of them for teachers. But, luckily for us, they taught both disciplines.
The best part about our career choices was this: There was absolutely no downside for what we were advocating. Our entire agitation-for-change racket, which long antecedes BHO2, was predicated upon the notion that the only bad things that would happen would happen to you. It was your way of life that would be destroyed, not ours; you who would have to pay the cost of our relentless lawsuits, not us; your kids who would bear the burden of fundamental change, not ours — because, after all, as socially conscious, low carbon-footprint types, we don’t have kids. (We get your kids to pay our Social Security.) Besides, how can you bring a child into a world that also has Sarah Palin in it?
By the simple means of appealing to the better angels of your nature — we also don’t have any better angels, since we don’t believe in G*d or any of that mumbo-jumbo — we got you to question and then junk much of what you formerly believed in. We were the devil on your left shoulder, the little red sonofagun always whispering: Go ahead. Carpe diem. If it feels good, do it. You know you want to . . .
Because what did we have to lose? We were perfectly comfortable embedded, like a contagious tick, in your society, happy to carve out a handsome living as lawyers, labor leaders, writers, teachers, pornographers, and T-shirt icons, injecting our poison into your minds in the fervent hope that you would eventually see it our way. We were Screwtape and you the Patient, working you over with a host of Wormwoods with gilt brass knuckles. We became the enemy you loved.
But perhaps we have done our work too well. Your society is reeling, sick, possibly terminal — just the way Cloward and Piven and the Frankfurt School and Saul Alinsky and Herbert Marcuse and the Weather Underground and George McGovern and Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden and Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and Kathy Boudin and the authors of the Port Huron Statement drew it up on the blackboard jungle way back when “Che” was a dope-smoking, rock-throwing pup. Yippie!
As the Shahinshah Hussein prepares to mount the Peacock Throne before a joint session of Congress on Thursday, must we finally confront the paradox of the parasite, and hope not to kill the host lest we die ourselves?
Just not for us. At least, not yet.