Empty Calories

Fiscal FrappéYes, that’s a flippant title. I could call it the fiscal scam, but “scam” is getting to be a hackneyed term. Besides, it is hard to take the most recent fiscal kerfuffle seriously. That the President’s spokesperson enunciates according to news reports:

“We should address the drivers of the deficit and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit,” Carney told reporters today. The senior retirement program is solvent for another 21 years, at which time recipients could see a reduction in benefits.

Does not give it weight. That something “could” become visible in 21 years makes it clear we are dealing with ephemera. A frappé has more substance.

So why are we being treated to this kerfuffle? It’s the Cons’ (Conservatives, Confederates, Connivers, Confidence Men) fault.

The Cons (in or out of public office) claim to be concerned about the federal deficit, or any debt for that matter, because they resist any obligation assigned to them. Their concept of public office is focused on status and giving orders. That they are supposed to be public servants is anathema. It’s certainly not what they sign on for.

Also, the Cons are feeling more punitive than ever. They’re not getting the compliance from the citizenry they expect, so more austerity has to be threatened. And in fact, now that everyone has been hooked on using money, they can make good on their threat by making sure some people don’t get any. The Congress is, after all, in charge of managing the currency. So, all they have to do is screw things up to create some hardship.

Unfortunately, that way power lies. Because, to be felt, power has to hurt, and power is what our petty potentates (in or out of office) lust for.

The solution? Get ye some public servants. Throw out the status seekers (and the statue seekers).

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Fiscal Frappé photo illustration created for LikeTheDew.com - apologies to McDonald's.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."