Monday, December 3, 2012

Dealing With Debt Insolence

I don't make a point to respond to trolls on the internet, but recently I came across one arguing that the federal government is like a teenager given an allowance, and that it's finally time to stop "paying the irresponsible teenager" for "wasting" the money you've given him. This thoroughly Republican line of attack is aimed at discrediting the government while ignoring that the fundamental principles that underpin the process are publicly driven, and that the largest portion of voluntary spending is Conservative backed Defense funding.

Really? THAT'S your argument?

Imagine you had a teenager you gave $1,000 a month, and told him he was responsible for taking care of his younger siblings because you as parents were "too busy" to take care of them. Every month, he has to buy them food and cook for them, pay for their tuition, take them to school in the used car he bought, pay for gas, clean the dishes, mow the yard, etc.
But he constantly comes up short, because what you DEMAND of him isn't covered by what you PAY him to do. So he turns to credit cards. When those are maxed out, he requests a modest increase in his allowance, so he can try to somehow get all this organized, but you berate him as "irresponsible and wasteful" for doing the things you've DEMANDED of him to do.
"Why are you feeding your siblings any meat when you can just load them up on barley and corn, a la livestock?! You were doing just fine SEVEN YEARS AGO."

He apologizes, but explains that even with reducing them to a nutritionally poor diet that would be injurious to the children, he would STILL need those increases. You see, the price of food has risen in seven years. So has insurance costs, tuition, electricity, childcare fees, diapers, not to mention GAS.

But you don't care. In your mind, it's still 1955 where a gallon of gas can be had for a quarter, milk for a dollar, and a pound of meat for forty cents.

Hey, you haven't felt the squeeze because your income has skyrocketed over the last 60 years. No one else must be affected either...