By Tom Flake
Osama Bin Ladin is dead. I am relieved. Someone who wanted to kill me and my way of life has assumed room temperature and we should at least take time to breath one sigh of relief...okay now back to reality.
The Obama administration had information on OSL's location for about nine months, perhaps longer. The timing of this raid, at this time, was exquisite from a political point of view. Criticism of BHO regarding the national debt, the larger questions regarding his handling of the overall economy (Who really owns GM, AIG and Chrysler anyway?) his failure to be transparent with his personal records, all this and more was reaching a crescendo and weirdly enough it was looking as if Donald Trump might have a real shot at the GOP nomination. With one action BHO was able to (for now) eliminate discussion of the debt, silence the criticism and put all of the potential GOP nominees off their game. So while the military operation was a significant victory in that one major leader of the opposition has been removed from the board. The political operation was a sweeping victory...Where does one buy a flag at 11:30 at night on a Sunday in New York anyway? Had you thought about that?
Here is the issue, we are still days away from reaching our national credit card limit. After that it will be a matter of weeks until we default on our obligations. The Congress and President need to cut spending and no plan that has been floated that is even in the right zip code. Notice each time they float an idea, they state how much it will save over ten years. It sounds so much more impressive that way, don't you think? The most recent "plan" floated by the Senate is to cut $4 trillion over ten years. Sounds amazing, that'll fix things right?
Perspective..we are currently $14.25 trillion (rounding) in debt. The deficit is about $1.6 trillion per year. So over ten years, (using simple math) the debt will be $1.6 trillion x 10 years = $16 trillion + $14.25 trillion = $30.25 trillion. But wait, that's okay the Senate wants to cut $4 trillion over ten years! We're saved! Wait, $30.25 trillion - $4 trillion= $26.25 trillion....It's nothing but a shell game and both teams (Rs&Ds) are playing against you and me. Paul Ryan's plan works this way $1 trillion (deficit per year) x 10 years = $10 trillion +$14.25 trillion = $24.25 trillion debt in 2021. Admittedly Ryan's plan is better than the Senate plan, but that is akin to saying that I had to have my leg amputated below the knee rather than above the knee. It still sucks, only to a marginally less degree.
So breathe a sigh of relief that OBL is dead. Celebrate if you must. But don't take your eye off the ball. The real criminals and those causing real pain are our elected officials who don't take the Federal debt and deficit seriously.
If you haven't read George Orwell's 1984 or haven't read it recently, I recommend that you do. You may, like I, be disturbed at how prescient it is. In many ways Osama Bin Ladin has been the Emmanuel Goldstein (1984, page 10) for the generation currently coming of age. A boogey man used by the government to keep the masses in line. While OBL was directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands. Our Federal debt and those responsible for it, will be culpable for the slavery of millions.
Keep your eye on the ball.