Saturday, March 02, 2013

An Unscientific Look at American Politics

(Or, how’s it look from there, with your head up your keester?)

As most of you have heard by now, the sky is falling.  Again. Yup, the old fiscal cliff routine is being rehashed as the Budget Sequester.  It’s awful, just ask any politician. If you ask the Democrats they’ll tell you the Republicans are killing this country, and if you ask the Republicans, well you know the drill. 

I just figure we are all adults, at least those of us who vote,
and we should perhaps take a look ourselves.

The sequester, which is supposed to be the nuclear option
to balance our budget, is going to trim spending over the next
nine years.  The amount we’ll see cut this year is about eighty
five billion dollars, half from defense and half from non-defense
spending.  That reduces the budget for defense by about eight percent
and the non-defense spending gets cut five or six percent.

Wow.  Read that again.  Eight percent and six percent.  I know a lot
of people who have seen their incomes reduced by more than eight
percent since the big crash in 2008.  A lot of Americans are working
less hours, and/or at jobs with lower pay.  Some haven’t found work
yet.  I wonder how come they haven’t just curled up and died, you know,
the way the politicians say that our country will, if we have to have these
horrible budget cuts.

If my budget were cut by eight percent, I’d have to go without popcorn
when I took my wife to the movies.  You know, that doesn’t sound like
Armageddon to me, how about you? 

There are a lot of things Americans would like their representatives to cut.
Whenever you write to your rep asking for something like this, you usually
get a reply that runs along the lines of, “Dear John, Foreign Aid is actually
less than one percent of the federal  budget, so even though no one likes
foreign aid, cutting it won’t help anything.”   OK, raise your hand if you’ve
heard that before.  Uh huh, thought so. 

Well, eight percent minus one percent is seven percent, and if we could find
half a dozen more of those unimportant things that won’t make any difference,
because they’re less than one percent, well, you do the math.  I know, this is one
of those times when “you do the math” actually involves math.

But you should be OK with that, because remember, you are an adult.  You vote.
Right?  I don’t know how you vote, but I’ll tell you, one really smart cat once said
“Never re-elect anyone.”  I don’t know his name, but I think I’m going to listen
to him at the next election.

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