[ 1 ] The
spark for this rhyme came from the very silly remark carried on the news, in
which former Chief of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell opined,
"Americans do want to pay taxes for services," and "Americans are looking
for more government in their lives, not less." (source, ABC) One notes that
the statement is not presented in the first person singular -- "I" -- but in
the collective -- "Americans." In this as with all categorical statements
about any group of people as diverse as a national population, there is a
lie. Some Americans feel this way, as apparently does Mr. Powell. Others
obviously do not, as rebuttals to his statement were swift and noisy. The
philosopher Gilbert Ryle would remind us that this is an "error of category"
at the minimum. Powell, a private citizen, does not and cannot speak for
"Americans" any more than can I. I refrain, but know that others leap to
speak for me -- even when they are incorrect or lying outright.
to my remarks only this. One is watching the same dialogue in other nations,
as I write this in Germany, or correspond with my friends in Great Britain.
What seems assured is that taxes -- and public debt, which is horribly and
sadly taxation of the future marketed and spent today -- will not always and
ever raise. But when they do, those proposing them will likely believe they
will be exempt, while "others" will pay. For this the very wise Frenchman,
Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) who was a classical liberal theorist and
political economist, observed, "Government is the great fiction, through
which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." From
his perspective, the out-spoken Mr. Powell seems remarkably like a man
retired from decades of "public" service and receiving "public monies" far
greater than the average American. From that financial advantage and social
vantage, it seems he does not speak for, as he put it in his very silly
assertion, "Americans." Some, but not many, I reckon.
sheer stupidity of this funding of government by borrowing
from next generations and then assigning them to pay off the debt is
horrible. But how horrible is it? I set this rhyme in 2009. At the end of
2011 -- mere years later -- the debt clock has changed from over $6.46
trillion to $14 trillion -- more than double that amount. There is no
rational or even sane explanation for this. excepting that government has
become irresponsible in the extreme, all the while its politicians are
campaigning for elections as being intelligent, reasonable and responsible
adults. Irrespective of political party or ideology, there is no explanation
or excuse. Fools is the best description I can manage for all the parties
and the Federal Reserve.
Lest this seem a diatribe aimed squarely at the United States government
alone, it is an accusation laid to all the governments, for the current
"crisis" is not ultimately about banks and solvency in the private sector,
but about government debt which will not be repaid to the private sector
which has made loans to government, but rather abrogated in the future.
Over 17 trillion and growing. Were this being
done by a private sector entity, it would be called far more
than irresponsible, likely a Ponzi scheme of enormous
proportion, and -- well -- illegal. but governments define the
word, "legal" and they are letting themselves off the hook.
Simple mathematics will not be so forgiving.