[ 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.
I add 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.
The 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.