“With attention deficit democracy, I am trying to wake up people to how the combination of mass ignorance, fear mongering by the government, and lying politicians is putting our entire system of government to a death spiral.”
— James Bovard
How to Lick the Budget Deficits
|Government deficits are a way of life in the post republic America. The spending addiction is a plague that swept away the land of the free and the home of the brave. The cultural curse of entitlement ‘rights’ has created a system of mob rule on the bottom of the ladder and champagne wishes and caviar dreams by plutocrat aristocrats. The controllers of the corporatist economy are just as adamant about their ‘right’ to dominate as the unwashed demonstrator defends their latest chanting theme for wealth re-distribution.
So how is a government supposed to cater and quell such a divergence of fundamental mindsets? The systemic political response is to give something to everyone and take nothing away from anyone. Budget deficits are more than an unbalanced tally between expenditures and receipts, it is a cowardly surrender to the lowest political motivation – protect your own ass – at the cost of resolving the undeniable root causes, that fuel the unending fiscal shortfalls.
On the federal level, the practice of deficit spending is engrained as a ‘right’ stemming from having the world’s reserve currency. As long as international commerce is debited in, Federal Reserve notes, the central regime continues to spend. Pronouncements for cutting agency budgets are the mere promises of a habitual liar. Only when the need for an actual cure becomes unavoidable can the hard work begin to slim down the obese slob.
Since the will to abolish entire agencies and departments is lacking, a simple method for withdrawal can and should apply a mandatory formula. The normal increase in base line budgets is sacrosanct in Washington. Reversing this practice, not by freezing in place by actually reducing the monies for every agency in proportion to the actual deficit, is a sensible alternative. The GAO Government Accountability Office, CBO Congressional Budget Office or some combination of an independent oversight body, applying generally sound accounting standards, could score the process.
Yes, the criminal class will work day and night to circumvent this restraint, but the principle of losing department funds in relationship to the total budget shortfall would establish that every agency has skin in the game.
Weaning an addict off drugs causes erratic reactions, so there would be immense resistance. However, the credit markets will eventually demand serious reform. The entire issue is whether any kind of reform is entirely valid. Therefore, the significance of tying any future expansion of government to the reality of actual funding can stop the percentage growth of the state’s dominance over the economy.
The true solution resides in drastically downsizing all levels of government. How well are we doing in achieving that goal in the last decade?
Pork Lawsuit NYS Court of Appeals No. 190 Bordeleau v NYS
Yet, who among seasoned participants in confronting the political establishment can reasonably contend that the fate of the nation can be entrusted into the hands of imperial courts? As long as admiralty law supersedes common law, the courts are mere tools of the ruling elites.
The next approach is to lobby the power structure. An example of this option took place in Albany with the Assistant Secretary of Energy, Tom Congdon. On the instruction of Governor Andrew Cuomo, a meeting was held in the Capital Building on October 27, 2011. The presentation included a Proposal for compliance on Section 12 of the Power NY Act 2011 – Article X. Scheduling this conference was not automatic, since there was never a response to a Citizen Power Alliance letter for a promised meeting, directly with the Governor. It took a public square challenge prior to the hearing on Porky Lawsuit to push Cuomo to honor his former agreement.The lesson is not that success is an expected outcome, but persistency coupled with media attention drives political responses. Linking sound public policy with prudent fiscal accountability should be a natural goal for any civil servant. Nevertheless, finding such responsible officials is rare and should be commended when one-steps forward. First term Assemblyman Sean T. Hanna, District 130, demonstrated his fortitude with his presence at this CPA meeting.
Since this effort is driven by a wise recognition that budget deficits are economic killers, any effort or interchange that seeks constructive reduction in squandering public funds should be championed. Now this seems like a noble ambition, but in the real world, there is little interest in being reliable stewards of the public trust.
The reason is quite simple. The current relationship between bureaucrats and the public often coincide. The administrators enjoy expanding budgets and the public clamors for greater levels of public monies to feed their insatiable appetites, for more unearned income or services. Government is often portrayed as the gloated Jabba the Hut, because of its voracious power to devourer funds and resources in the quest of ever advancing central control.
In reality, it takes an unholy alliance with down trodden dependent serfs, who revel in their emancipation from individual responsibility. The drumbeat for more government benefits, without a correlation to actual wealth creation and sufficient funding, seems to be the anthem that has swept the country for generations.
As fate had it, the Occupy Albany rally in the Capital Building took place just outside the conference room where the CPA meeting was held. Now it would be easy to criticize the rhetoric of the protestors, but the vintage assortment of demonstrators indicated that the motivation for their discontent crossed different age brackets.
Occupy Albany protesters rally in Capitol
Should there be major tax reform, should the banking system be totally retooled and should the imbalance of money accumulation between the 1% and the 99% be reversed? Of course, but you will never get to that point as long as an oligarchy controls political policy.
Citizens of all stripes and ideology need to learn the art of push back. One of the bigger mistakes is to assume that legislators are the driving force behind government administration. Frankly, as desirable as it would be to empower an elected legislative branch of government, the stark fact of politics is that bureaucratic agencies ignore the spirit and intent of most laws and go merrily on their way to build their own fiefdoms of influence and regulation. These bureaus are in the business of dispensing favoritism towards expedient allies.
In order to lick the budget deficit it will take more than capping the growth of expenditures. It requires an actual reduction in the scope and intervention of government activism. The grass root proponents of the Tea Party movement understand this principle. When will the Occupy movement come to accept that the failed government system is no solution to novena?
The rudimentary steps necessary to shrink government, on all levels, is pure Jeffersonian wisdom. The fat and blotted tyranny that is synonymous with the nanny state is the cause of the fiscal nightmare, which is tearing apart every aspect of society.
Most of the attention on budget disparity centers on the Federal deficit. The ludicrous attempt to deflect the political heat unto a “Super Committee” is a sign of the acute desperation of a political system rotten from within.
Populace activism needs to be encouraged, even when proposals or demands are seen as outrageous or unreasonable. Critical mass of citizen dissent needs to be translated into serious and constructive negotiations with officials, no matter what rank or title they hold. Soon, sleeping subjects will never wake from their slumber.
The time to act is now. Organize and learn how to become effective. Engage the political process, not just on selection day when you vote, but whenever you interact with an agency or a representative of the suspect authority, that deems to control your existence.
The entire legitimacy of the political system is in play. Those who still cling to the myth – government of the people, by the people, for the people – need to rethink their false placed loyalty. Our task is to support true representative leadership and to confront bureaucratic arbitrariness and despotism. Reversing the budget deficit is just one component in the long path to a genuine Republic form of responsible government.
SARTRE – October 30, 2011
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