22 Jul 2011

The Federal Deficit and the Purposes of Government

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Daniel Greenfield has an excellent, must-read editorial on the real meaning of the raising-the-debt-ceiling debate and “social justice” as a form of addiction.

The debt ceiling debate is less about spending than it is about the purpose of government. Under the impact of an economic recession, the train of the Great Society is approaching the edge of the New Frontier. Both sides are still trying to work out a New Deal, but another cuts and spending formula is not the solution. What we need is a serious and earnest discussion about why we are compulsively spending money.

A cocaine addict who runs out of money doesn’t have a spending problem, he has a drug problem. Telling him to cut back on how much money he spends on cocaine, or to shop around for cheaper cocaine isn’t the solution. It’s not about how much he’s spending, but about why. The problem isn’t in the math, it’s in the mindset.

Our cocaine is social justice. Like most junkies who are willing to sell anything and everything to keep the supply coming, Obama’s position in the budget debate is take everything– especially the military, but leave the social justice and the big government that administers it on the table. And also like most junkies, he has an endless supply of self-righteous speeches denouncing the people who just want him to stop.

In the rush of words, he postures, conflates compromise with confrontation, threatens and urges everyone to work together. There is no consistent message, only egotistical aggression and defensive need. Strip away the verbiage and you come away with a chorus of, “Mine, My Way, Mine”.

With all addictions, it is important to look for the root cause. The psychological weakness that allows the chemical rush to take over and become the defining principle of life. In this case it is a basic split over the purpose of government.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Hat tip to the Barrister.

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