Belle of Liberty

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama Through the Looking Glass

I missed the president’s debt ceiling speech last night.  I hadn’t meant to.  But I had a good excuse.  I was finally attaching my Roku box to see if it’s a valuable and economic alternative to my astronomical cable bill.  The dreaded building announcement is coming today and I need to economize where I can.  I’ve been laying in certain supplies - educational and technical upgrades  and cutting what I don’t need – like most of the cable programs I’m paying for right now.

Once I’m among the unemployed I won’t be able to afford to go to school and by our state’s unemployment laws, won’t be allowed to do so, anyway.  As for the little Roku device, I spent a little more money and bought the version with the optical connection.

The first thing I watched was America:  The Story of Us.  After 15 minutes of lies and distortions, I turned it off and switched to a Netflix movie, the recent Star Trek film.  Both proved telling substitutes for Obama’s speech.

This version of Star Trek, shows the early years of the Enterprise crew.  The movie uses the series’ famous time-warp motif to change Star Trek’s past, without quite changing its future, thanks to a surprise appearance by Leonard Nimoy as an elderly Mr. Spock.

How else to explain that Scotty is now the youngest member of the crew, that Mr. Sulu and Mr.
Chekhov – some ten years younger than the captain in the television series – are now the same age as he and Commander Spock?  We learn that Capt. Kirk’s father George originally lived to see his son become captain of the Enterprise.   In this movie, he’s placed in command of his ship, which is speeding to its doom.  In 12 minutes, George Kirk goes from being second in command to hero.  James Kirk grows up to be a rebellious rascal.  But how does that explain his character in the alternate universe.

Pres. Obama seems to have been forced through a debt-ceiling time warp.  He’s “transformed” from a spend-it-all socialist to pragmatic economist, still clanging away at the same economic doom bell he rang during his candidacy.  Ronald Reagan, not FDR, is now his economic mentor.
Reading his speech, he employs the family credit card example to encouraging us into patriotically raising the debt ceiling so our bills can be paid, while still denouncing the Republicans for wasting Pres. Clinton’s budget surplus on trillions of dollars in tax cuts and two wars.  Guess he was channeling Adam Smith.

You’d think Obama was a businessman the way he throws around the word “revenue”.  In Obama’s alternate economic world, “revenue” means “profit.” 

“If we stay on the current path,” he warned, “our growing debt could cost us jobs and do serious damage to the economy.”  Who put us on that path?  The government.  Who paved the way to even more debt?  He did.  Who is he to throw our words, especially those of the Tea Party (as in “Taxed Enough Already”, not “No Taxes Ever”), back us, lecturing us about the dire economy?

Saturday is laundry day.  Since I don’t dare take my eye of the washing machine – any more than we can take our eye off Washington, the capital of dirty laundry – I spend the time shoring up my meager education.  This summer’s topic has been economics.

I just finished on Ch. 7 of Economics for Dummies, very conveniently titled “Fighting Recessions with Monetary and Fiscal Policies.”  The author talks about an economic concept called “open market operations.”  This refers to the Federal Reserve Bank’s buying and selling of government bonds.  In short, the Fed controls the money supply.  When it thinks there’s too much money in circulation, they sell bonds.  When it wants to put more money into circulation, they sell government bonds. 

When there’s too much money in circulation, prices go up (inflation) and your real wages (what you can buy with your hard-earned salaries) go down (remember Glenn Beck’s explanation of hyperinflation and the Weimar Republic?).  Not good.  But there’s no other way for the government to pay its bills, so the Fed prints out lots and lots of treasury bills which foreigners (up until now) were eager to buy.

Our money is virtually worthless.  With gold at $1,600 an ounce, there’s not a chance that the U.S. will ever be able to back its paper money with that particular precious metal again.  We might as well back the dollar with seashells.  Foreign investors have been buying up our debt and we only have empty pockets to show for it.  But Obama has given us mercury-laden light bulbs, golf cart cars, and General Motors.

We’re heading for an economic black hole and Obama wants to put us into warp drive straight for it.  However, maybe when we emerge from the other side (a la Star Trek), our young people will be smarter and aged Tea Partiers will be there to remind them that there are consequences for mistakes.

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