Spending on nothing?

Spending on nothing?

In this episode, I talk about how the money spent on (literally) nothing will soon outpace defense spending, and not much later, non-defense spending as well. And no, it’s not some right-wing think tank making that prediction.

Also, is it possible to have a moral disagreement with someone, and yet not hate them? The Left seems to think that impossible, and Dana Bash questioned Mike Huckabee about it specifically. He schools her in the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.

(OK, normally I don’t like it when someone says, “Hey, X really schooled Y!” when all X did is say something the speaker agrees with. Usually there’s not actual educating going on. But this time, there certainly is.)

Mentioned links:

The Legacy of Debt: Interest Costs Poised to Surpass Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending

CNN Confused: How Can Huckabee Oppose Gay Marriage AND Have Gay Friends?

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Show transcript

By the year 2021, federal spending just on interest on the national debt will exceed defense spending. Think about that; as much as we spend on “the war machine”, as some refer to it, we’ll be spending more on…nothing, just interest. And the following year, 2022, the interest payment will also exceed the amount for all non-defense spending.

This isn’t some right-wing think tank coming up with these numbers; it’s the White House and the Congressional Budget Office.

By 2021, the government will be spending more on interest than on all national defense, according to White House forecasts. And one year later, interest costs will exceed nondefense discretionary spending–essentially every other domestic and international government program funded annually through congressional appropriations. (The largest part of the budget is, and will remain, the mandatory spending programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Mandatory spending is over $2 trillion and is set to double to $4 trillion by 2025.)

I see it all the time on Facebook and Twitter. “We need to spend more on this program or that!” “You hate the poor if you don’t think we should significantly increase spending on welfare!” “We can’t afford to cut my pet programs!” “Austerity isn’t going to work!”

OK, how about bankruptcy? Can we afford that? And guess who is hurt the worst when the economy tanks? The poor. The very people we want to help are going to be way out on a limb if we continue to spend our way out of whatever crisis we’re currently in.

If something can’t continue forever, it won’t. And this can’t.

During the Sequester, the Republicans agreed to have some of their oxen gored. Defense spending was cut back significantly. Of course now, ISIS is rearing its head and we’re having to play catch-up. I think it’s time for Democrats to start looking over their pet projects. But here’s my prediction; they won’t. If anything is to be cut, they will keep their constituents happy. Right up until the economy goes under. And then they’ll blame Republicans.

I go back to a video I have posted on my site. If you go to considerthis.ctpodcasting.com and click on Important Links near the top, one of the items highlighted there is a video noting that if we shut down the federal government – military, all the departments, everything – and just collected taxes and paid out on things we promised to – those mandatory programs mentioned earlier, the interest of course, plus the pensions of those who are suddenly out of a government job – we’d still be running a deficit. Taxing the rich at 100% would help, but not enough to balance the budget, and then the rich would leave, leaving us without a scapegoat to blame all our financial problems on.

But hey, feel free to ignore all that, and just keep making that budget bigger, and keep calling a reduction in the growth rate a “cut”. Keep feeling good about yourself. Treat the symptoms, while the disease moves merrily along.

The idea that if you disagree with someone you must therefore hate them is so entrenched on the Left that they have no idea how to deal with someone who bucks that narrative. If you can characterize disagreement as hatred, you can essentially shut down all discussion, accuse the other side of hating the poor or of being homophobic, and walk away with the self-satisfaction that comes from not really having to discuss the actual points of disagreement.

Dana Bash on CNN was interviewing Mike Huckabee about a book of his where he mentions having friends that are gay. Apparently, Bash assumes this Republican, to stay true to his moral principles, ought to be shunning gays in his circles. This question somehow escaped from her lips.

[Dana Bash question]

Now, before we get to the former governor’s answer, where in the world did this question come from? I would have thought that, as much as the Christian religion has been entrenched in American culture since the founding of the country, that the answer should be self-evident. Granted, Christians, being human, have not always lived up to the ideal, but the idea of loving the sinner but not the sin (and if you disagree that homosexual acts are sinful, that’s beside the point; Huckabee does) – that idea has been almost a cliché in this culture. Well, until Christianity became something of a pariah in popular culture, with its ideals becoming less and less in vogue. But who can we blame for that? Yeah, the Left, led by Hollywood and the media.

Of which Dana appears to be a member, if this idea perplexes her. Or perhaps, she knows that the typical CNN audience will be perplexed by it and asks it on their behalf. It doesn’t speak well for someone, either way.

And speaking of speaking well, Huckabee schools her in the ways of a Christian. (OK, normally I don’t like it when someone says, “Hey, X really schooled Y!” when all X did is say something the speaker agrees with. Usually there’s not actual educating going on. But this time, there certainly is.)

[Mike Huckabee answer]

There you have it. And this point of view is echoed far, far more often on the Right than those on the Left will give us credit for.

Filed under: Budget & SpendingEconomics & TaxesGovernmentHomosexualityHuman SexualityReligion