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Is anyone in Washington paying attention?

A Greek policeman knocked down by a Molotov cocktail during street protests in Athens.
A Greek policeman knocked down by a Molotov cocktail during street protests in Athens.
John Kolesidio/Reuters


Worldwide stock markets have taken a nosedive, eliminating any gains made in 2010. Investors are jittery, reacting to the potential disastrous dynamics of economic dominos falling one by one across Europe.


The debt crisis in Greece is an ongoing implosion resulting in fear and repeated explosions of violence. In a too little too late spasm of fiscal responsibility the Greek parliament instituted new spending cuts and taxes, which set-off the madness in the streets.


Given the workings of the human heart, violence is inevitable. It is never acceptable in a civilized society, but it is indeed inescapable.


We have a selfish bend that takes care of number one, first and foremost. That inclination manifests itself across the societal spectrum.

In this case, a sense of entitlement nurtured over several generations is in full rebellion because nanny government has been force fed comprehension—someone has to actually pay the bills.


As that bit of truthful gruel is digested by those in charge in Greece, they’ve been desperate to cobble together a mixed bag plan that involves bail-outs and reforms. Does any of this sound familiar?


The reaction of global markets and by the populace has been predictable. The earnest question here: Is anyone in Washington paying attention?


It is sheer lunacy to think that what is transpiring in Athens will not be exported across Europe. It is the height of arrogance crowned by denial to continue with business as usual here in the U.S. believing that we are somehow above the chaos of riot-gear, tear gas, water cannons, and Molotov cocktails.


Eighteen months ago, the 700 billion dollars of TARP began leaking into the system. The bill was swiftly rammed through based on the recommendations of political hacks and those wizards whose polices had greatly contributed to our debt laden economy.


At the time, there were dire warnings and much hang-wringing about banks collapsing at any moment. We were told that the funds had to be made available within forty-eight to seventy-two hours or else an economic apocalypse would result.


TARP became law. Yet due to layers of bureaucracy, human greed, inefficiency, and the quid pro quo of political deal-making, the rescue money was a trickle instead of a flood. Given the typical sleight of hand governmental bookkeeping, at this point, who knows if it has yet all been dispersed?


Then in February 2009, when the Obama Administration was fresh faced and full of vigor, an eleven hundred page 783 billion dollar stimulus package was implemented. Fold in the astronomical costs of the 2010 bundled together Health Care plan, and it is self-evident that extremes of deficit spending are the constant and norm.


We pile debt on top of debt on top of debt—yes, the blue-ribbon Debt Commission is on duty and hard at it, but their investigation will not be complete until after the November election. How convenient is that for campaigning incumbents?


Meanwhile, apparently there are multitudes of printing presses in some cavernous enclave beneath the Capitol, because red ink remains the color of choice for a government addicted to spending.

Ordinary people are demanding that the brakes get applied to spiraling deficits; ordinary people who live within budgets have an expectation that common sense economics will sooner rather than later take hold in the public sector.


There is grassroots anger simmering in this country that is much closer to the tipping point than those who represent us realize. Unless a real and radical course correction is soon engaged, what we are witnessing in Greece, will merely be prelude to our future.


The American version of Greek protests will be orchestrated by those rent a riot pseudo-celebrities on the Left and Right, who’ll seize the spotlight to stir dissensions and gain more influence.


Is anyone in Washington paying attention?


 

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