Monday, August 30, 2010

Stuff that worries me today

Stuff worries me from time to time, and I wish those worries were unfounded.  But, unfortunately, those worries turn out to be well founded, more often than not.
For example, back when the TARP bailout was being considered I was worried not about the need for a bailout--I thought it was, indeed, necessary--but the administration of the funds and the likelihood of ever getting those funds back.  Turns out the administration was flawed (but probably the least bad way of recapitalizing the banks, a problem that probably couldn't be avoided) and we're probably not ever going to get that money back.
"But all the funds are being repaid, with a tidy profit!!!"

Yea, that's not what I was concerned about.  The concern was the resetting of the budget baseline by nearly a trillion bones rather than a temporary inflation of the budget line.  We drop $700 or $800 trillion into the banks, the funds go straight to the deficit, and when the money starts getting repaid the repayments get diverted to whatever stupid shit the Pelosi/Reid/Obama triumvirate decide is a good thing to waste our money on.  That's not to say that a republican administration and congress wouldn't do the same, but it is to say that the hard left gang that we have running things today is the gang that set the baseline.  As angry as we rightfully were at the fringe management on the right is as angry as we are at this fringe management on the left, and neither are particularly good for the country or the economy.
And if you look at the numbers, we've gone from a $3.8 trillion budget baseline to a $4.5 trillion budget baseline in just about 3 years.  And nobody--and I mean NOBODY--is talking about walking that spending back below $4 trillion.  Nobody.  Tax cuts aren't the problem, spending is.  And no amount of jacking taxes is going to get that spending under control unless actual cuts in the baseline are made.  But just as the Rs tried to starve social security to force a "reform" that allowed partial privatization of social security, the Ds are trying to inflate spending to force an increase in taxes so that they can boost government influence and control to more effectively redistribute wealth.  Bah to them both.

But what worries me today is the growing pool of ignorance.  It seems to be a bit of a backlash against the pointy headed elitists of the political class, but it also seems to have gone much, much farther.  One particular supporter of the President (and vehement opponent of his predecessor) was insisting to me that he was qualified to be President because he went to an Ivy league school, and Palin was unqualified to be Vice President because she did not.
"But...  uh...  well, he's never held any executive office, ever.  Hell, he's never even won a contested election."
"That doesn't matter.  He's certainly capable of handling the decision making."
"Ok, what about Bush, then?  He graduated Ivy league."
"Well, that's different."

Ok, fine.  You don't like Palin or Bush and you're a blind ideologue.   But she wasn't running for President (and a thousand questions STILL surround WHY she was picked as VP).

So, fine.  There's an elitist cult of personality that surrounds the left.  Education has replaced qualification on their ledger books.  But does that mean that the lack thereof should amount to qualification for the right?  Should you pin your hopes on people that insist the opponent is unrepresentative because he READS them BOOKS and has been to one of them FURRIN' COUNTRIES with all the BROWN PEOPLE in it?!?  People, puh-lease.

I'm a big fan of insisting that qualification not be replaced with credentials.  But I'm no big fan of "salt of the earth" ignorance taking the place of good, old fashioned, common sense.


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