Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The nation's finances are exactly like your personal finances. Really?

Let's say for the sake of argument that Republicans are right to equate the finances of the United States of America with those of a private citzen's household.

And that's the rationale for trying to amend the Constitution of the United States to force government to balance its budget--because households have to balance their budgets.

If conservatives raise this issue with you, ask them if they're homeowners--and if so, how long it took them to raise enough cash to buy their home for cash.

Because if they bought the home on time, using a mortgage or two, that makes them hypocrites.

Yes, we should generally live within our means. But we also need the leeway to make exceptions--to buy a house, to meet an emergency, to take a second mortgage to finance starting a small business--things like that. To deny the federal government the leeway nearly all of us expect for our own personal finances simply expresses hatred of the government.

That hatred is felt by many white Southerners, still angry over the racial integration forced on them in the 1970s. It's felt by the 5,000 or so American citizens who own the bulk of America's wealth, because as a group they feel entitled to every cent of their income and no obligation to help the poor (this has been shown in polls of the very rich)--and they hate the federal government for trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to regulate their business activities in any way (particularly their penchant for corporate welfare, which is much more lucrative than actually producing and selling goods and services).

And this hatred for the federal government is also felt by many millions of voters who have been successfully propagandized by the Republican Ministry of Propaganda, such that they believe those who prey on them are actually their benefactors, and vice versa. This is easy to do because humans are easy to manipulate about such things. We want to identify with rich people. We don't want to identify with anyone who anyone might think of as a Loser.

So a balanced budget amendment has nothing--zero--to do with forcing government to observe the same rules that your own family or a business has to observe.

It has to do with hating goverment--a hatred the Republican Party leadership has been promoting ever since FDR's New Deal, which gave us Social Security among other things.

Let's call a spade a spade.

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