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The Edge of the Abyss

Home - by - November 11, 2012 - 21:09 America/New_York - 27 Comments

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Amid the ruin and rubble of the grey morning after, it may seem in poor taste to do anything so vulgar as plug the new and stunningly topical paperback edition of my book,After America — or, as Dennis Miller retitled it on the radio the other day, Wednesday. But the business of America is business, as Calvin Coolidge said long ago in an alternative universe, and I certainly could use a little. So I’m going to be vulgar and plug away. The central question ofWednesday — I mean, After America — is whether the Brokest Nation in History is capable of meaningful course correction. On Tuesday, the American people answered that question. The rest of the world will make its dispositions accordingly.

In the weeks ahead, Democrats and Republicans will reach a triumphant “bipartisan” deal to avert the fiscal cliff through some artful bookkeeping mechanism that postpones Taxmageddon for another year, or six months, or three, when they can reach yet another triumphant deal to postpone it yet again. Harry Reid has already announced that he wants to raise the debt ceiling — or, more accurately, lower the debt abyss — by $2.4 trillion before the end of the year, and no doubt we can look forward to a spectacular “bipartisan” agreement on that, too. It took the government of the United States two centuries to rack up its first trillion dollars in debt. Now Washington piles on another trillion every nine months. Forward!

If you add up the total debt — state, local, the works — every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Liechtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama’s second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election — that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it’s time to do something about it.

 

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» 27 Comments

  1. chiefillinipancaked

    November 11th, 2012

    A tactician, faced with the demise that we inevitably face, would do what Barack Obama has long done…vote “present”, hasten the demise that’s coming regardless, and pin ALL of the blame on the Democrats.

    It’s said that the Big Bitch here now in Illinois, after Tuesday, with the Republicans having lost fucking everything, and the Donks now owning the state house,senate, Governorship, courts…the whole magilla, is that there aren’t any fucking SCAPEGOATS anymore. Boo fucking hoo.

    Like a wise “community organizer” of a different stripe than Obama said recently, “there ain’t no Tea Party in my community. There ain’t no Republicans. None. The whole thing is and has been run by black Democrats! How you blame Republicans? They ain’t here!”

    Maybe it’s worth a conversation or two. Going Galt may be our only salvation.

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  2. chiefillinipancaked

    November 11th, 2012

    And a little O/T, but worth asking…

    What’s the under/over on how long before President Jarrett tries to undo the 22nd Amendment?

    I say 18 months.

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  3. FreeMan & Sarah Voting Early & Often

    November 11th, 2012

    I wish there was a morning after pill to abort this sucker.

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  4. Wyatt, Insensitive Progressive Jerk

    November 11th, 2012

    @ChiefIlliniPancaked: There is a small, but growing movement in California to, well not intentionally speed up the fiscal derailment train, but just stand by and watch the impending train wreck. As a practical matter, there is nothing Republicans can do – the Democrats now have enough votes in the legislature to have the super majority needed to raise taxes without the bother of putting something on the ballot. So, what started out as a joke is gaining some momentum.

    Ironically, some of my liberal friends are extremely worried about this. I find this thinking insane – they knew what the inevitable results of their votes would be, voted for these jackjaws anyway, and are now worried that Republicans and conservatives might refuse to be the adults in the room. Moreover, they know, and I know, and they know I know that the people who are the direct beneficiaries of California’s largesse will riot if they don’t get their freebies.

    What makes this all the more insane is that the liberals I know are not directly benefiting from any of California’s give away programs. However, they will be the first to lose when California’s public economy collapses.

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  5. FreeMan & Sarah Intend to Defend

    November 11th, 2012

    We are so far over the edge, we are at the bottom of the other side.

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  6. chiefillinipancaked

    November 11th, 2012

    Wyatt

    Let me say that of the regular denizens here, your voice is always one of clarity, sanity, and reason.

    You must have attended a great educational institution at some point!

    Oskee-Wow-Wow, pal.

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  7. Bad Brad

    November 11th, 2012

    Wyatt:
    That small growing movement your talking about is gaining steam quickly with small independent businessmen. And it is intentional. As if they needed our help.

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  8. MaryfromMarin

    November 11th, 2012

    I’m always gratified to be on the same side as you, @Wyatt. I agree that we need to “refuse to be the adults in the room”. They made their bed, etc., etc.

    It will be painful, but very instructive.

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  9. Wyatt, Insensitive Progressive Jerk

    November 11th, 2012

    @Chiefillipancaked: U of I was a great university, and I remember my time there fondly. However, and somewhat ironically, I took a lot of courses in economics, and Illinois was a Keynesian school. I can still remember thinking, at the end of a semester in Econ 101 – “do these people really believe that the government will intentionally run a surplus during good times to make up for the deficit spending during recessionary times?” (Clinton had a surplus, but it was an accident and Congress ended up returning to deficit spending.)

    @Bad Brad: The small businessmen I know have had four years to practice for bad times, although many got a little sloppy on the hope that Obama would be out and California would remain in gridlock. However, what this election taught me, and what it taught many others, is that liberals envy and detest successful people, and will do what they can to take or destroy their wealth. If the past four years have been divisive, I fear the next four will be even worse because there is no incentive at all for conservatives to “work with” liberals. Liberals own this mess lock, stock and barrel, and in California at least, there probably won’t be any lights available to turn off when the last one leaves.

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  10. Jarhead Cracka

    November 11th, 2012

    Chief Illini is right; I’ve been reading Wyatt’s post for years now and he and CFM 990 are great wisdom on this site. Mary from deep in Nor Cal and Bad Brad always add interesting perspective.

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  11. Bad Brad

    November 11th, 2012

    Wyatt, This biggest problem guys like me faced in the last four years is we had know idea how bad it was going to get, and how long it would last. So idjuts like me resisted getting to small to fast. Hind sight is always 20/20. So we bled cash like a gash to the neck until we figured it out. But the ones that have survived are pretty damn battle proven. I mentioned the push to help California along to it’s pre orchestrated destiny for a reason. things get a little more concrete I’ll give some updates. It’s pre mature right now, but I know the organization I’m exposed to is not the only one pondering how to handle a Super Majority of brain dead Marxist. Maybe it will all fizzle, but I’m not sure they need our help.

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  12. Bad Brad

    November 11th, 2012

    Jarhead, You and Chief are always on the money too.

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  13. Wyatt, Insensitive Progressive Jerk

    November 12th, 2012

    @Jarhead Cracka: Lots of good commenters on this site (Jarhead Cracka included). IOTW is very eclectic, and I get a lot of good information and ideas, an opportunity to vent, and a lot of humor all in the course of a few threads.

    @Bad Brad: California prides itself on being the laboratory for America, and I don’t think this state really needs a boost from conservatives to help it collapse. There are many politicians in Sacramento who do not believe that what they are doing is dangerous and destructive, and most of the rest either don’t care or cannot do anything about it. Democrats, in particular, are either bought and paid for by the public unions and/or were elected because they promised unsustainable freebies for their constituents – think Maxine Waters but with lower scruples than Maxine possesses. Although he obviously cannot say so publicly, I think even Jerry Brown is worried that his own party will revert to rampant (or maybe more rampant would be proper) out of control spending and regulation to the extent that the state may never recover.

    Jerry Brown need not worry – there is nothing he can do anymore now that the Democrats control the legislature with super majorities. There are too many people in Sacramento who have failed at everything except selling out for votes, and these people are now in charge.

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  14. Chiefillinipancaked for four more years.

    November 12th, 2012

    Brad

    You are a man amoung mere posters.

    We thank you, your community thanks you, and the folks that brew Drambuie, well, they’d be lost without ya!

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  15. Bad Brad

    November 12th, 2012

    Wyatt,

    “I don’t think this state really needs a boost from conservatives to help it collapse”

    The sooner it reaches that point, the faster we become real again. I’m a native. I remember being a kid living in SoCal going to Disneyland when I was a kid driving through nothing but one Orange grove after another. I remember the close knit neighborhood my parent enjoyed back in the day, etc, etc. I also remember the day WATTS exploded. We could see the smoke from where we lived. I hate what these fucking bastards have done to my state. If I can help them along to their demise, I will. No charge.

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  16. Bad Brad

    November 12th, 2012

    Actually Chief, I should seen this shit coming, and I didn’t. I guess I’m not the only one.

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  17. Wyatt, Insensitive Progressive Jerk

    November 12th, 2012

    I don’t disagree with you at all, Bad Brad. I missed the Watts riots, but was actually at a Laker’s game when the King riots started. I hope to never see another one.

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  18. MaryfromMarin

    November 12th, 2012

    I remember the orange groves, too, @Brad; lifelong resident here, southern then northern CA. Probably won’t retire here, though. Just hanging on, like Stranded, because of children nearing high school graduation.

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  19. Bad Brad

    November 12th, 2012

    Marry/Wyatt, In reality we will probably be forced to leave here at some point in time too. The farther Cali. heads down the tubes the angrier I get, and I’m the worst loser you’ve ever seen. Hell, I cheat first. We have a chance if we hit critical mass first. We are not that far away. Jeez, the Mex’s are going back to Mexico things are so bad. Couple more dumb ass moves out to do the trick.

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  20. Kairn

    November 12th, 2012

    Hey, I’m in a nest of you Californians here at iota!! I’m a native too. Born and raised in the Bay Area. I enjoyed many a halcyon day growing up in Calif. The ocean, the Sierras, the San Joaquin Valley. What a wonderful place it was. Was being the operative word.

    I’d say I realized the place was morphing into a not so great place to live during the Carter admin. The arrival of Silicon Valley was fast and furious. That’s when all the angst began. I loathed it. I positively loathed it. I moved away in the mid 80′s. I never looked back. But I do mourn her demise. I think I was lucky to know the best of her, once upon a time.

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  21. Anonymous

    November 12th, 2012

    The Obamalypse.

    Or should that be Purplelypse?

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  22. Kairn

    November 12th, 2012

    Oh brother, that was supposed to mean iotw. Sorry Fur.

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  23. Stillsane

    November 12th, 2012

    As a friend of mine says, “You can’t fix stupid.” Before Obumble’s “re-election”, I was secretly a little disappointed in his morose view of our populace. Now, unfortunately, I realize he is spot on. Lock and load—it’s gonna be an ugly, ugly four plus years.

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  24. Freeshiticus

    November 12th, 2012

    Remember 9-11

    Remember Benghazi

    Remember Lazareth!

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  25. Salve

    November 12th, 2012

     
  26. Name Redacted™

    November 12th, 2012

    I almost bought Mark Steyn’s “After America” at one point, but I hesitated because the title was so depressing. Well, now it’s a handbook.

    I have a stack of books about Progressivism/Communism/the French Revolution backed up that I’ve planned to read, and I was thinking (before Tuesday) that once Romney was elected, I’d probably feel too happy and relaxed to feel an urgency to read them.

    Uh…I guess I don’t have to worry about that now.

    P.S. Fellow Californians – as housing prices had fallen, and rates were so low, I was almost tempted to finally try to buy a house out here. Well, it’s never felt so good to be a renter. When I need to get out, I can get out quick.

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  27. MaryfromMarin

    November 12th, 2012

    Yes to the renting comment, @Name Redacted. “Shaking the dust off our feet” will be much easier that way.

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