Thursday, March 29, 2007

Not only the Worst Ever, But the Worst Imaginable

by Rich Miles

For perhaps the fifth time in the past several months , today I read an article about how the head of the GAO - formerly the General Accounting Office, now the "A" stands for Accountability - is traveling all over the country, telling everyone who will listen that the American government, under the alleged leadership of the "fiscal conservative" Republican president, is piling up a wad of debt that, quite literally, will bring this country down if it is not brought under control, and soon.

Let me sum up what GAO Chief David M. Walker said: the national debt - not the federal budget, that's another big-ass number - but the DEBT, which is a much BIGGER big-ass number - the money the American government owes to everyone who ever bought a US Treasury note or savings bond or any other loan instrument of the US government, is approaching $9 TRILLION.

Let me say it again, this time as a number: $9,000,000,000,000!

If you don't know what that means, first of all you're too stupid to live in America, and second, here's what it means. And as has been said many times by those far more educated about fiduciary matters than I, an unbelievable lot of that $9 TRILLION of debt is in the hands of people who are not Americans, and who don't have the best interests of America at heart. Like China, and Russia, and even Japan.

You ever know someone whose mortgage got called? Someone who had their home repossessed and sold at auction to strangers? That's what happens people don't pay their debts.

Can you even imagine what happens when a country doesn't pay ITS debts? Who repossesses? Who goes to the auction to buy it? You think this is impossible?

Imagine 100 million pissed-off Chinese who can't cash in their U.S. Treasury bonds because there is NO MONEY TO PAY THEM WITH.

Seeing this - the $9 TRILLION debt figure - said yet again by Mr. Walker, and knowing that the likelihood is great that no one will pay any more attention to it this time than they did the other several times, it brought to the surface a thought that I've had many times:

Not only is George W. Bush the worst president in the history of America, he is the worst IMAGINABLE president that America COULD have at this particular point in history. Here's part (and only a small part) of what I mean:

- Even before 9/11, our relations with governments and peoples in the Middle East were fraught with danger and misperceptions of our intent for them. So we elect a man who set out almost from day one not to make those problems better, but to make them worse - to assert his manhood, and in the process make the people of that region hate and fear us even more than they did. At this task, he has succeeded beyond the wildest imaginings of his neo-con handlers.

- At just the moment in time at which it becomes clear that human activity is contributing greatly to global warming, in a way that is no longer negligible or able to be put off to another generation, we have a president who not only will do nothing about the problem, and not only depends on the sale of fossil fuels for his and his family's fortune - he even denies that the problem exists for several years, while it gets worse. What could we have done to at least start to correct some of the damage in those years? We will never know.

- At precisely the moment in history when medical science starts making exponential leaps toward eliminating or greatly reducing all manner of human suffering and disease, we have a leader of the most powerful nation on Earth whose religious "faith" prohibits him and his followers from aiding that science with government support.

- At the moment in history when America had become the only superpower, and was beginning to see signs that actually meant something for peace in the world, along comes a government who seems almost hell-bent on destroying our armed forces by overuse and neglect, and weakening us to a point where our enemies - of whom there are now far more than there used to be - might actually get bold enough to attack us unprovoked.

- And right after a brief period of prosperity for our country unlike almost any other in our history, when the federal government has surpluses for the first time in decades, and looks like reducing the national debt to a manageable size after the excesses of the Reagan and Bush 41 years, we elect a president who plunges us into a staggeringly costly and unnecessary war, while cutting taxes to keep himself in power and to enrich his political base, and turning a blind eye to cronyism, war profiteering and incompetence, and after six dedicated years of listening to NO ONE who tells him otherwise, our national economy is on the verge of bankruptcy if action is not taken VERY soon to right the ship of state as it lurches toward insolvency.

I could go on and on. But in short, above are a few arguments as to why everything Bush stands for and does is the exact opposite of what America and Americans need at this exact time in our national life.

Not only the worst president ever, but the worst possible president for the times in which we live. And the damage this man and his administration are doing to America is not over yet.

We'll be lucky to come out of it alive.


Yellow Dog said...

Great summation of how it really is much worse than it seems.

What do you think about recent suggestions that the Bush Interregnum - NOT 9-11 - is the precipitating crisis that causes a great political realignment and ushers in two generations of Democratic dominance?

At the time, the Depression and World War II seemed like too high a price to pay, but looking back, it was only because of those great disasters that we made the enormous gains of the following fifty years.

If it means the the death of the neocon philosophy that has nearly destroyed our republic, then those 3,240 American deaths in Iraq will really not have been in vain.

Rich Miles said...

Yellow Dog, an interesting new interpretation of "9/11 changed everything." One I'll wager the Bushies never considered - that it changed the way America responded to THEM.

As I've said once or twice, perhaps the Bush "interregnum", as you call it, is precisely what America needed to draw itself back from the brink of fallen empire. Sometimes our most valuable lessons are the hardest-learned and earned, and so it may be in this instance.

I'm not sure that Democratic dominance is the goal, however. I suspect the net result may have something to do with removing two-party dominance of American politics, and creating an obvious opening for third and fourth and maybe even fifth parties.

Sadly, I probably won't live to see it. But my children might.