Of National Debt And The Entitlement Mentality
(h/t The Transom)
After all the sound and fury, we've ended up with yet another refusal to make the hard choices concerning how the U.S. disciplines its apparently insatiable appetite for public spending.
In a way, however, the fiscal cliff circus was always a side-show to the main game. And this is the deeper existential problem that many Western European nations have long failed to master, but which America also now seems unable to address.
It's a crisis that flows from a very unwholesome dynamic between democracy and the fact that many people now assume they're entitled as a matter of right to be given any number of things by the state without too many questions being asked about how to pay for it all. The combination is presently proving toxic for much of Europe, but increasingly constitutes a profound danger to America's economic future.
As everything political does, this gets back to the crafting of a narrative. Leftists are masters of euphemism employment, using words like "revenues" and "rights" as cover for "taxes" and "privileges". It's a slow IV of cultural sedation that creates a sense of federal bureaucracy as benevolent benefactor rather than what it really is: a usurper of rights and a black hole for the hard earned cash of working Americans.
If we are ever to counter this, we need to be able to convey that the overwhelming history of federal involvement is one of egregious inefficiency and broken promises. Using simple words. And maybe some pictures.