Saturday, September 20, 2008

Even better than being an admiral

So light travels at 186,000 miles per second. How does a motorist on an interstate highway relate to that?

More figures to ponder. From Earth to the Moon the average distance is 238,855 miles. Even if you’re driving from New York City to Los Angeles, it is tough to imagine that kind of travel.

A figure like $9,667,726,106,224 is so distant from anything I’ve ever seen on my bank statement that it is almost incomprehensible. It was the U.S. national debt when I checked it online.

During a week in September the federal government made $600 billion available in Wall Street bailouts, help for storm victims and support for money market funds. It also agreed to stand behind $5 trillion in mortgages, says the Wall Street Journal.

Politicians who want to increase taxes for the rich need to take another look at their figures. An income of $200,000 or $250,000, primarily in the form of paychecks, does not a wealthy person make. Americans in that income bracket are not likely to have inherited wealth, or to have grown up rich. This is the bracket of men and women who borrowed massively for their education, worked long hours and accepted stressful occupations to earn more than their parents did. They are not the inheritors of banks, oil wells and retail chains.

There’s never been anything like the stunning increase in national debt under the Bush Administration and all of its Republican enablers.

This is money already spent, billions of it on a poorly-chosen war, by a government that neglects its homeland of aging roads, bridges, power grids and the like. This is a government that bails out banks but wrings it hands over Medicare and Social Security funding.

In response to overwhelming economic and human needs, Sen. John McCain wants to become commander-in-chief. This privileged son and grandson of admirals, educated at the great government school in Annapolis, a former fighter pilot, employed as a U.S. senator with all of its pension and health care provisions, campaigns as though the main job of the president of the United States is to be the commander-in-chief. He would, incidentally, outrank his father, grandfather and classmates.

Neither he nor Gov. Sarah Palin, his understudy to become commander-in-chief, has the temperament of a diplomat.

My grandpa instincts make me cautious about the military instincts of those two. I don’t want my grandchildren to be drafted to risk their lives in undeclared wars. Who’s more likely to get us into more wars, John McCain or Barack Obama?


Jacob said...

Grandpa Ed,

I noticed you had a spelling error/ typo on your latest post. You said "Who’s more likely to get us into more wars, John McCain or Oback Obama?" And I believe the misspelling is in "John McCain or Oback Obama?"
You may want to spell it Barrack Obama.


Team Yozons said...

With the latest bailouts proposed, the debt ceiling will be raised to $11 trillion, roughly $27,500 per person in the US (assuming a population of 400 million), and never mind that's what we each owe despite paying all those taxes every day of your life.

We can't afford our undeclared wars, so we borrow.

We can't afford our social services, so we borrow.

And apparently we can't run capitalism right, so we'll have to borrow nearly a trillion more just to fix our inability to lend and borrow.

Team Yozons said...

I was wildly off. After checking the info again, the debt limit will be $11.315 trillion (that sad extra .315 equating to $315 billion!), and the population is only 305 million, so our per person share is $37,000!