Since I can't read the hearts and minds of public officials, pundits, media players and partisans, let's just say that focus is being lost regarding our most serious economic problems. If the obfuscation of important issues is not purposeful, then it's caused by fear or some underlying psychological defense mechanism used to avoid addressing problems head on.
Currently, the US faces grim financial problems, and the ongoing worsening effect of convoluted regulatory efforts have practically frozen American businesses. With SS and Medicare in trouble and baby boomers retiring in record numbers, these entitlements create a Perotian black hole sucking down US resources at a frightening, mind-boggling rate. We have troops in war situations in two foreign countries costing billions a month. Medicaid becomes more costly each day, and unemployment benefits are being extended over and over as the real rate of unemployment is around 20%. The make-believe deficit reduction benefits of the healthcare law passed in 2010 will in actuality cost hundreds of billions of extra dollars in the next decade and around 2 trillion dollars over the next two decades if nothing is done to change its current course. These are just some of our problems. As always, everyone is blaming one or the other political party. Currently, the only people speaking loudly about the reality of our economic situation are being marginalized.
Does anyone really believe that the problems we face were caused by either Bush or Obama? Our problems have been building for years, just as Europe's problems are a result of decades of statism with too many people dependent on government and not enough new wealth generated to pay what is owed. As long as Eurpean countries could cooperate enough after WWII and American assistance gave them a boost, and the global economy was not a threat, they could stack the deck for short-term gains as they rebuilt and relaxed control over industry enough to reap the benefits of a growing population, but the short-term benefits are fading and all those people are now waiting for the welfare-state governments to fulfill their promises. America is heading toward the same rude awakening, but political obfuscation presently prevents us from clearly acknowledging our sad state of affairs.
Although our debt has increased tremendously just in the last two years, this perfect opportunity for a culmination of past statist buildup was inevitable -- what we're witnessing is frantic government spending and Fed manipulation to keep our own deck of cards stacked, refusing to face reality and the consequences of statism. The old ideas of government intervention, planning and engineering have us captured in a discredited quasi-Keynesianism which many in power push forward as our problems get worse.
The political class is talking about rhetoric, gun control, compromise, "getting things done" and, incomprehensibly, how free market principles set up "failed policies of the past", when in reality we've never had a free market.
Many members of congress and the administration are fighting tirelessly to save the healthcare law knowing that the real numbers will push us over a financial cliff, and hardly anyone is suggesting innovative pivate sector solutions. This obfuscation of real problems prevents any meaningful discourse which could lead to real solutions. The current media talk is focused more on the image-control of our President and political demeanor than it is about state budgets which are underwater and the coming suffering of state-dependents who've been promised a safety net now full of gaping holes. Like Europe, we've run into a wall built brick by brick from statist policies -- the power and control of the State has expanded impressively, but the results are far from impressive -- they are frightening.