March 10, 2011

Debt & War

Watching Morning Joe as often as I do, I get a daily earful about our spiraling debt and the waste of the war in Afghanistan. The two issues resonate strongly with me and both seem as hopeless to fix (at least in the short-run) as they are depressing.

On the war, I loathe when sentiment ("we'll be perceived as weak! They'll think Obama is Jimmy Carter.") trumps rationality. We still have almost thirty-thousand troops in South Korea; with wars as with new forms of taxation there seems to be no such thing as "temporary".

On the debt, it just seems so symbolic. That we can't do something as straight-forward as balance our books seems indicative of a greater illness, of a failure of leadership and a visible, bottom-line malaise.

Public debt as % of GDP::



We expect more from our leaders. They are supposedly the best and brightest, and definitionally the most capable of leadership. If they can't do any better, then I suppose we can't be too surprised by the much greater evil that occurs at the grassroots level, the issue that Morning Joe routinely ignores, that of a million abortions a year.

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