I went to the Glenn Beck Broke presentation last week. Now for my liberal friends, before you choke on your health care, I want you to know that I make no apologies for doing so. (gasp)Your perceptions of Mr. Beck and his rhetoric are as firmly glued to your psyche as the long standing despise a Red Sox fan has for the Yankees. Nothing said or done will change your mind. Unfortunately, the crisis our country faces is hardly as trivial as a fan rivalry.
You can go back to sleep now, but for those who would like to know what was presented beyond his usual hate-mongering (not), fear-baiting (not), Christian smashing(not) drivel (not), you might want to read on.
My sister wanted to attend, but she had been feeling crummy, so she asked me to send her my notes. Well, really, now. You know my hand writing is as legible as a faded Egyptian Hieroglyph. During the satellite presentation, I sat in a darkened theater just below the projector’s booth. It added nothing to the legibility of my script. Therefore, I'll summarize here.
The first half of the presentation was Shock and Awe. A stab was taken at Michelle Obama’s quest to curb our trans-fats appetites when Glenn wheeled in 400 Primanti’s sandwiches, Pittsburgh’s distinctive staple by the inclusion of coleslaw and fries inside the sandwich. The sandwiches illustrated the insanity of a diet when a worm size piece of lettuce is removed from the mound of calories. Similarly, this is government’s response to rein in spending and the deficit. It ain’t going to happen using this tactic when the problem is so huge.
Now you may feel that Chicken Little is merely yelling that the sky is falling to scare you. There is no need to fear the troubling deficit. Perhaps you have heard of the European Union’s crisis and have surmised that the bail outs and riots in the streets in Greece just won’t happen in America. After all, this is the good old US of A, not Europe, despite liberal attempts to make us like Europe.
Consider the following. The EU’s debt is $16 trillion. Greece, the 27th largest economy in the world, had only 2.5% of that debt. When Greece was about to default the EU feared that it would cause the rest to falter. The EU bailed them out. The EU which is the largest economic collective couldn’t let other countries fall like dominoes. Disaster! Imagine, little old Greece crashing the EU’s economy. Combine Greece with Portugal and Spain, which are burdened with debt and rumored to be the next bail out recipient and you got $1.96 trillion of the EU’s debt.
What has this got to do with you? After all, burning cars in the streets of Greece don’t mean jack in Detroit.
Let’s look at the US which is just under $14 trillion in debt, smaller than the EU. Yet in our collective economy of 50 states California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey make up $4.007 trillion. That’s twice the debt of those at risk of failing next in Europe. The monster we have is California with 13% of the debt. It’s economy is the 9th largest in the WORLD. If the EU was so worried about little old Greece bringing down the house, should we not be petrified that California will destroy us? And how are you going to feel when your taxes go to more social welfare programs in California, where many on such programs belong in Mexico.
But it can’t happen here. Back in May I wrote a blog disputing Paul Krugman’s claim that we are not Greece. I wrote: I’m not a liberal intellectual like Paul Krugman. I can’t get away with speculating about the economy with unproven theories and flat out denial about the economic situation. I’m just a smuck like everyone else who experiences reality.
I realized I had to deal with reality. Back then, I decided to build an ark. Oddly, I heard Glenn Beck say the same thing the other day. Now who is following who?
Next Up: More scary numbers and what you can do.