Weekly musings on the arts and current events.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weighed and Found Wanting

The Deficit Commission report, we are told, is DOA. Opponents of one point will combine with opponents of other points to bury it. We hear conservatives dogmatically denounce changes in the tax code, even while liberals object that those changes would be a net gain for the wealthy. And as for liberals, proposed cuts in Social Security and Medicare are, as usual, non-starters.

This week we saw our leaders again refuse to confront the looming storm. It's been reported that the President is offering the Republicans a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for all levels of income for another two years. In other words, he is reaching across the aisle in a bargain to do nothing.

Bowles/Simpson is, in its present form, a fifty page Power-Point presentation. It takes only a few minutes to read if you skip the charts. Some of the provisions are obscure, like ending Federal subsidies to states and tribes for abandoned mines. Some are breathtaking, like ending earmarks completely and implementing a biennial budget process. I'm not nearly qualified to evaluate all its provisions or even to accurately position it in the liberal-conservative continuum, but I am glad it's on the table, and hope that our politicians will see that their mission is greater than just fighting to take it off.

Woman Holding a Balance, Johannes Vermeer; 1664. Note that she is pregnant, that there is a painting of the Last Judgment behind her, and that while there are pearls and gold coins spread about, the balance is as yet empty. The present moment is connected to the future and filled with potential, if we evaluate it wisely. Click on the picture for a closer look.


Aaron said...

Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. Its ironic that the only thing that unifies the two parties is this reasonable proposal.

DUTA said...

In my humble opinion, USA will not be able to pay its debts and minimize Deficit whatever efforts will be made by politicians of both parties. When things deteriorate so much for so long, there's no way back to normal.

The average american citizen is not fully aware of the real situation because he sees there IS money after all, and life goes on as usual. He ignores the fact that Ben Bernnanke takes care of this by printing money 24 hours a day - money that bears no relation whatsoever to Economy.

Actually, I'm more interested in the Europe deficit than in that of the USA for the simple, egoistic reason that I have european citizenship (in addition to the israeli one).

When Greece appeared in the news with its astronomical deficit, there was a rumour spread by the Media that every person in the world holding an european passport will be asked to pay a tax for the establisment of a 'rescue'/'emergency' fund to help Greece and other south-european countries who might be in trouble. Well, I was worried, still am, as I don't believe things are improving in these places.

In the present Global era, economies and deficits of various countries and continents are interconnected , and that might lead to military conflicts in times of unsolvable economic crises. May God help us!