Thursday, March 16, 2006

Whenever I Am Sad About Student Loans, I Just Think About the National Debt.

So, Bush wants to raise the threshold for the National Debt again. For the fourth time in his tenure. Does no one see this as a problem?

Debt can be great. When you have debt, you can pay it back, and establish credit. Great. when you're talking NINE F-ING TRILLION DOLLARS, you might have a problem on your hands.

This is why I love when Republicans get all "conservative spending!" about what they do. They love love love you to think they are all about Small Government and Conservative Spending and Fuck the Welfare Babies and Nix the Department of Education. But here are some snickety-snacks for thought:

Exhibit A: A war based on 70% bullshit, 5% He Tried To Kill My Daddy, and 25% xenophobia and Fear of the Darkies v3.6783(turban edition) that nonetheless has a cumulative price tag of over $247,862,400,000, two thousand plus American casualties and between 33 and 37 thousand Iraqi casualties. Obviously, it's good that Saddam "Nutball" Hussein is out of power, and no one will argue - except maybe the dingbats who think a productive protest is one where you lay down in the middle of roads and public spaces and obstruct everyone else's LIFE except actual policy makers - that everyone wins in that situation. My only concern is that, you know...the Middle East will explode.

Exhibit B: No Child Left Behind. Except the ones who want GEDs, music and art classes, extra curricular activities, classes not taught to a test, financial aid for college, go to a school where most of the other students could care less and drag them down with them, or who go to schools that don't improve as fast as people whose schools are populated by kids with supportive and involved parents want them to. Why are we spending so much money on something that's a joke instead of taking the time to reassess and identify the actual problems?

Exhibit C: Spending Trends. Democrats since 1938 - 35 years in the White House, average annual increase of 8.7%. Republicans since 1938 - 35 years in the WH, average annual increase of 9.3%. Fine. Now try from Truman on (1945 or so). Democrats only raise the debt 3.7%, and the Republicans stay put at 9.3%.

Exhibit D: NeoCons. Reagan starts the increase, which keeps rolling until Clinton comes, reins in spending, and brings the increase down to almost nothing. Clinton's increases = 4.3%/year. Reagan, Bush, Bush = 10.8%/year. Reagan wins the award for highest increase though, for an average of 13.8% per year. Clinton basically had one year less than he needed to get a decrease rolling...if he had continued in the vein he started in, his ninth year would have seen a small decrease.

The national debt is currently increasing by about 600 BILLION dollars a year.

What I don't get is why presidents wouldn't see this as an issue. This is beyond "good debt," even good debt magnified as it must be to fit a country instead of an individual. Put together a budget, and stick with it. It's not easy, but it's a hell of a lot better than just cutting shit willy-nilly so you can put the money into other shit you DON'T NEED. And I say this being all for reasonable defense spending, which everyone pisses and moans about these days. Look. You can't send people to war, then leave them out there peeing into the wind. It's ugly out there, and you need to protect the people you sent to fight your war, no matter how stupid or smart it was. Spend the money on research, development, and production. Do it. Make the best weapons you can. But have a goal. Have a goal of designing defense weapons that will reduce the number of casualties and required troops. And while you're at it, show some fucking respect to those troops by actually TRYING the diplomatic channels first. And if you suck at diplomacy, find someone to help you who doesn't.



I had my first sushi class yesterday and it was awesome. I shall make sushi for anyone who is interested. I made ebi (shrimpies), california rolls (roe, shrimp NOT Artificial Crab Product, lettuce, avocado, cucumber) and avocado sushi (...), as well as little cucumber garnishes which were super cute. Really fun, not as hard as I would have expected, and really yummy! I took pictures so if you want to see them email me and let me know.

Party at my place on Saturday...BIRTHDAY at my place on Sunday! Josie is 23 woooooooo!

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