Economy & Business

Why Aren’t Americans Protesting in the Streets?

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) takes questions as he speaks to reporters following the weekly Senate Democratic policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., September 14, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
No one seems to care that Democrats are walking us into a fiscal catastrophe.

Here’s a question for any American who is capable of thinking past next week: Why, in the ever-loving hell, are you not out in the streets, protesting peacefully against what the Democrats in Washington are trying to do to the federal budget?

Seriously, what is wrong with you? Why aren’t you calling for town halls? Why aren’t you forming committees? Why aren’t you calling Congress and demanding that it stop? Judging by its current behavior, the federal government has decided to completely give up on reality. But you haven’t, right?

Right?

What the Democrats are trying right now would be nothing short of a catastrophe. The president’s approval rating is around 43 percent — and dropping. His party holds a 50–50 Senate, it has a cushion of just three seats in the House of Representatives, and it enjoys no obvious mandate beyond “not being Donald Trump.” We are not in the middle of a recession, or a crisis, or a war. And, in the last 18 months alone, we have spent an extra $6 trillion on top of an already-bloated budget — a sum that, when adjusted for inflation, comes to more than one-and-a-half times what we spent on World War II.

Yet the Democrats think that this is the moment for a spending spree?

Are they loopy?

Are you?

The harsh truth is that we have no money left. We’ve spent it all. It’s gone. This year, if we do nothing at all except honor our existing commitments, we are going to spend $3.1 trillion that we don’t have. Next year — again, if we do nothing at all beyond what we’re already committed to — we are going to spend another $1.1 trillion that we don’t have. The year after that, we are going to spend another $1.1 trillion; the year after that, another $1.1 trillion; and so on and so forth, until, eventually, we collapse under the weight of our own contradictions. That, as it stands right now, is our plan: To add to the $235,000 of debt our government now owes for each American household by borrowing another $25,000 per household next year, and then $9,000 per household every subsequent year until the sun explodes.

And the Democrats want to make it worse?

Bernie Sanders said yesterday that now is the time to “pass the most consequential economic legislation since the New Deal.” Really? Now? When we can’t even keep up with what we’ve already promised to spend? When Social Security and Medicare are running out of money, and we’ve done absolutely nothing to fix them? When, in the last two years alone, we have spent twice as much fighting COVID as we spent on the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, and combating the effects of the Great Recession combined? When inflation is as bad as it’s been in decades? In what possible universe could now be the time?

The United States is drunk. It is high on hallucinogens. It is sniffing glue until its hair stands on end. It is behaving like a man who, faced with filing for bankruptcy, instead heads straight out to Las Vegas. And it’s getting worse, rather than better. Ten years ago, our two political parties were at least willing to acknowledge that we had a spending problem. Now, they talk as if it’s 1998. But it’s not 1998; it’s 2021, and it’s time, I’m afraid, for some pain. There can be no more tax cuts that are supposed to magically pay for themselves. There can be no more spending binges that are justified with vague talk about what’s “fair.” There can be nothing but sobriety, and sobriety tends to require an intervention.

So, I’ll ask again: Where is that intervention? Where are the levelheaded types who can see more than a week into the future? Where are the parents looking out for their children? Where are the people who, unlike our government, remain capable of elementary arithmetic? Do they have something better to do? To read the accounts of the current infighting among congressional Democrats is to suspect that many within the party know deep down that the plan they are being asked to support is preposterous in the extreme. Where are the people helping them to see sense? Have they all just given up, too?

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