It’s not OK for a country as rich as the USA to run a perpetual government deficit. Of any size. Instead, we should have been building an endowment fund to relieve our children of the need to pay for government rather than saddling them with debts incurred by the most venal, lazy and incompetent among us.
Extending health insurance to everyone is exactly the wrong thing to do. The reason health care costs are out of control is because most people have health insurance that makes them price-insensitive. We need to reduce what is covered by health insurance to have any hope of controlling costs. Here’s my plan: outlaw all health insurance for expenses less than $10,000 a year and make all health care costs tax deductible. Or pick your own poison–anything that makes people pay for routine medical care out of pocket will work well enough. Nothing else will.
Trying Khalid Mohammed in the same justice system in which we tried OJ is a really bad idea. It’s not about him getting acquitted–it’s about the circus. If this weren’t a bad idea, Obama would have closed Guantanamo, as promised, already, wouldn’t he?
Nobody knows whether TARP rescues or the stimulus helped or were necessary. Obama’s predictions have nearly all proven false, most notably, the fact that unemployment is even higher wth the stimulus than he said it would be if we didn’t do The Stimulus.
Everyone is arguing based on ideology. Those saying they’re arguing on facts are immediately suspect. Maybe the patient would have died without Dr. Bernanke, maybe the market’s natural resilience kicked in despite Doctor Ben’s leeches. Maybe we averted disaster by slamming all that money to fuck-up millionaires in the private and public sectors. Maybe we deserved to have our wallets hoovered because we’re so stupid we let these guys run things. Maybe those millionaire fuck-ups averted disaster by telling us that we’d all go down with them if we didn’t go down on them. (I guess it’s kind of obvious what I believe). My point is that neither side can prove their case to the satisfaction of the other side.
Moral principles are heuristic. Following them doesn’t guarantee success. Being moral can result in disaster. Being moral is how you protect yourself against “Be careful what you want–you just might get it.”
You need moral principles to make important long-term decisions in complex situations where the final outcomes are unpredictable but not random and where you can expect side effects. Having strong morals gives you a chance to win, despite your naivete, stupidity and susceptability to every random influence and pressure.
What are the moral principles that underly the Bush/Obama bailouts? I have yet to meet anyone who can do anything but loudly mouth-breathe when confronted with that question after I basketball-reject their asinine “facts.”