Funny Money

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

Obama recently promised $250 to seniors (who got no cost-of-living increases in Social Security because there had not been sufficient official inflationary pressures to merit them), and a good-paying job to every American who needs one. Apparently, the president did not say that in this period of $1.6 trillion dollar deficits and $12 trillion paper-printing national debts, he is going to borrow several more billions of dollars from the Chinese to spread around as the proper duty of the great benefactor in Roman bread-and-circuses fashion.

This madness, of course, of dressing up borrowing as “stimulus” will come to an end when the debts pile up and creditors begin to sniff that just maybe, in the style of Germany in the 1920s, we may be inflating our currency to prepare to pay off debts at a discount, and therefore they will want not 3 percent, but as in the days of Jimmy Carter, 10,12, or 15 percent to subsidize American entitlements not accorded to their own far poorer Chinese citizens. The servicing of the debt is going to be so large and take such a percentage of the annual budget that these same present beneficiaries will soon have to help to pay it all back with interest, given there are not enough greedy rich geese left to pluck.

Here in California, when the tab for past insanity came due, we didn’t call 10% across the board pay cuts “cuts” at all, but merely “furloughs” (that way a state professor can still brag that he really “makes” $100,000 when in fact he is told to take sufficient days off to ensure that he earns only $90,000). Presently Nevada is running ads inviting more Californians to flee to its non–tax sanctuary, while officially we are told either that 250,000 are not fleeing a year, or that they are not mostly the well off and educated — even as we damn Nevada for its below-the-belt ads.

If the President wants to give everyone a job and seniors cash, then he will probably soon impose a national sales tax so that in merry-go-round fashion we can pay a lot more for what we buy to get a little more in government checks — with thousands of new job holders taking the necessary cut for the expense and bureaucracy of administering the “redistributive” process.

©2009 Victor Davis Hanson

Share This