Attention: Deficit Disorder

October 18th, 2009

Inspired by “Record-High Deficit May Dash Big Plans” (Washington Post 10/17/09). We do need to pay attention to the deficit, just (1) not like Republicans have been doing for the last 8 years, and (2) not like they are saying to do now.


Yes, the deficit is bad

And I know it makes you mad

But it’s $400 billion less than projected

And that should make you glad.


Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress

Is a “teenager on a spending spree with his parent’s credit card.”

He’s actually right this time,

But not in one regard.


We’re all irresponsible big spenders

(And that includes Republican voters too),

We all want something for nothing

And that’s knocked the economy askew.


It’s not just in government

That this trend is demonstrated,

But also in personal spending

Which has become highly inflated.

(That’s why, I submit,

We have such a high trade deficit.)


Our savings rate is among the developed world’s lowest

(That’s really something we’ve got to do better).

We used to be the world’s bank

And now we’re the world’s biggest debtor.


We owe foreigners $13.6 trillion

Or $44K per person.

If that keeps getting higher

Or prospects will certainly worsen.


But the credit cards we’re using

(Contrary to McConnell’s accusation),

Don’t belong to our parents

They belong to the next generation.


Our parents’ money is long gone,

And our own is spent as well.

Now we’re spending our kids’ money,

Condemning them to financial hell.


What kind of country will we leave them?

Infrastructure and the environment neglected over time,

And their futures mortgaged to the hilt:

No child left a dime.


But the idea that we stop healthcare reform

In order to save the government money

Is the completely wrong answer,

So absurd it’s almost funny.


That would be like a family

With financial hard times ahead

Deciding not to take the kids to the doctor

But go on big vacation instead.


The same’s true for climate change:

We don’t do our kids any favors

By raising them to be carbon cravers.

In the long term economic growth isn’t obtainable

If that growth isn’t sustainable.


What then should we do?

Our current recession may help (thanks George),

Forcing people to pay down debt and live frugally,

A new national economy to forge.


I’m not saying a recession’s a good thing

(For one, there’s all the suffering they bring).

Things would have been better, you know

If we’d had better policies 8 years ago.


We need to tighten our belts, but in a way that’s fair.

And though it may sound doctrinaire,

Our government needs to care

About more than tax breaks for the multi-millionaire.


Republicans, I also find it quite ironic

That you caused the sickness and now prescribe the tonic.

Bush’s deficits didn’t matter but now you object

When Dems address problems created by Republican neglect.


In ancient Rome, the rich were snooty–

They viewed paying low taxes as their civic duty.

Tax cuts and spending left the treasury bare,

And the Empire plunged into disrepair.


We all know what happened to the Roman Empire;

Hopefully the same won’t to us transpire.

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