Our Tough Love Economy

Personally, I didn’t want to retire anyway, so the prospect of tough love replacing Obamacare and entitlements reimagined as privilegements hardly fazes me.

True, 72 million baby boomers will soon be going boom simultaneously, but by then our severely pruned economic tree should be sprouting a sea of suckers, and there will be much shade to be had.

Yes, I have concerns for those ahead in the demographic anaconda – you wonder if global warming might affect the number of ice floes available to the elderly, or if the time has come for Vonnegut’s Ethical Suicide Parlors – adjacent to HoJo’s – at long last. Cost of living, sure, but let’s peg it to 1959 when they were last making a living. One thing is clear: older Americans want to do their part to stop sucking at the withered public teat.

Other social issues can easily be finessed – funding Unplanned Parenthood, for example, and extending the waiting period on abortions to nine months. Unemployment benefits just reward unemployment, so that’s a no-brainer, and union dues have a much higher likelihood of payout when placed on Powerball.

While public schools are the not the demons to me that they are to many tea party educational philosophers, if we simply adopt the English approach and call public schools private and vice-versa, problem solved – and without vouchers.

Despite my personal stake in public broadcasting, I have to say that cutting back NPR to simply R is not necessarily a bad thing. “No national, no public, just radio” does not have a bad ring to it.

I know Click will do fine on his own, and if Ira Glass can’t pull off “This Former American Life,” no one can. Garrison Keillor’s retiring anyway, so at least we’ll be spared “The Where’s Gary Home Companion.”

We’ve been the world’s greatest military power for so long now that we’ve all but forgotten the days when it began and ended with the Coast Guard. The plan to cut the military back to an expeditionary force, then, should not alarm us once we realize they’ll get in a heck of a lot less trouble that way.

“Pawn Stars” has always been open to military hardware, and a lot of us secretly long to see Chumlee Russell in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. God knows the Libyans can use the uniforms. If the world still needs a policeman, let the Canadians give it a go – they’d be a lot nicer during routine stops, anyway.

The only downside I see in cuts to the bone, besides hitting the occasional artery, are the shock waves to the economy coming from yanking out petroleum and gas subsidies. The $11 billion Exxon first quarter profit, for example, can hardly be called incentive. For $11 billion, I don’t do any more than I have to, but sweeten the pot two or three times and the trickle down will soon be a deluge that will raise all ships. And isn’t that what this is really all about?

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