The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

The Budget Vacuum

09/20/2018

Economics is about the allocation of limited resources to satisfy unlimited needs.

There are about 35 thousand gun deaths each year in the U.S.  Another 45 thousand die of strokes, and about 35 thousand die from opioid abuse.  That is every year!  Only a cumulative of 120 people have died from terrorism attacks in the U.S. since 2012.  Yet, where do we spend the money go?  We have easily spent $3 TRILLION on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not counting TSA and related costs inside the U.S.

There was never one affirmative decision to allocate so many resources to fighting terrorism,  It was an allocation that was forced on us.  In your family, you have savings set aside when unwanted allocations are forced on you.  As a country, we have a $21 TRILLION debt, instead of savings.  Was all of that forced on us by others?  No, the vast majority of that debt was forced on us by politicians pandering for votes.  That is THE fundamental flaw of democracy!

Just like gerrymandering or redistricting, some decisions are too important to allow our elected leaders to decide.

We have argued the problem with the European Union is that it is a weak political union, a weaker economic union and no fiscal union.  Remember 2010?  We argued then that the EU needed a budgetary commission for fiscal discipline.  Maybe, we should take our own advice?

Theoretically, our House of Representatives has that function but not really.  Taxes are determined separately from spending.  We have no budgetary commission and desperately need one!  Of course, the power of the budget is great power indeed.  How do you get either Republicans or Democrats to give up some of their taxing or spending powers?  Their love of power prevents us from having what we need.

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