by Susan Stamper Brown
We’ve heard a lot of pep-talks recently that it might be time to for Americans to reduce their living standards and expectations in order to accept the “New Normal” that is inevitable if Washington’s reckless spending spree on the taxpayer’s dime continues.
It’s difficult to grasp the notion that citizens are expected to go without in order to fund a government that is about to bust the seams of its financial britches. Are they not the ones who are constitutionally-bound to work for us and not the other way around? More disheartening are the progressive Democrats who, like mindless lemmings, are all too willing to follow their feckless leaders in a 90-to-nothing sprint over a cliff while screaming “It’s Bush’s fault” during the free-fall.
Blaming our financial situation solely on Bush is political suicide for Democrats. The evidence that demands a verdict came down when Standard and Poor’s recently downgraded America’s economic outlook to “negative” – because of her “very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness.” Days later, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that China’s economy will supersede America’s – by the year 2016.
This damning report will be met by some with nauseating jubilation that “America finally got hers,” or “Dude, my credit score dropped, too – how weird is that?” Just as one might carelessly throw a small stone into stilled waters only to witness the ripple effect as the point of impact multiplies exponentially, so it is with irresponsible spending. In the crass words of Vice President Joseph Biden, “This is a big f—-n’ deal.”
China’s rise to the top is not fortuitous for anyone – save China – and maybe a few Maoists who make their living marketing Mao Zedong t-shirts within the United States. One can only hope that five years would be enough time for Americans to learn how to speak Mandarin and teach their children how to convert currency from the U.S. dollar to the Chinese yuan. Successful investors have seen the handwriting on the wall for some time. Warren Buffett recently told a crowd in New Delhi that he recommended “against buying long-term fixed-dollar investments” because there may not be a dollar long-term, at least not one we would recognize.
The co-founder for the Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco), Bill Gross, warned it’s time we settle into “this new-normal type of economy in which the developing world is growing at a far faster pace than the developed world.” Settling into a “new normal” also means lowered living standards, high unemployment, stagnant corporate profit, high gas and food prices, mortgage foreclosures, excessive government intervention in the economy, disappearing equity returns – and raising the debt ceiling, so we can “afford” to pay for this new normal. We need to get back to the “old normal.”
Japan has spent 20 years proving that what President Barack Obama has done for the last two is a waste of time and money. Keynesian economics is a failed theory that left Americans holding the bag. Now we are expected to cozy-up to the “new normal,” and we should be satisfied collecting welfare checks, shopping at the $3 Walmart clearance rack, walking to save gas, and taking “staycations.” Sounds more like the time to grab two beers and slide down the emergency chute away from the madness.