Robert Heinlein was a bit off. The 1960s did indeed see some “Crazy Years” but the real craziness has not hit until now. Victor Davis Hanson explains:
Washington is more confusing. Bill Clinton balanced his last budgets but raised taxes. George Bush increased deficits but cut taxes. But now taxes, spending and deficits soar all at once. We are lectured that prior reckless federal spending and borrowing got us into this mess — but now are told that even more federal spending and borrowing will get us out of it.
We’ve seen housing sales slump when home prices were high but interest rates low. Or when prices were low but interest high. Or when prices and interest were alike high. But we never have seen a bad housing market in which both home prices and mortgage interest rates were low.
Nonsense is passed off as wisdom. Those who caused the financial meltdown walked away with millions in bonuses while taxpayers covered the debts they ran up. The big-spending government claims it may cut our annual $1.7 trillion deficit in half by 2012 – but only after piling up trillions more in national debt.
In our Orwellian world, borrowing to spend what we don’t have has been renamed “stimulus.” Those who pay no federal income taxes – almost half of Americans – can somehow be promised an income tax “cut.” In the new borrowing of trillions of dollars here and trillions there, billions of dollars now sounds like pocket change.
When Americans turn to their political parties for answers, they are even more confused. Populist Democrats such as Sen. Chris Dodd and President Barack Obama took more AIG campaign cash than did pro-business Republicans.
As always, Hanson is a must read. I fear he is correct. It is crazy – much as Heinlein predicted. But in many ways it is worse than he foresaw. And it appears to be accelerating.