No doubt you’ve heard the news that Henry Paulson wants to tighten standards on banks now that the country is falling apart. Sit back, ‘cuz I got a heck of a story for you:
While I am completely sympathetic to how much people hate our current President and his disastrously arrogant administration, it infuriates me to hear people claim Bush brought about this recession. We’ve been in a recession since Nixon, we just didn’t know it yet. The worst is how people believe that Clinton balanced the budget, and that Bush subsequently ruined it. How slick is Willy. I think I need to explain exactly why this is an outright urban legend.
The whole charade depends on the semantics of accounting. We actually have two different debts that add up to become the National Debt. They are Public Debt and Intergovermental Debt. The first is what the people owe, the second is what the government owes itself (that the people will repay). The government owes itself? Right, the government, much like our brains, is actually several semi-independent entities that interact to govern, and therefore can take loans from each other as if they were separate.
What Clinton did was borrow from the government (Intergovernmental Debt) to pay off Public Debt. If you check the U.S. Treasury records, National Debt continued to increase throughout the Clinton administration, albeit slower than the previous presidencies. How in the world can increasing National Debt be considered a budget surplus? …
Having read The Way to Win last night, a refreshingly apartisan account of the political strategies of the two “geniuses” of our time, Clinton and Rove, I was pleased that the authors summarized the nature of modern politics so succinctly with the phrase “Freak Show.” Their contention is that we’ve evolved the campaign from mudslinging to an outright technological media arms race. One by one, the failings of Gore and Kerry’s strategies to defeat a foe that seemed less articulate, less capable, less experienced, and less ambitious than them are expounded.
The brilliance of Rove’s polls-be-damned approach, or Clinton’s muddling of party loyalties, how they succeed despite our preconceptions of how a political campaign should work, how what we think is a right-wing media contra was actually an old guard manipulated by Bush’s neo-conservative movement, it all makes for an engaging read. Whether it’s Clinton or Rove you consider a malevolent architect of corrupt administrations, or both of them in my case, you can’t help but appreciate the the wealth of knowledge and understanding embodied in these two forces of 2400 Penn.
In the end, nothing is new about Freak Show politics, only its migration from a blunt tact to subversive science. For us, the chess pieces caught in the whirl of Washington’s gambits, the stark, existential playground of this independent one-man game Limbo feels so familiar. Watch the teaser, its abject desolation, its blacks and whites and greys, its determined abstractions, is rife with hope. Come the next election, perhaps a candidate will rise from the dark and seize on that hope. Until then, the throngs grow more disenchanted, and I expect voter turnout to drown in the wasteland.