Payment Due

What a wonderful world it would be if we could spend all the money we had, plus buckets more that we didn’t have, and when we awoke from gorging ourselves on all the stuff we don’t really need yet somehow desperately wanted (for reasons we can’t quite elucidate) a magical Czar of Responsibility declared that all was forgiven. How glorious indeed to buy truckloads of munitions and planeloads of young men and women to use them, even if, you know, more than a few of the lads and lasses get killed in the process. Because –and this is the great part — no one has to pay!

And anyway, why should anyone be stuck with such a huge bill? When the future of the Free World is on the line, one can’t be bothered with mundane concerns like cost and consequence. You’ve just got to do what you do. It will all get sorted out in the end, or when the Rapture occurs, whichever comes first.

Many of my dear fellow citizens who re-installed the current administration in the White House after its first four years of bungling are some of the same folks who will proudly vote on November 4th for a McCain-Palin ticket, certain that the core “values” they share are the answer to all of America’s problems. Never mind that those values were allegedly held by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their “limited government” cronies. Never mind that by almost any measure except oil company profits the Bush Presidency has beeWhere Money Comes Fromn an unmitigated failure, strapping future generations with crushing debt and a loss of credibility and respect in the global community. We’ve got to win, no matter the cost, and no matter that hardly anyone can accurately describe what winning would look like. We must go on, even when we can’t.

Of course, it’s not so fun to mess around with the national treasury or another republic’s political life when you’re out of money and out of friends. The next ten years, regardless of who is the President, will be brutally difficult ones for the United States of America because, unlike the utopia we prefer to imagine, the real word demands that bills be paid, that money spent be earned, not written off.

We spent a jillion dollars in Iraq. We allowed investors — individual and institutional alike — to run amok. We spent as though we were Vegas high-rollers who never see a bill, only the champagne and the suites.

And now payment has come due. Sorry, America. You bought a lot of worthless crap. Now you have to pay the bill.

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