The headline is a reference to a Friday Wall Street Journal article — you know, that totes liberal rag — that spells out the problem with America: Americans.
Writer Sara Murray doesn’t come right out and say that Americans are stupid, lazy hypocrites but, hey, we read between the lines and are doing it for her. Americans are stupid, lazy hypocrites. (They’re also fat but that’s another story for another day).
We’ve all heard lately that the deficit is booming, there’s too much government spending, Social Security’s fucked, etc. All of those things are true, of course. Why? Well, the deficit is booming because someone has to kick start the economy and tax cuts for rich people aren’t going to do it. And yes, just in case you’re wondering, the stimulus worked. Certainly not the way the administration thought it would and not as well as it could have, either — because the administration made the mistake of thinking that Americans are rational, thoughtful people — but it did. Just not well enough.
So enough of the background. Here’s what we mean when we say Americans are the problem:
Efforts to tame America’s ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality: Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history.
At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown — to an estimated 45% in 2010, from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.
Yet even as Americans express concern over the deficit in opinion polls, many oppose benefit cuts, particularly with the economy on an uneven footing. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted late last month found 61% of voters were “enthusiastic” or “comfortable” with congressional candidates who support cutting federal spending in general. But 56% expressed the same enthusiasm for candidates who voted to extend unemployment benefits.
Of course they do! Because they don’t understand how money and business and spending and government works. And guess what? It’s actually not that difficult. Here’s how the government entitlement part goes: If you want Medicare (and judging by how many people want the government to keep their filthy hands off Medicare, you do), you have to pay for it. The way you pay for it is by taxes!
Also: If you want Social Security, you have to pay for it — as a payroll tax! See, that’s how entitlement programs work. They have to be paid for somehow. Social security isn’t a handout; you pay into it with every paycheck (assuming your employer isn’t a total scumbag). The problem with Social Security isn’t that it’s welfare (it isn’t). The problem is that when it was enacted the population was about 130,000,000, lived until they were about 65 or died in World War II. Now the population is about 300,000,000 and everyone is really fucking old.
We’re not suggesting that there’s not waste in government. Any system that would employ Charlie Rangel for 40 years has serious problems. We’re just saying that if you want spending limited, you may have to take a cut in something you enjoy. We’re perfectly prepared to eat baloney for a couple months. Is the rest of America? Well, they’re already eating baloney and it’s making them fat. But we’re talking about eating baloney from a symbolic and from a monetary point of view, you know, baloney being cheap…
Oh, fuck it. Long story short: Americans are stupid.