Cirque du Washington about the government budget of the mighty United States of America, from sea to shining sea and beyond, can be at its most skilled political gymnastics, but the citizens are not getting their money’s worth. The political class in the nation’s capital led by Mr. Ice Man, President Barack Obama, in an age of melting glaciers as if to cool them down, likes to buy MIGs in Afghanistan rather than get into a dog fight with them these days, not that they should.
Foreign and military policies are being bungled to save the bureaucracies at the CIA and the Pentagon, enabling those humbled by the fall of the Berlin Wall to hang America using its own noose and sell it something in return. To this wound of incompetence in the name of global kumbaya of a prematurely Nobel-winning president is being added the real peril of an economic crisis because of all the borrowing to buy Saudi oil, Russian military goods and Chinese everything else, as if letting others avenge the financial dalliances of America’s Masters of the Universe could be a way of earning goodwill by letting the ghosts of hurts of the past rest in peace to unite the world, not because of a humble America but because of a humbled America. All because America can afford it, having lost its mojo to lead for the better without it being at its expense.
Nobels come with a certificate of citation, a cash prize and a gold medal. The certificate and the cash are in paper but the gold is of real value, and increasingly so as the fiat paper is piling up like ticker tape on the Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan after the Fed’s helicopter Ben is dropping it like the God’s Great Flood, just as he expected to do so coming into the Fed in 2003 as if he was God, from a helicopter ― Russian or American the denizens of Manhattan neither know nor care to know. There is no Noah yet to save the species on the American Titanic, as its gulfs leak oil into the pristine waters only for oil prices to rise more and more. The planet is caught in the Fed’s liquidity trap.
The privileged geniuses on Wall Street, so full of themselves having stuffed their pockets with paper to print which the government must borrow, have forgotten what real means, having taken it for granted. Modernity has peaked in Ayn Rand’s Manhattan, completely inverting the hierarchy of the true and the superficial. Therefore, Atlas shrugging may not matter when the fountain head of integrity has dried up, gaudily displaying the yang of the human condition.
The United States of John Galt still has plenty of gold sitting in Fort Knox, Kentucky, becoming the subject of James Bond movies rather than being of real value. And it has tons of minerals and barrels of crude oil and millions of cubic feet natural gas under its lands. Besides, of course, plenty of land. The government even has a website to sell government property routinely. Yet, the nation’s leaders are debating an imminent bankruptcy as if the United States is the United Kingdom.
There can indeed be a perfect analogy drawn between households which cannot print money and the federal government which can, if the government decides not to indulge in blasphemy with the Gutenberg’s printing press at the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Bankruptcy would then be similar for both. The creditors will divvy up the physical assets to account for the unpayable debts.
The U.S Treasury keeps its books like a household keeps its checkbook. Real assets and encumbrances on them are not accounted for except in divorce or bankruptcy or both (the prenuptial of the Constitution no longer matters these days). Then why not bring the time varying value of the physical assets onto the budget of the United States? America is so wealthy if only it knows how to count and account for its real wealth, besides, of course, the intangible of its people and its political organization.
The national debt, really, is zero. The real story is a foreign economic policy that has gone awfully awry and a political class that has lost sight of what the country really is and is about. America has lost its way in the “dreary desert sands of dead habit.”
I’ll fly with you, if only that you is Maverick.