Monday, 1 August 2011

08:31 – News reports say there is a budget deal, pending approval by both houses of Congress. Unfortunately, it seems that those in Congress who supposedly favored fiscal responsibility have folded, settling for a deal that includes a huge boost in the debt limit in return for no real spending cuts. The lunatic left, led by Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, have gotten nearly everything they wanted, most particularly putting off a real accounting until after the 2012 elections. Those of us who favor fiscal responsibility have gotten almost nothing. Make no mistake: this so-called deal is no deal at all for those of us opposed to big government and irresponsible spending.

The discussions center around cutting about $2.5 trillion in deficit spending over ten years, or roughly $250 billion per year. The problem is, we currently deficit-spend about that much every couple of months. In other words, each month, every month, we spend $125 billion to $150 billion that we don’t have. Looking at it that way, it should be obvious to anyone that $2.5 trillion over ten years is a drop in the bucket. Even if all those so-called cuts are actually implemented, which there is nearly zero likelihood they will be, we might see the increase in our deficit over the next ten years change from, say, $25 trillion to $22.5 trillion. So, ten years from now, we might have, in 2011 dollars, only a $37.5 trillion debt rather than a $40 trillion debt.

Of course, that’s not really going to happen. There’s not enough money on the planet to fund US deficits and debt at those levels. The inevitable result is that we’re going to come up against hard financial realities. As Thatcher warned, we’re going to run out of other people’s money. There are three ways out of such a problem. We can grow out of it. We can inflate out of it. Or we can default. We’re not going to grow out of it, which leaves inflation or default as the only real alternatives. Either of those is a disastrous solution, but most rational economists would probably agree that default is the lesser of the two evils.


Work on the biology book continues.


13:36 – Geez. Now I understand why Barbara uses her MP3 player in her car. Radio stations have become unlistenable. Back in the days when I spent a normal amount of time driving, I used to listen to WFDD, which is our local university public radio station. They played lots of classical, baroque and other music that wasn’t played on commercial stations. Now they’re all talk, talk, talk. And radical left talk at that. WKRR, formerly known as Rock 92, and which I now call CRAP 92, used to advertise 58 minutes of music per hour. Boy, has all that changed.

A friend is out of town on a long weekend, and asked me to pick up his mail and paper. It’s about a five minute drive to his house. So I turned on CRAP 92 as I backed out of the garage. There was a constant stream of commercials, including one for female facial hair removal, that lasted until about 30 seconds before I got to his house, when they started playing a rock track from the 70’s. I picked up his mail and paper and put them in the house. I couldn’t have spent more than five or six minutes in there. When I returned to my truck, CRAP 92 was again running commercials, which it continued to do for the five minutes or so it took me to drive home. Geez. And the real bitch is that when they’re not running commercials that doesn’t mean they’re running music. They have two morons named Chris, who sound like their combined IQs would have trouble breaking 100. They yuck it up for minutes on end, wasting time that could have been used for playing music. I conclude that anyone who listens to CRAP 92 regularly must also be a moron.

I don’t understand why commercial radio stations still have any spectrum. Both the AM and FM bands are some pretty useful bands, and they’d be a lot more useful put to purposes other than wall-to-wall commercials and morons blathering on. The government should reclaim this bandwidth, along with the bandwidth allocated to OTA television, and put it to better use. If it were me, I’d simply make it illegal to run any kind of commercial or otherwise paid-for material on the public airwaves. That’d kill commercial radio and TV stations quickly, and we could then use that wasted spectrum otherwise.