By: Robert Waxman | Thu, Dec 30, 2010
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Two guys walk into a bar. One guy says to the bartender 'get me and my buddy a shot of whiskey'. The bartender complies. Then the other guy says to the bartender 'get me and my buddy a beer'. The bartender complies. The two guys get to talking over their beers, and one guy says to the other 'I don't have any money to buy those shots'. Then the other guy says 'I don't have any money to buy these beers'! When the bartender overhears this news he tells the two guys that this development is potentially catastrophic. The two guys agree with him that this could be catastrophic and so they agree to a plan to compromise in which neither of them will pay...

I heard our president proclaim on TV that the compromise between the democrats and republicans was "the best thing we could do for the American people". Was it? My first reaction to the announcement of a "compromise" 'oh no, bonds are toast!' And as sure as night follows day bonds got skewered for the next two days (for those who don't know that means interest rates shot upward).

Nothing could be worse for the American people than that! Rising interest rates on the current pile of debt will bankrupt the (already bankrupt) country in short order. Rising interest rates will bring into light the inability of the almighty Federal Reserve (which is neither federal nor has any reserve) to fix the economy. Rising interest rates is already collapsing mortgage demand faster that a microwave oven melts ice which makes the prospects for the real estate market look abysmal at best.

I looked up the definition of the word "compromise" and found this:

  1. A settlement of differences by mutual concession; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc. by reciprocal modification of demands.
  2. An endangering esp. of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc; expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal, etc; jeopardize. (JEOPARDIZE?)
  3. to make a dishonorable or shameful concession.

It seems that "compromise" has its drawbacks. Who among us would board a compromised airplane? Boat? Automobile? Who among us would cross a compromised bridge? The answer to these questions must be nobody unless our fearless leaders tell us it is "the best we can do". And if it is the best we can do then WHOA!

I guess that the President and congress' decision to "compromise" by extending unemployment checks and tax cuts without any way of paying is like a story I know. "two guys walk into a bar...

Seriously, though, how many understand that not only is the country fiscally bankrupt but that it is most certainly morally bankrupt if it is willing to saddle future generations with no chance for success so that it can enjoy the standard of living it has achieved regardless of whether or not it deserves or can afford it. Americans sent an overwhelming majority of republicans to congress ostensibly to stop the madness of multi trillion dollar deficits, and just like those before them they abdicated their responsibility to uphold the beliefs of those they represent. This country faces a choice of living within its means or perishing, and it seems that moral hazard is now ingrained in society so much so that the choice has been made.



Author: Robert Waxman

Robert Waxman

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