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THE BUZZ: THIS WEEK'S HOT STORY

We can go back to ignoring the real crisis now

Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 12:01 am

So, the government shutdown that really wasn’t a shutdown has ended, and the “default on debts” that really wouldn’t have been a default has been headed off. Life can return to normal.

Well, not exactly. The “compromise” bill that originated in the Senate will just fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt ceiling only through Feb. 17. The two sides will resume their game of chicken until then, when another hasty settlement will put the emergency off a few more months.

During the course of the stare-down, a lot of effort was expended by some Democrats – and more than a few Republicans – to discredit and demoralize Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other members of the tea party faction of the GOP, the only group in the country that seems serious about cutting back the size and scope of the federal government.

The result is that while we relax over the end of one phony crisis and prepare for the next phony crisis, we can go back to ignoring the real crisis, which is the fact that the federal government borrows 40 cents of every $1 it spends. That’s why the national debt is at $17 trillion and will continue to grow by at least $1 trillion every year. That’s why we have unfunded liabilities of anywhere from $60 trillion to more than $100 trillion, depending on the estimate used.

And Americans are becoming so dependent on government payments that it’s hard to tell where any pressure might come from to slow down the horrendous growth of government. Anybody out there who was worried about the effects on the economy of a debt default – just what do you think will happen when the entire economy collapses under the weight of obligations the government can no longer meet?