Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mini-Rant: Account Overdrawn

'Account Overdrawn' is a phrase coined by controversial author Ayn Rand to denote that at a certain point irrational behavior crashes into reality which says 'enough is enough'. Some recent occurrences that I think may be indicative of 'account overdrawn'. 
  • In Wisconsin, Governor Walker blames unions for the states budget deficit and goes on a union busting spree that's clearly about gaining power for himself. The response: People of various political stripes unite in the biggest protests the US has seen in decades. Recalls are likely.
  • In Illinois, Governor Quinn uses the state's deficit as an excuse for raising the corporate tax rate (and then promptly increases spending by 10%). The response: Caterpillar in effect tells Quinn his fiscal irresponsibility is making other states more attractive and they may take their 23,000 jobs elsewhere.
  • On the Capitol, obstructionist Republicans reject Obama's budget as 'not cutting enough', while proposing their own budget that shaves just a bit more spending (while Republicans like Senator Rob Portman from Ohio defend spending for warplanes the Pentagon says it doesn't need because it creates jobs in their state). The response: In a surprise move, Tea Party Republicans break ranks and say no to the Republican's alternative budget, forcing the Republicans to cave or negotiate with Democrats. 
There's little that organized labor, Caterpillar, and Tea Party Republicans have in common. But I see a thread here: people standing up to irrational government and drawing a line in the sand. In terms of out of control spending by politicians and their unwillingness to deal with the deficit, are Americans ready to say "account overdrawn"?

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