February 15, 2011

The Screwtape Budget and the "In Ten Years" Deficit Solution


We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now.... THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS

"Ten years," as a friend reminded me about the asinine predictions of Paul Ehrlich, "is the ideal time frame for prognostication and problem solving. It's not so far away that people just ignore it, nor is it close enough that it gives people any expectations that can be held against the person who sets the time table. "

Even dullards must have noticed the dreaded "ten year" solution label that's been slapped onto Obama's Deficit "Be Cool I Got This" Budget. Yes, in only ten years this will all work out.... you fools.

Now in ten years Obama will either be out collecting big checks for blathering to the bozos in Davos, or we will be just about into his fourth term should any little Constitutional Accident happen. ("Nice little country you got here. Wouldn't want to see anything bad happen to it.")

Ten. (10). Years.

I'd suggest we don't have ten months to bring the deficit under control and, what's more, we're not going to make that deadline either. Nothing less than the certainty that they will hanged in the 2012 election is going to focus the minds of our "elected" representatives. They know this and hence want to distract us and derail the discussion by slapping on the Ten Years qualifier.

Slapping the Ten Years tag on anything has an added benefit for those who would always want to see humanity operate at its worst. It keeps everyone yammering about "the Future" on the one hand, and takes their focus off the present on the other.

One of the books I am currently re-reading is C.S. Lewis' THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS. For those that haven't read this classic, it is a collection of letters from a senior and experienced satanic demon, Screwtape, to a junior and struggling satanic demon, Wormwood, on how best to snare and keep ensnared the souls of men; how to hold them in thrall until such souls can be harvested into Hell for all eternity.

As I was escaping from the unremitting BS flow that oozes out of the government when it comes to BS budgets yesterday, I found myself reading this passage from Chapter XV of The Screwtape Letters:

We sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. It is far better to make [humans] live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of timeā€”for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays. Hence the encouragement we have given to all those schemes of thought such as Creative Evolution, Scientific Humanism, or Communism, which fix men's affections on the Future, on the very core of temporality. Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.

That seems to me to express, in a continuously useful manner, the nature of the constant shell game being played by Washington.

Or, as Lewis Carroll, put it,

"The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday - but never jam to-day."

"It MUST come sometimes to "jam to-day,"" Alice objected.

"No, it can't," said the Queen. "It's jam every OTHER day: to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know."

The Ten-Year-In-the-Future-Jam-Tomorrow gambit is not only used by the Obama administration when pumping more slop from their endless fountain of froth, but by others of all parties that play the DC game. And it is used for one end and one end only: to keep the Heroin of tax money flowing into their scarred and suppurating veins.

There's no real secret to the present stark reality of why the deficit is soaring. It's there for the junkies and as any honest junky will tell you, there's really no weaning off the junk. "Once the needle goes in, it never comes out." It's cold turkey right now, or it isn't going to happen in any kind of permanent way.

Ten years will come and ten years will go and the tax junkies will still be cycling through rehab swearing that this time, "This time!," they'll get clean. "Real soon now." "Tomorrow." "In the very near future." "Just gimme ten years."

Screwtape just loves this kind of talk. It's sheer grease on the downward skids to hell.

*** 2011 to 2021 when all our problems will be solved. Chart from Sense of Events: The Un-Serious President

Posted by Vanderleun at February 15, 2011 1:24 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

"I'd suggest we don't have ten months to bring the deficit under control and, what's more, we're not going to make that deadline either."

I think you're absolutely correct. But nothing I've come up with, apart from nuking Washington D.C., appears likely to bring about a balanced budget within the next year.

My friend Martin McPhillips, in describing the elections of November 2008, said that "America took a round in the chest." Can the new Republican caucus in the House do anything even to slow the arterial bleeding? We shall see.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at February 15, 2011 2:02 PM

Add to your dissertation the gumball analogy of Roy Beck and life becomes a gas:


Posted by: Frank P at February 15, 2011 6:28 PM

Even the Soviets didn't feel the need to spin beyond five year plans.

Posted by: james wilson at February 15, 2011 8:02 PM

I've noticed the "Ten Year" number myself, mostly in solar energy predictions.

By now a half-dollar sized solar cell on a cloudy day should be able to produce enough electricity to light up Las Vegas.

I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at February 15, 2011 10:01 PM

I don't think there are enough idiots on earth to keep lending us money for the next two years, let alone ten. But maybe there is, there were enough to elect Obahma, Pelosi and Reed.

Posted by: m at February 16, 2011 6:52 AM

In other words, Obama's delusional forecast is a gift to hope fiends and change chumps.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at February 16, 2011 8:53 AM

There's an additional insidious element of genuine looting that has been added to the budget mix.

Remember that with Obama's election and the total dominance of government by Democrats, the "aggrieved" communities are heavily over-represented in the bureaucracies and the White House. These folks believe that the now marginalized majority owes them big time for past "transgressions," and intends to get as much as it can out of America's hide. It's not so much a "redistributionist" policy as it is a "Retributionist" one.

Ponder the breathtaking insolence of a president who, despite all the fiscal evidence and election results, presents a 2012 budget that is larger than the original projection for 2012 he made last year. Larger. This is the pattern of sabotage and resistance to the popular will that the Left has practiced for generations, but never to this spectacular and blatant a level.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at February 16, 2011 9:15 AM

Gerard, thank you for the link as always. I should point out that I first published the graph right after the SOTU speech, so it reflects what Obama said in the speech, not what he submitted in the budget this week.

Now that it makes a lot of difference... .

Posted by: Donald Sensing at February 16, 2011 10:12 AM


Posted by: Dennis at February 16, 2011 12:09 PM

Perfection, whether economic or natural is always just a pipe dream, I mean, a ten-year plan away.

Don Rodrigo, I recall thinking the same thing immediately after September 11th, 2001, when Congress was supposed to get serious. I thought they used it as an opportunity to loot the national treasury.

Posted by: Jewel at February 16, 2011 12:32 PM

I agree with Dennis on the need for prayer. We must also remember that the Lord helps those who help themselves,hopefully not those who help themselves to the fruits of someone else's labor.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 16, 2011 12:43 PM