With summer upon us I find that I am not devoting much time to writing on this blog, it could be that not much in the news catches my attention, or just that I would rather spend my time outside. I think it is a safe bet to go with the latter.
However, while watching the late evening news last night something did catch my eye and get me to thinking. To be honest I don’t even remember what the actual issue was, however the train of thought it put me on is important.
Lately I have noticed that more than ever both in Canada and the United States that politicians as a group are focused on a myriad of issues, yet ignore the single biggest threat to the future of both our countries. The threat?
The massive crushing debt that has been taken on by all levels of government.
While there is some ‘lip service” paid to addressing the debt, little if any serious action is undertaken to tackle it. I mean really, for example neither federal government has any form of repayment planned. Each year simply slips by and the debt grows, and a myriad of excuses are given, poor economy, unexpected expenses, lower revenues, etc, etc, etc. We all know the drill
Now, part of the problem is that the average citizen is oblivious to all of this, for the vast majority they are aware to some degree that there is government debt, but simply don’t see it as something that affects their life or that they need to be concerned about. There lies the sad part and the reason that there is no urgency to tackle the problem. Unfortunately politicians, better than anyone understand the adage of “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. So if no one is complaining, why tackle the issue, after all there are only two possible ways to solve the problem, cut spending or raise more revenue (taxes). Obviously neither method garners a lots of support from the average voter who is looking to the government for all the entitlement programs they have come to view as their birthright. The sad reality of our self entitled society is that spending garners votes, not austerity. I personally believe that politicians understand the severity of the issue better than many of us give them credit for, they also understand that no one government in a single term will resolve the issue, and that more than likely the government that has the fortitude to tackle the issue will only serve one term. So their response is simple, leave it for “the next guy”, and in the meantime divert the peoples focus from the real problem by throwing them shiny baubles and trinkets.
So where will all of this lead, the answer is already playing out in Europe, in countries such as Greece and Spain. Unfortunately it is only a matter of time before North America suffers the same fate.