Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bleeding Washington to Save Him

I haven't really said anything about the debt deal since I feel like anything I could add has already been covered by people smarter then I, or people with more time then I, but there's been a thought kicking around my head for the past couple of days about the logic of shrinking our way to growth. It involves the most well known Founding Father, George Washington, in his dying days. The treatment of his aliment in his final hours reminds me very much of our plight today.

Washington retired from public life following the end of his second term as President. Shortly after on December 12th 1799, Washington took a long ride on his property, got soaked, and promptly fell extremely ill. Once ill, he got the best medical care doctors thought he could receive. Doctors, using the best practices available to them, bled Washington of nearly half of his blood in order to get the bad stuff out of him. If they had known that bleeding him would hasten his departure, they would have changed course and treated him differently. They didn't know any better, and George Washington died December 14th, 1799.

What if today we has the same doctors that George Washington had. He'd bleed us just like he bled Washington. If this were 1799 that would be alright, but our medical knowledge has vastly expanded. If he had our doctors, we'd probably give him a transfusion today instead of bleeding him out. We'd test him for all kinds of sicknesses. We'd give him antibodies, modern medication, the works. At the very least we'd do nothing before we bled him. But instead lets say we decide to hand over the wellness of our collective health to the quack who refuses to acknowledge he is wrong, and continues to cut and bleed the patient. This isn't a hypothetical, we've already done it.

The people pushing us to slash spending without raising taxes are using outdated economic knowledge. Sure their ideas might have been fine in 1932 or 1937, but unfortunately we've seen the results of that sad experiment. Cutting spending with a fragile economy pushes us further into the deep dark hole that is the jobs crisis. Bleeding us of our economic lifeblood will not cure us of our ailment, no matter what the Tea flavored economic doctors say or do. The actual guys in lab coats are fuming in a corner over our idiocy to put the crazies in charge.

We've ignored the guys with the knowledge. We've replaced medicine with poison. Our problem is easily diagnosed, but the wrong people are performing the surgery. We've decided to let George Washington's doctor have his way with us. Hopefully we can wrest control of the knife away before he bleeds us out.

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