An Era of Accountability

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An Era of Accountability is coming.

It feels like America has been binging, and we haven't yet reformulated our thinking to realize: wait, maybe this is our fault.

John McCain has just suggested we suspend the gas tax. Okay, so this is clearly political pandering, but you have to ask: why should we do that? Let's look at this:

  • For years, environmentalists have decried our reliance on fossil fuels, but the response was: it's the most economic form of energy, and the free market will force us to use alternative energies
  • For years, people have purchased massive SUVs as people talked about their terrible gas mileage and lack of safety. If your car gets under 20 mpg, you simply have no business talking about the price of gas. (And if you start to say something about kids and groceries, my response is: minivan.)
  • We are shipping metric tons of money overseas to import oil. Enough. We have the technology to produce all the energy we need from solar power. Bite the bullet, and do it. Expensive now, perhaps, but awesome in the long term.

In short, we made our bed. Why should the government encourage us to continue on the binge? We need to adjust our behavior, not subsidize bad choices.

This is just another instance in a long line of issues:

  • Irresponsible borrowing drove home prices through the roof and created an enormous bubble of debt which simply will not be repaid
  • Our energy dependence has led to irresponsible foreign policy, and a multi-trillion dollar "real" cost that would have been better spent building a renewable energy infrastructure
  • Our nationally irresponsible trade policy has led to a ballooning and consistent trade deficit

So, what do we do to fix it? It's not that hard. Get ready for the pinch.

(1) End the War. We cannot afford it, and it's that simple.
(2) Take next year's supplemental, and stick it into renewable energy instead. Perhaps Solar Electric Thermal.
(3) Listen to the Oracle of Omaha, and end the trade deficit. We can do it quickly and equitably.
(4) Balance the damn budget. Seriously. I don't care if you have to put the military on a shoestring and eliminate medicare. If government programs are an unfortunate necessity, debt-financed government programs are an abomination.

This is it. We're entering an Era of Accountability. At this rate, we'll be back to a cash economy without N-tiered debt derivatives soon. Live within your means, and that includes your energy consumption. It has to be a mantra, now, rather than later.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt published on April 15, 2008 11:01 AM.

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