According to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (MHFI) the recently concluded government shutdown cost a total of $24 billion. Due to this unanticipated expense, the ratings agency has lowered its fourth-quarter GDP estimate by a minimum of .6%. If there’s anything of which the nation can be completely certain, it’s this: That number is inaccurate and ultimately unimportant.
If there are lessons to be learned from the ongoing, shambling disaster of a debt ceiling fight/Obamacare showdown, they are philosophical and long term. Economics is a social science. There’s no need for higher math, just higher thinking. In the attached clip author, economist, pundit, lawyer and general polymath Ben Stein shares takeaway lessons from the last three weeks.
The country is angry, divided, confused.
“We learned how very angry and divided this country is. And learning that people opposed to the entitlement state are ready to take extremely drastic action to stop it… some kind of process of national reconciliation must be going on,” says Stein. We knew we were angry, but the price of the reconciliation between entitlement and taxation factions is growing.
The nature of the debate was disheartening, as neither side had a realistic perspective on the balance between income (taxes) and expenditures. This wasn’t a serious debate about budgets, but rather a heated exchange between ideologues. The real conversation wasn’t about tightening our national belt, it was about which group got a bigger portion of assumed deficits.
“We cannot both be a high-entitlement state and a low-tax state,” Stein states plainly. “Arithmetic is the boss.”
- Ben Stein Hammers Emily Miller Over GOP’s ‘Child in a Playground’ ‘Nonsense’ (mediaite.com)
- Attention Must Be Paid, by Ben Stein (gopthedailydose.com)