Last week’s commodity rout reinforced the notion that gold could be the next bubble. It’s become quite the bad habit, consistently renouncing the precious metal the way some parents excuse their troubled child’s behavior. Who amongst us has any confidence that our elected officials will solve the country’s debt problem, or for that matter, allow private enterprise to do it in their absence? Intrinsic value is irrelevant; gold positions serve as a short sale on Congress.
There can be no serious plan to reduce the deficit without a reduction of entitlement spending which consumes 40 percent of the United States’ budget. In an effort to streamline future costs, Rep. Paul Ryan authored legislation to trim the price tag of Medicare, only to discover that three-quarters of Americans, many of whom fervently protested against government spending, prefer to have their cake and subsidized health care too.
A one percent increase in FICA taxeswould have completely eliminated the social security shortfall, yet our elected officials chose to cut payroll taxes by two percent in the Bush tax cut compromise. Capitol Hill could moderate defense spending, currently 20 percent of the budget, although the military provides almost five percent of the nation’s GDP, creating jobs in favored congressional districts that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
In response to unrealistic expectations from the public, our politicians have pursued unsustainable economic policies that preserve their relentless tenure in Washington, all at the expense of national solvency. While our esteemed leaders sold patriotism on television commercials, they pawned the American flag to foreign investors, and they did it star by star, stripe by stripe.