Why Don’t We Just Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic?

This expression is taken to mean: To do something pointless or insignificant that will soon be overtaken by events, or that contributes nothing to the solution of a current problem.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans have found it to be convenient to borrow now and pay it back later.

It’s difficult for a “film salesman” like me to hypothesize what our country’s financial situation would be, had we not been involved in wars such as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, or spent as much as we have spent for F-35’s and F-22’s and such. I also wonder what would have happened to our once great nation, had we taxed the rich a little more in order to “pay as we go.”  

I am “my history,” and I use this “history” to gain at least some sort of perspective on things currently taking place. These are two examples. They probably don’t belong here, but I just love their silliness.

It was in the late ’70s that the “new management” of Columbia Pictures Industries instituted a “Travel and Entertainment Policy Guideline.” As an “operating” executive, it caused my sales division enormous problems. My then-President told me that the new policy would save the company $200,000 per year. He was not at all pleased when I suggested to him that I “spilled” $200,000 a year.

In the early ’80s, the Polygram North American President — who had presided over a $200-million loss in the prior year — suggested to “his” four divisional Presidents that they fly business class instead of first class. We had a humungous business problem, and all he could suggest was to fly business class.

The Columbia and Polygram managements knew nothing about the businesses that they were responsible for. Rather then look to increase business, they tried to reduce expenses an infinitesimal amount.

It appears to me that the President and the Congress are just playing political games as our once great nation slips away from 21st-century relevance. Please note the following:

According to the CBO analysis released on Sept. 7, by the end of the current fiscal 2010 year, which ended with the closure of September, there is another deficit of at least $1.3 trillion – what the CBO labeled, “the second-largest shortfall in the past 65 years,” second to last year’s deficit of 9.9 percent of GDP. Even if all the Bush tax cuts were repealed, the CBO concludes that the deficit will still be nearly $1.1 trillion in 2011.

The cumulative deficit from 2010 to 2019 under the president’s proposals will total $9.3 trillion. Washington projects a 2020 end-of-decade debt to top $24.5 trillion, even exceeding the Gross Domestic Product projection for 2019 of $22.8 trillion.

The $1.24 billion in program cuts proposed by the GOP-run House Appropriations Committee included $650 million in highway money for states provided in the fiscal 2010 budget, $250 million for a Striving Readers program that Obama wanted to eliminate next year, and $75 million in election assistance grants for states, also slated for elimination in the President’s budget. The earmarks Republicans would eliminate range from $1 million for a Customs and Border Patrol solar-powered batteries program to $341 million for Army Corps of Engineers construction.

The Republicans shrugged off an analysis by a Goldman Sachs economist that the $61 billion in cuts, if enacted, could slow economic growth this year by up to 2 percentage points.

When President George W. Bush was elected, he inherited a $230-billion surplus. In eight years of “fiscally conservative” Republican rule, the national debt went from $5 trillion to $12 trillion. President Obama continues to increase the national debt. At some point, it needs to stop.

Nevertheless: It’s disturbing to watch the Republican Congress running roughshod over programs that should not be reduced or eliminated. The “courageous” GOP are trying to reduce or eliminate funding for PBS and NPR and are going after funding for Planned Parenthood. I suspect that when they go after PBS and NPR the Republicans will be pleased to silence what they believe to be a “voice from the left,” and by eliminating Planned Parenthood they would reduce legal abortions.

Now consider the cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to date:

One Trillion, 160 Billion, 258 Million Dollars

How many PBSs, NPRs, and Planned Parenthoods would this fund?

Everything written above is about money. How about our boys and girls DYING there?

Where are ABC, CBS, and NBC News on this story?

Someone’s children are killed protecting exactly what?

President Obama, where are you?