Friday, January 17, 2020

Baloney From Heaven

When you are a dog, you don't wonder where baloney from heaven comes from, you just enjoy it.

When we lived in Pompano, we had two condos in a small, 11-unit building.   Above us was an old retired mafioso named Tony who used to be in "the restaurant business".  He was a nice guy and gave us a lot of things, including a case of glassware from his restaurant days - glasses we still use today.

Another of our neighbors had a pug dog named "Rocky" who was aptly named as when you lifted him up, he felt like he was made of depleted uranium.  Rocky was a pretty smart dog.   He learned quickly that his two gay neighbors were a soft touch for dog treats.  He would bang his dog tags against the glass storm door until we opened up and gave him a treat from a jar we kept on the coffee table.

In this way, he would make the rounds of the condominium, until he was satiated.  One day, Tony saw Rocky doing his bit, and thought it would be funny to toss him a slice of baloney, which is what Tony had handy, as he was making his lunch.   A piece of baloney fell from the heavens and landed in front of Rocky!  He was amazed, and lapped it up.  But then a second piece fell from the sky and he was ecstatic.   We all watched this and thought it was hilarious.

But Rocky never forgot.  Each day, as part of his "rounds" he would stop where the baloney fell and look forlornly at the ground.  Where was the baloney from heaven?   A dog never forgets a miracle like that! Of course, a dog doesn't understand that the baloney came from somewhere and someone and if that someone wasn't around or ran out of baloney, the baloney-train would come to a rapid halt.

Recently, Senator Warren has proposed that if elected President, the very first thing she would do is sign an executive order wiping out all student loan debts.   I'm really sorry right now that I paid mine off!  And no doubt, some student is, at this very moment, signing loan papers for yet more money, thinking, "hey, they'll just bail me out later on, right?"  Worse yet, some graduate has decided, right now, to stop paying on their student loans because, why bother?  President Warren or Sanders will wipe the slate clean!  

Sadly, given the track records of bailouts, they might be justified in thinking this.  However, if you look closely at this record, the bailouts are generally applied unevenly and unfairly, and in many cases, most people don't get the bailout.  A lot of people working in public service hoping for "student loan forgiveness" have found this out the hard way - at least under the current regime.

Can Warren do this?  Well, she'll have to be elected first, and proposals like this may insure she is not - the vast majority of Americans don't have student loan debts, or paid their debts off.  What's more, they realize that this baloney from heaven would come out of their pocketbooks.

A 20-something college student or a pug dog might well believe in something-for-nothing - that you can "wipe out debt with a stroke of a pen".    But the rest of us realize that the money to pay this debt has to come from somewhere.  And that somewhere is the rest of us, who either have to pay through this in the form of higher taxes, or by diluting the currency by having the government borrow yet more money.

There is also the question of fairness and logistics.   Is it fair that I paid off my student loans and get nothing?  Does this "forgiveness" go back 5, 10, or 20 years?   What about the folks (like me) who took a job and worked instead of borrowing more money?  Boy do they feel like fools now!   What about people who never went to college and work at blue-collar jobs?   Do they get nothing?  Or is this their punishment for voting for Trump?

It reminds me of the infamous viral video that came out in 2008 or so, where a young black girl gushed that she was voting for Obama because "he would pay off my credit cards!"   This is politics in the new age - not only giving a "shout out" to identity groups, but to proffer them with bribes.  Is this what politics have boiled down to, today?  Rewarding your supporters financially and punishing your detractors?   We accuse Trump of corruption, but his malfeasance - renting out hotel rooms - is pretty paltry compared to buying the votes of an entire demographic group.

And how does this work going forward?   The kid entering college in 2020 - does he get student loan forgiveness, too?   Does Warren, "with a stroke of a pen" wipe out student loan debts annually?    If so, you can bet students will be borrowing the maximum amount allowed!  That is the real danger - like "Rocky" these young folks (and many an oldster, too) will show up at the same spot at the same time, wanting another slice of baloney, and looking around forlornly when nothing shows up.   Once you get people hooked on baloney, they start to expect it.   That, and they stop looking elsewhere.

Sadly, like a lot of proposals on the far left, these are not well-thought-out proposals.  Abolish ICE, open borders, free college, forgive debts, guaranteed jobs, free housing - and so on and so forth.  These are appealing eye-candy ideas and great ways of buying votes, but not really great policy proposals.  Maybe attacking the causes of the high cost of college, housing, medicine, and health care is the real answer, not just handing these industries (and they are industries) a blank check and saying "send us the bill".

Sadly, it seems, the entire platform of the Democratic party these days amounts to little more than baloney from heaven.

Sad, because it means four more years of Trump!