There’s not enough sugar to coat this with to make it taste sweet:

Politicians generally know the importance of translating complicated policy into language that non-wonks can understand. When it comes to budget numbers, that can be challenging. Many Americans don’t know how many zeros are in a “trillion,” much less what a trillion deficit means in terms of the economy and its economic effects. In this poll question, for example, respondents were given five multiple-choice answers for the question “how many thousands are in a trillion” and just 21 percent answered correctly (barely more than you would expect if everyone guessed randomly).

The Gainesville Tea Party seems to have the right idea: They take some of our key economic numbers — how much money the U.S. government brings in, how much it spends, and how much brave politicians are “cutting” to bring those numbers into balance — and simply lop off eight zeros (i.e., divide by 100 million) to make those numbers something that American families can relate to:

Yeah, it's that bad.

Politicians aren’t taking this seriously because citizens aren’t taking this seriously.  Maybe making the debt “relatable” (whatever that means) to people might change that fact.

 

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Alpha’s Letter

January 23, 2012

From In Mala Fide, Alpha:

Do you know what the problem with America is?

Our politicians looked at Kim Jong Il while he was alive, and saw that everywhere he went, no matter what, every night of his life he had a lobster flown to him for dinner.

Every night.

He stood on the broken backs of his people, he forced them to smile and made them enjoy giving him their money.

Our politicians watched him live like a god while his people resorted to cannibalism or starved to death in the streets.

Instead of feeling pity for those poor, oppressed, and suffering people, instead of feeling disgust an what an animal Kim Jong Il was, instead of being outraged that human life could be mistreated in such a way, instead of feeling hatred for anyone who could commit such evils, do you know what they felt?

Envy.

They saw a man who lived like a god on Earth, and they WANTED IT. They Coveted his lifestyle. The wealth he lived in, the power he commanded! How great it must be to live like that, to literally be worshipped! How great it will be to stand in the place of the Most High, to take His name as Mine and have that Power! Don’t you see? They will stop at nothing, and they will not rest, until they have that same power.

We are lead by corrupt and evil men, men who want nothing but their own gain. Who want nothing but to see the measure of their own power and wealth increased. We are lead by Satan, and we allow him to direct our paths to lead us unto our destruction, that he may proclaim himself king — though it will be king of the damned.

Sadly, I believe this is a remarkably accurate assessment.  They use their power to legitimize power, to gain power, to continually grasp at power.  Even many of the Tea Partiers in Congress fell in line with Republican demands, suddenly “seeing the light” once power was in their hands.

Power corrupts.

It’s angering to see people continue to vote for leaders who are demonstrably corrupt and power-hungry.  The tried-and-failed solution to this is to elect leaders who have high ideals and good character.  It’s sad to see people vote for those types of leaders only to see them quickly corrupted by the power.  Though strong, they were not strong enough to withstand the demon of power.

A better solution would be to limit the power the leaders can hold.  Don’t give the leaders more power to consolidate.  Take back power.  Don’t rest until the power lies with the people, not the leaders.