Picture also from Say Uncle.
California, Kansas (another H/T to Say Uncle), Washington State and many other government entities are in or near economic crisis mode. If the Feds think it is politically unacceptable to allow banks and automakers to go bankrupt what are they going to think about states going bankrupt? Bailouts for local governments must be in discussion behind closed doors if not openly.
But the Feds are broke too. It just doesn’t show up quite a readily because they own the money printing presses. President Obama says he “will pivot quickly to address a budget deficit that could now approach $2 trillion this year” (H/T to Tam and pdb). That can mean little more than increased taxes. If history from other countries in similar situations is any guide when things get bad enough you can expect direct confiscation of your retirement funds and savings as well as nationalization of various industries who remain profitable. The rational used will be something along the lines of “the government must not fall so anything we do to prevent it is justifiable”. They have guns and they won’t be afraid to use them to take whatever they think they “must” have. The U.S. Constitution was written with enumerated powers granted to the government but court rulings early in the last century shattered those walls. The Federal government will attempt to get more and more “control of the situation”. More planning and “guidance” from the “central committee” such as the “car czar” and more regulations for the banks (which helped bring them down to begin with) will fail in a big way. Many of the politicians and “intellectuals” have no industry (real world) experience. They have been living off of the public dole where money is obtained via the point of a gun (taxes) and they don’t have a clue (see also this comment clues, lack thereof) as to how reality really works. Obama is believed to be the savior of the world (see the I Love You Obama Woman, the response from France, as well as all the other adoration such that we have never in our lifetime seen for a U.S. president–only dictators in other countries). To the best of my knowledge he is the most inexperienced president our country has ever known, he is facing the biggest crisis our country has seen in 80 years, he is a socialist, and his advisers are socialists. His solutions are all going to involve more power and control for the Feds. More power and control in the hands of those that have only the flimsiest of connections to the real world and no experience. It’s a recipe for disaster.
The only bright spots I see are some states, such as Montana, Tennessee (see the first two links in this post), Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma (via Sebastian), and New Hampshire (via Sebastian and email from hunter006) are thinking about going all Ninth and 10th Amendment on us. There could be some serious cracks appearing in the creeping Federal tyranny we have been experiencing. Within a few years we could be (almost for certain?) looking at some new form of government. What will it be? The Orwellian vision of a a boot stamping on a human face … for ever? Or something else as certain states and people take a successful stand against the socialists?
I’ve been thinking for a long time that the world is due a new form of government. Tribal leaders, witch doctors, kings, dictators, democracies, republics, and others have all had their day (and dark nights) in the limelight. But instantaneous communication and near instantaneous travel makes for some interesting thought experiments. I’m not sure The Probability Broach type world is practical but there may be something else that is. This crisis may be the impetus to figure it out.