Think tanks think their words are gospel

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To the editor:

According to a report in the Washington Times, “The world’s major economies are in a dangerous race to impose austerity policies that could spill over into another global recession, the new head of one of Washington’s most influential think tanks on the economy warned Wednesday. Greece’s fiscal problems are pressuring the world’s leading governments into a ‘least-ugly contest,’ where they try to one-up one another with tighter monetary policies, but the effects of such moves could be dire for growth, said Adam Posen, president of the D.C.-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.”

The problem with “think tanks" is that they treat their own lofty words as gospel; they think they know how to think when all they know are scholarly exegesis vaguely related to real life. Too much austerity is bad? The problem is no austerity.

Do these self-proclaimed experts not understand the limits of constantly puffing up any bubble that eventually causes the bubble to burst? There never has been extreme cutting of budget or expenditures in the United States. As has been said and written by others (most recently by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as regards loss of patience in dealing with Iran’s nuclear threats), “If not now, when? ... If not us, who?”

The answer is always that the nasty necessary fix must be done in the future by grandchildren who have yet to be born but are the designated saviors of our profligate ways.

Every addict will quit – tomorrow – and by definition, tomorrow never comes. As the song from the musical “Annie” says, tomorrow is always a day away. For an alcoholic, one drink is simultaneously too much and not enough. Welcome to the deficit-spending addiction in the world of politics.

Anecdotal evidence indicates the bulk of welfare payments and benefits are attributable to unemployment, but once on the rolls, the assistance seems to be perpetual without additional effort on the part of recipients to justify continuing benefits.

Cash benefits are particularly vulnerable to abuse, and like all programs to help the needy, there are always those who milk the system. A distinction must be drawn between those unable to work vs. the able-bodied who choose not to work.

The underlying problem is lack of jobs, and the current administration in particular has served as job-killers with massive job-inhibiting rules and regulations issued by a laundry list of unelected bureaucracies.

Government seems intent on creating a culture of dependency instead of self-satisfying independence. Why has government turned out to be the enemy of the people? A five-page, 84-point plan “To fix it all” is available from  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Albert Maslar

Absecon


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