I had a "Usual Suspects" moment last night, watching the evening news. I've thought a good deal about how Barack Obama managed to become President of the United States. Race was a factor, but not the deciding one, as were his good looks and charm, easy eloquence, and sudden folksiness. Experience and grasp of the issues were not factors at all, but then they seldom are. But still, his personal attributes are not enough to explain his election and soaring popularity, or the recklessness with which he is running up the national debt. But I think I've figured it out. As I was watching the news - bits and bytes about health care, the stimulus, $24 trillion to bail out the banks, $1.9 trillion national debt, $3 trillion budget - it suddenly came to me, after the fourth of four different commercials for four different companies promising to help those burdened by thousands of dollars of credit card debt to an easy landing. Suddenly, like Agent Kujan, after Verbal has finished his tall tale about Keyser Soze and left the office, who finally sees all the pieces of the fabricated story in the familiar objects of his own office, and realizes Verbal is Keyser - suddenly I got it. Barack Obama is one of us. We're all up to our eyeballs in debt, and he is the biggest deficit spender in American history. We like him because he affirms us. We like him because his super-duper deficits dwarf ours, making them look like chump change. We like him because, just as we believe some credit card debt wizard will bail us out in the end, the U. S. won't have to pay for its debts, either. We'll just get another card and start the process all over again. It all came to me in a flash. Meanwhile, let's just keep shopping. The President understands our debt, affirms our debt, challenges our debt, and reassures us that, if things get really bad, he'll have a way to pay it all off. Except that I doubt China will be as forgiving as Visa. The Law of God structured an economy which, while the specifics of it aren't workable for our day, the basic principles are, chief among these being: don't try to build an economy on debt. It'll kill you. Our very verbal President is conning himself and us if he thinks all this debt will just go away or be easily absorbed; and we're conning ourselves if we keep listening, enthralled, to his story.
T. M. Moore