Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

The weekly Daley: What do the American people care about? Really?

By
From page A6 | March 15, 2013 | 7 Comments

As the so-called budget/debt/deficit/drone crises roll inexorably along, one wonders, what do Americans really care about? If it were based only on recent cable channel segments, one would have to say Americans mostly care about the election of a new pope (but not so much now that there is one), GEICO or Progressive car insurance, reduced testosterone and/or erectile dysfunction, Jodi Arias (always Casey Anthony) and large, sugary drinks.

There’s some talk of gun control, some 2016 election stuff (Clinton v. Christie) (Rand Paul or Marco Rubio v. Unnamed Democrat), the president’s “charm offensive,” Valerie Harper’s terminal (or not) brain cancer, and that wacky Kim Jong Un. We don’t care too much about Lance Armstrong anymore, and Mitt Romney has evidently receded into the dustbin of history along with Ann and her dancing horse.

A lot of us care about college basketball, especially this month when schools most of us have never heard of suddenly rise to the top of their brackets for March Madness — but not necessarily this year. The Bulldogs of Butler and Gonzaga, the Ball State Cardinals, the Bradley Braves and my new personal favorite that I’ve never heard before now, the Evansville Purple Aces. Not kidding.

Some of us care about same-sex marriage and some others of us care about global warming. Some of us care about both and then some. Some of us don’t. Some of us care about our nation’s and our world’s financial future.

And now I’m going to state unequivocally that regardless of what our conservative friends say and apparently fervently believe, most of us really don’t care about the deficit. We care about it in the abstract, to some minimal extent, like we care about the odd meteor smashing us into a gazillion-trillion pieces. We care but we’re not really worried about it. Scientists say it absolutely could happen just like some economists say the deficit will one day smash us into a comparable oblivion. We care about our long-term health just like we should and that’s why we don’t smoke, use alcohol to excess, overeat, underexercise, soak up large, sugary drinks but do get plenty of sleep every night — not.

Some of us wail and gnash our teeth over the burden we’re leaving our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I don’t believe them. If they’re that concerned they can take steps to protect that precious progeny. I care about my grandson’s future, but he’s going to have to deal with his world just as everyone else who ever lived has had to deal with their world. I’m not trying to make it harder on him. Rather, I’m just not that worried about it. Fretting about something so vague and uncertain and so disputed by so many is kind of pointless. I’d venture to suggest that no one, not any one of us actually loses sleep over the deficit.

We lose sleep over our health problems sometimes. We lose sleep over whether or not we can really afford to … (fill in the blank), if or when we might lose our job or our loved one, whether we are prepared enough to survive the approaching (tornado, hurricane, blizzard, drought or not-necessarily approaching, but inevitable earthquake). Compared to those disasters, known and understood and maybe already experienced by many of us, that big, black DEFICIT out there feels more like a hazy, ephemeral, gray wisp of deficit.

During the past election, I thought early on that Romney-Ryan were off on a path going nowhere. Eventually they started to make me think of Henny Penny (aka Chicken Little) who with increasingly hysterical tones warned that the sky was falling. Hard as I tried to see it, every time I looked up the sky was still right where it’s always been and likely always will be — till the giant meteor hits.

The deficit is not sexy. It’s not even sex-related. It has nothing to do with the Sweet 16, Opening Day, the Ides of March (today) nor the Ides of April, though it might relate somewhat to that day for some of us, but I doubt it.

One of the ways you can tell the deficit doesn’t really concern us very much is based on the notions of how to fix it. When Pearl Harbor happened everyone had a pretty good idea of what to do. Get ready and go to war. NOW. September 11 had a similar response. Within three weeks we were bombing the bejeezes out of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. And airport security had overnight become what we  now know and accept.

Those events threatened us that day and for days to come. The deficit threatens our offspring and their offspring, maybe, depending on what we ultimately do about it. Paul Ryan interviewed on FOX last week by Chris Wallace noted that a deficit-fighting $700 billion and change would come from future oil exploration and production in this country. If that’s not an argument built on sand, I don’t know what is. And if we can reform the tax code within the next 12 years, we can sure put a hurt on that old deficit.

Likewise the president plans to fight the deficit by cutting waste from Medicare and hoping that small businesses will think to hire more employees sometime. If that’s not an argument built on a similar foundation, I don’t know what is. (And if we can reform the tax code within the next 12 years, we can sure put a hurt on that old deficit.)

Where is the “Let’s go to war NOW” bells of alarum? There aren’t any now and none on the horizon. Honestly, if we were really afraid of the deficit, scared like hair-on-fire scared, wouldn’t we have demanded that our leaders do something about it by now? Translated: Wouldn’t we have demanded that our leaders demand that WE do something about it by now?

We know what it is, kind of, depending on who you listen to. We know how we got it, kind of, depending on who you listen to. We know what it means to our children and their children’s children, kind of, depending on who you listen to. We know what to do about it, kind of, depending on who you listen to. We know that somebody needs to do something about it. We’re not sure who, but we know it ain’t us.

We know all about it, and we probably should really care, but we really don’t.

Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or cdaley@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @CDaleyMtDemo. 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 7 comments

  • Jack MartinMarch 15, 2013 - 12:57 pm

    So I'm guessing this week's DNC talking point is to diminish the importance or the imminent threat posed by our national debt. It sure mattered a hell of a lot in 2008 when then-candidate Obama called our $9 Trillion debt "Unpatriotic". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kuTG19Cu_Q So why would it be less important now that it is $16 Trillion? Oh that's right, because the current President has a (D) after his name.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • chrispytahoeMarch 15, 2013 - 2:45 pm

    Americans are funny. Ours is a very young country. So many Americans think we are 'the greatest nation on earth' and will endure forever. After all, we have God on our side right?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynMarch 15, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    Yep, Chrispy. God definitely IS on our side. Just like she's on the side of every football team ever sent out to battle!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DB SmithMarch 15, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    Yeah there are a few funny ones Chrisp and you are certainly one of the leaders of the pack. We are the greatest nation and we're going to keep it that way with or without you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65March 16, 2013 - 8:23 am

    A whole lot of words to tell us what we already knew. You only care about yourself.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65March 16, 2013 - 8:31 am

    Yuppietahoe, it won't last forever. Never before in history has a single nation amassed so much wealth for the leftists to confiscate. Our greatness is based on what we used to call freedom. Now we need a permission slip from the government to built an outhouse. Have you seen the retro tax in California? In case you didn't know what outright theft looks like. http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sacramento/Small-businesses-in-California-fight-retroactive-tax/-/12969376/19322946/-/item/0/-/hgcbegz/-/index.html

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65March 16, 2013 - 9:13 am

    Yuppie, make room for this fact from history in that compartment between your ears. “In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again." -- Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

     
    Past due state taxes bring arrest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

     
    Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Woman, dog back from Oso

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

     
     
     
    DA candidate to remain on ballot

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

    Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

    By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

     
    CPCSD seat unfilled

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

    Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

    By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

     
    .

    Letters

    District 4 candidate

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 33 Comments

     
    Open meetings

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

    Volunteers and homeless camps

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

     
    Bicycle events and traffic control

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

    Evacuation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

     
    .

    Sports

    Jennings wins national title

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    King of the West roars into Placerville

    By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

     
    First and goal: Bunt etiquette

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

    Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

     
    Roundup: April 17, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Prospecting

    Plantastic sale this Saturday

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Things to do: April 18, 2014

    By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

    Spring art brightens government center

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Student art featured for Third Saturday

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Time out: A grand time at Grand China

    By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Promenade in high style

    By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

     
    Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

    By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

    Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

     
    Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

    See what is inside the vault

    By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

     
    Eggstravaganza

    By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

    Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

     
    Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

    By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

    Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

     
    Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

     
    Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

    By California Stage | From Page: B8

    KVIE calls for artists

    By Kvie | From Page: B9

     
    A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

    By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

    America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

    By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

     
    See wildflowers on train ride

    By Railtown | From Page: B15

    Easter at Northstar is family friendly

    By Northstar California | From Page: B15

     
    Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

    .

    Essentials

    Crime Log: March 28-30

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Arthur W. Cornell

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Roy Cluness Chaix

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Frederick Wilbur Heymann

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    .

    Real Estate

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

     
    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

     
    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

     
    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

    .

    Comics

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Working It Out

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

    Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

     
    Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

    Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Home Source

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments