The Pusher Man

“I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff. We’ll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they’re making right now are real and how much of it was just politics.” – President Barack Obama, RealClearPolitics.com

Convinced that Al Capone was dead-on when he declared that you get more with a kind word and a gun, President Barack Obama has just offered a veiled threat to people who want less government spending. I’ll unveil it now and tell you what our Fearless Whinger just said. He’ll make YOU pay to balance the budget. The government programs that YOU like are too wasteful and too big. If you don’t buy that logic, YOU are just playing political games. As Vice pResident Bite-Me recently opined, “Don’t be a smart-ass!”

So why would a man with more Congressional power than any American President since Lyndon Baines Johnson feel the need to behave in such a hostile and menacing fashion? What makes the small businessman in search of a tax break a smart-ass rather than just another person offering self-interested but perhaps useful advice? Why couldn’t the US government actually roll back much of its spending and stop stimulating our way to junk treasury bonds?

To understand why these people have their chains yanked to asphyxiation by suggestions that the public sector should make like a struggling S&L and start de-leveraging, you have to understand what they have actually done with the Federal stimulus already tossed about the land. To get to this ratiocination, think of the stimulus money as “needle-ready” not “shovel-ready.” This money isn’t rebuilding America. This money isn’t even maintaining much stability. It simply allows idiots to continue with untenable, destructive behaviors without the leveling impact of condign and well-earned consequence.

Stimulus money is not building The Hoover Dam or re-blazing neglected sections of The Appalachian Trail. It is not modernizing our broken roadways or rails. South Korea’s Internet and telecommunications national backbones put ours to shame. They still will when the last dollar of stimulus gets tacked on to the last significant digit of our crippling national debt. It is only being used to keep stupid, frightened and confused people afloat above their own often self-inflicted miseries.

The HAMP program gives us an example of what Stimulus has been about under Barack Obama. The Federal Government intervenes to prop up homeowners who overpaid for housing and now stare default in the eye. The government does this to prevent further erosion in the housing and banking sector which would rip through financial markets and prolong our current recession.

The Federal Government feels it has to bail out these homeowners because they will otherwise “strategically default.” Quite simply, the people will mail the keys to the bank and go rent a shack somewhere once the bank finally gets around to serving them and repossessing. If it were one or two idiots, the easy default response is “So What?” Instead, this is an orchestrated, cheer-led threat against “banksters” guilty of lending these people more than they could reasonably borrow.

The Banksters in this dynamic play the role of “The Pusher” from a dope-marinated Steppenwolf song. Like the lyrics from Hoyt Axton describing the impact of a pusher, the banks are morally neutral and unconcerned about the outcome of the transaction after they get the loan underwritten. Axton’s indictment of The Pusher follows below.

You know, I’ve seen a lot of people walkin’ ’round/ With tombstones in their eyes. But the pusher don’t care/ Ah, if you live or if you die.

Completely absent from that rant is any possible suggestion that you, as a moral agent, have any obligation whatsoever to abstain from flying on the Doofus Weed. Further down in the song we see an even better indication of how the stimulus mentality and the drug use mentality are similar. Axton tells us not to get off the substance abuse, but instead, to buy it off a nicer guy. Frustrating moral obtuseness follows below.

You know the dealer, the dealer is a man/ With the love grass in his hand….

Like the drug-addled rock-groupies, Americans still want their McMansions on the Sanitation Engineering salary. They want to have their cake and not the trans-fats. The iniquity Axton saw on the part of The Pusher wasn’t that people bought drugs and trashed themselves, it was that The Pusher didn’t stick around and hang out in the crash-pad just to make sure the trip didn’t bum out. It’s a shame people in the sixties were not exposed to rap-music. The whole concept of “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game” would sure come in handy here.

The problem with Hoyt Axton was that he blamed the guy who dipped his joint in formaldehyde rather than recognizing that it probably wasn’t very wise to have smoked an obscure, quasi-medicinal herb with unpredictable effects on the human brain in the first place. The problem Barack Obama hopes most Americans have is similar. People all want huge houses and they all expect to do so without having to be captains of industry or genius inventors. Nobody can understand why they shouldn’t get $300 – $500K mortgages based on a $45K Annual salary.

Then, when the deal blows up in the borrower’s face like a joint with seeds rolled into the reefer, he gets mad at the guy who sold the defective spliff. He ignores the fact that the banker didn’t just hand out $500K. Bankers like getting paid, and if the likelihood of that happening kind of sucks, they will charge a risk-premium in addition to the usual interest rate. Then, when the borrower can’t be bothered with paying, the bank takes the house away and the “strategic default” tantrum ensues.

At that point, Congress and The President pass HAMP and become The Dealer-man with the Love Grass in their hands. They also own your (redacted). They don’t tell you this until some freak named Santelli gripes about the terms of the deal. Then the reveal what was true all along. They are truly no different that The Pusher over at Wells Fargo or B of A. So don’t be a smart-ass.

To Hoyt Axton’s credit, his final lyric suggests that the fog of street pharmaceuticals has lifted and he understands what needs to happen next. The next time some politician offers “stimulus” as a vacation from personal and financial responsibility, we, as an electorate, should follow Hoyt Axton’s advice below.

Well, now if I were the president of this land/ You know, I’d declare total war on The Pusher man. I’d cut him if he stands, and I’d shoot him if he’d run/ Yes I’d kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun.

God D— The Pusher Man.