Problem Solving 2024 Style

If the proverbial Martian were to land on planet earth and peruse the news he would quickly discover that the United States currently has several severe, possibly existential problems with which it has to deal.  According to the news, the problems include:

  1. the fact that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem shot her 14 month old puppy, Cricket
  2. the surprise resignations of both Miss USA and Miss Teen USA
  3. The outfits worn by porn star Stormy Daniels (clothing analysis courtesy of the NY Times) during her 2 days of testimony in the criminal trial of former president Donald Trump, in what is supposedly a books and records case. 

Playing a decidedly second fiddle is a congeries of foreign policy fiascoes and domestic financial crises in the making that threaten the health of the global rules based order.  Among the foreign policy fiascoes is  President Biden’s threatened refusal to supply Israel with “…American weapons, including heavy bombs and artillery shells, if Israel carries out a major operation in Rafah, a city crammed with about a million Palestinians…” (NY Times May 9, 2024). And why has he done this? Because he is afraid of losing votes in Michigan and Nevada. 

That is pretty much what Trump got impeached for in the first go around. He threatened to hold up aid to Ukraine unless they succumbed to his political interests. Same situation here with Biden. 

It bears mentioning that the reason, according to the Times, that Rafah is “crammed” with Palestinians is that Hamas refuses to let them leave because it wants more civilian casualties for propaganda purposes.  

We should also note that Iran directly attacked Israel with about 170 drones and 120 ballistic missiles. And that the Houthis, an Iranian proxy have shut down traffic in the Red Sea. And that the Israelis have had to evacuate over 60,000 people near the northern border with Lebanon where Hezbollah, another Iranian proxy, lobs rockets and bombs into Israel on a daily basis. 

In the background, a small sliver of students at mostly elite universities have (illegally) set up what are effectively  anti-semitic pro-Hamas encampments.  And not to put too fine a point on it, these protesters are blaming Israel for Hamas’s savage attacks on Oct 7. And the response of most university administrators has been to cower before the protesters. 

In the matter of Ukraine, the Biden Administration has not screwed up policy all by itself. The Biden folks had impressive help from the clown show known as the Republican caucus.  A majority of House Republicans, 112 in all, voted against providing additional aid to Ukraine. In the event, the ever insightful Marjorie Taylor Greene (AKA space laser Marjorie) moved to have Mike Johnson removed from his position as Speaker of the House. He was saved with the aid of the Democrats who for once used their heads. 

But not to worry, the Biden Administration has played its part in the chaos. After a brief statement in 2022  implying he would tolerate “a small incursion”, surprisingly enough the small incursion turned into a full scale invasion.  Biden then said we would support Ukraine “for as long as it takes”. But Biden never addressed the nation to lay out the (obvious) reasons for supporting Ukraine; in fact he still has not done so. How is that for how the Commander-in-Chief rallies the troops?

Moreover, the Biden Administration has slow-walked sending weapons to Ukraine, only giving them enough to forestall an immediate Russian victory. Despite pleas from Ukraine President Vladimir Zelensky, the Administration has refused to provide Ukraine with the advanced weaponry it needs to achieve a lasting victory. Not surprisingly, Russia may now have a strategic advantage. 

And as for “as long as it takes” remember that this is the guy who walked away from Afghanistan leaving that country to the new and improved Taliban. That fact certainly plays a part in the calculations of China as it eyes Taiwan. At the same time there is less and less reason for Beijing to take Biden’s threats seriously.

Of course there is the domestic financial situation to consider.  We are sitting on roughly $26 trillion in publicly held debt and another $6 trillion in debt that the government owes to other parts of the government, mostly the illusory and spectacularly ill-named Social Security trust fund. Effectively that means that we are swimming in $34 trillion in unfunded liabilities. 

But not to worry, both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have promised not to touch Social Security, which is a very large driver of continuing debt finance. The Social Security system (which pays out slightly over $1 trillion per year and rising in benefits) is due to go broke in 2033 according to the latest auditor’s report. Actually that understates the problem; the system is already broke in that it is insolvent. It will run out of cash around 2033, but it is already incapable of meeting its obligations much beyond that. There isn’t enough money in the world to cover the liability sans reform. 

But not to worry. Governor Noem will not be shooting any more puppies; we will solve the mystery of why the respective Miss Americas resigned, and Stormy Daniels will soon be working on her next movie. 

Problems solved.


Please follow and like us:
This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.