The convergence of two realities is causing the rhetoric to swirl around the Potomac river zone today, illustrating a conundrum of sizeable proportions.
Secretary of Defense Gates has been throwing out some rhetoric about lowering the military budget.
This has inspired the warster Ferengi types in the congress to go into hyper status quo mode:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has vowed to impose fiscal austerity at the Pentagon, but his biggest challenge may be persuading Congress to go along.(Washington Post). Meanwhile the IMF says our deficit, our debt, will be 110% of GDP in the foreseeable future.
The IMF graph estimates that the 100 percent ceiling will be reached in a short five years, because the climb has now become very steep:
The IMF predicts that the U.S. would need to reduce its structural deficit by the equivalent of 12% of GDP, a much larger portion than any other country analyzed except Japan. Greece, in the midst of a financial crisis, needs to reduce its structural deficit by just 9% of GDP, according to the IMF's analysis.(The Hill). The red line marks the date in 2006, during the Bush II regime, when the out of control event kicked off and headed skyward.
That was when everyone was saying the economy was fundamentally sound, especially John McCain, who said that up until a month before the 2008 election.
Some people around the internet, including Dredd Blog, and Bill Maher on HBO, are beginning to point out the 800 lb. gorilla in the Treasury.
I think the question is "can Gates be serious?" or is it only some more rhetoric designed to take some of the heat off the issue?