Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beck's "Bankrupt": Part One Review

I think I've been clear: I'm not a Glenn Beck fanboy. While his work on the Progressive movement has been illuminating, I'm not entirely comfortable with his evangelism stuff. (Your mileage may vary.) Suffice it to say that on some issues, I agree with him; on others, I don't.

So when one of the chilluns gave me a copy of his book "Bankrupt", I did the polite thing, saying "Thanks!!" and put the book on the pile.

OK, so now I'm reading it and am about 1/3 of the way through. In this portion of the book Beck has covered the country's spend-and-borrow/net-national-debt history from Day One through Obama. It's not 'nuanced' and 'thorough'; he does not cover the cross-currents, nor spend dozens of pages illuminating the far corners of economic theory; he and his co-authors pretty much stick with the 'top-line' (or bottom line, if you prefer): the National Debt's history.

Believe it or not, if you're a Lefty, you'll want to read this book. NOT because Beck agrees with the Progressive Left's governing philosophy; he doesn't. Not because he rips the skin off FDR, and even more so off LBJ, both for his fiscal insanity AND his complete and total screwup in VietNam.

Nope. You'll want to read it because he takes Ron Reagan and the Bushes over the coals. It's merciless. Yes, there was a Congress with which these guys had to bargain, and yes, those Congresses acted like 8-year-olds (at best---most 8-year-olds stop destroying things at night.) And yes, Reagan had a fixation on winning the Cold War which over-rode his interest in fiscal responsibility. (So maybe.......maybe.......Reagan was right.) And he's pretty kind to Bill Clinton. Not adulatory; kind.

(Bet you didn't know that Gingrich and Clinton had agreed on a "Ryan Roadmap" sort of solution to Social Security which Clinton never introduced, eh??)

The book is seductively "readable." But it is not enjoyable reading. It is flat-out scary.

In some ways, it fits right in to the "Ruling Class/Country Class" thesis of Prof. Codevilla. And that "ruling class" includes the Congress (except for a very few like Sensenbrenner) which has voted this country's children right into the toilet over the last 100+ years. They have committed the sin of Richard Rich in a way, selling the Country for a few more years in Congress. I'd rather that they had chosen to live in Wales; we would be the richer for it.

Takeaway:

In 1980, the national debt was ~$1 trillion. Now it's pushing $14 trillion....

3 comments:

John Foust said...

Yet they keep voting for Republicans. Why? Who'd you vote for, Dad29? Care to reveal it, or none of our business?

steveegg said...

(Bet you didn't know that Gingrich and Clinton had agreed on a "Ryan Roadmap" sort of solution to Social Security which Clinton never introduced, eh??)

Unfortunately, Clinton felt the need to perjure himself to a grand jury, and Gingrich and company felt the need to prosecute him for it.

Badger Catholic said...

Interesting, I might pick it up.