Maybe The Mayans Are Right

There is not much time left to initiate the proper tactics.

One of the people I went to university with is a big-time political operative.  He once told me that even when the government does things that look stupid, they know more than we do and if we knew all, their actions would make sense.

I have come to believe he is right and that our viewing point is too narrow to encompass all the conflicting interests in the country and the world.  I am even more firmly convinced that the Americans know more than anyone else because they work at it more.

With the idea that the government always knows enough to make their positions and policies make sense, I have tried to analyze the fiscal position of the United States federal government.  (It could as easily be California, Ontario or almost any other.)  At first glance, even second glance, it is irrational.

But, knowing more, I can explain it.

I have decided that they know the Mayans are right and the world will end 21 December 2012.

Knowing that, makes their policies make sense because there could be nothing dumber than to have the world end while you have an unused line of credit.  Think about it.  If you knew, with certainty, that the world would end soon, do you think that a few nice dinners might appear on the VISA card.  I think so.  Possibly a room in the presidential suite at the Four Seasons too.  I might even miss a tax installment.  Fiji is nice this time of year.

So it is with them.  We think they are dumb and are trying to borrow themselves out of debt.  Not so.  They know they will never be required to pay the money back, so no need to be concerned about incurring more debt.  Live for the moment.

I wonder how they know and I wonder if I should follow the same course they do.

If anyone knows how they know, please be in touch.  I would even accept any other logical explanation for their fiscal policies.

Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.

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