Snow street

As I shoveled the last of the four feet of snow settled on our sidewalk, walkway, and cars, I found lots of time to ponder the connection between our national indebtedness and our recent weather patterns. Pardon me if you’re tired of hearing about frozen precipitation – I find snow drifting into everything I think about or discuss. Even my dreams have snow swirling around in them these days.

First, the snow: We have in place at the Eddio household a standard methodology for snow removal. It involves the time tested resolve of a few dedicated volunteer shovelers, and specific locations around the property where we can dump the impediment before moving on with our lives. Most of the time, we incur small batches of it, just enough to address in a short term way without much interference. We give it a quick momentary focus, then we’re off. This works great when average snowfalls are anywhere from 2-6 inches.

But when four inches turns into 4 feet, we have a problem.

All those aforementioned specific locations were completely filled by the end of the first snowfall—before anything was even shoveled. We doggedly dumped more on top, trying to finish before the sheer size and weight of snow reacted badly, like having an small avalanche return the snow back onto the sidewalks. I hurled so many shovelfuls of snow over our newly crafted six foot “mountains”, I believe I can now compete in the Sheaf Toss event at the national Highland Games. The margins were shot, but the job was done.

Then came the second storm.

Eighteen more inches, and no more space. But I kept heaving. By the second day of snow removal, I had strained my back. Owing to an injury last year, I probably should not have been shoveling like I was. But four feet of snow is not a normal occasion. We were stuck, stranded, and incapable of any movement.

Only when we and our neighbors banded together, snow blowers and shovelers all, did the gargantuan task become achievable—not just for my property, but theirs as well. We’re still living altered lives due to this white stuff, but we can at least move on.

Just replace the words “snow” with “debt” and you get a clear picture of my anxiety these days.

We can argue and lament the past history of “wise” moves from the stimulus to TARP, supposedly dedicated to mitigating some painful issues in the economy. But regardless of these moves, the one place I would then consider off-setting these voluminous attempts to jump start the economy would be the budget. Silly me to think we’d practice any kind of restraint. New batches of debt-based spending just keep coming like ominous cloud patterns portending another blizzard.

Then we wake up to find the five little PIIGS of Europe (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) coming undone from the debt load they are carrying. And Germany, understandably so, doesn’t feel the compelling need to bail them all out on their own. It’s being floated that this could spell the end of the Euro, and another round of world-wide recession. What kind of snowball effect this will have with us down the road is anyone’s guess.

Why do politicians seem to get cold feet when ever the topic of spending cuts arise? Why can’t they understand that they are freezing out future growth by piling on more and more debt? What happened to that “razor-sharp scalpel and axe” the winner of the 2008 election was supposed to take to the budget?

When will DC realize that multiple attempts at “stimulus” will either create it’s own bubble (and burst), or become the very chill that frosts new job creation, stagnating instead of empowering people (and companies) to get to work? Stimulus doesn’t just affect the economy of a nation; it affects its psychology.

When will DC wake up to the ice-cold reality that we cannot continue to fund non-economic agendas to appease ideologues and socialistic special interests, while incurring an unsustainable deficit load that will eventually bankrupt our treasury, lower our standard of living, enslave our children, and render our country to serf-like status for an entire generation (or more)?

It may be a snowball’s equivalent in hell. But that’s what they said about the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl; and we all saw that DC receive 3 feet of snow the same weekend as the game, which seemed to satisfy that requirement (that joke courtesy of Jay Leno). One can only pray.

In the meantime, let’s get the shovels out and band together.