Here's my question: The federal government is currently running a $400 billion deficit. If we never add a new federal government program, taxpayers are still on the hook for $59 trillion in unfunded future Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security liabilities.
Nevertheless, both McCain and Obama are still making wildly expensive promises, and proposing a wide array of new federal programs. Not exactly the models of fiscal restraint, these two.
Yes, markets can be brutal. And it's never pleasant to watch a correction unfold in real time. I'm certainly dreading the sight of my next 401(k) statement. But even the shadiest of corporations wouldn't attempt the the shenanigans the federal government employs to hide its liabilities from taxpayers. When it comes to cooking the books, Congress can throw down with Bobby Flay. When it comes to solvency…well…$59 trillion.
All of which makes it a pretty dubious proposition that we'd be better off today if only we'd given more power to our noble politicians to safeguard the public interest from greedy corporations.