Watching a Train Wreck




In the early years of the 20th century, one of the major railroads in Texas purchased a batch of new locomotives. And after receiving the new engines, there were old engines to scrap.

     Then someone got a bright idea. Why not use a couple of engines that will be scrapped to stage a train wreck and sell tickets for the event? And the Great Texas Train Wreck was born. A site out in the countryside along a straight run was chosen and stands, refreshments and all the trimmings were set up for the big event. Attendance was good and the promoters were counting on a good return for their investment.

     Two locomotives were fired up, facing each other a few miles apart. The breaks were released, the throttles tied down to full open, and the crews bailed out.

     Everything was fine until the actual collision. Instead of a big crash, it was a huge bomb that ended up killing and injuring many of the paid spectators. I was told that my grandfather covered this for the Dallas Morning News.

     What the promoters didn’t understand were simple laws of physics. When a boiler full of water is heated up above the boiling point, the only thing that keeps the water liquid is the pressure of the steam produced. The higher the temperature, the higher the pressure. And when the pressure is suddenly lowered (from the crash breaking the boilers), all of that liquid water converts instantly to steam and at a greatly increased volume.

     It ended up not being a simple big crash, but with all the high temperature water in the boilers instantly expanding, it made for a big bomb. TNT would not have been any better.

     This brings to mind the oncoming train wreck that the United States is heading for in the completely out of control deficit spending and ballooning debt. At some point, in the words of many, it will become „unsustainable”.

     Both the Congress and most recent administrations have proven to be incapable to control this march to oblivion. While the G. W. Bush administration posted a large deficit in its last year (and was condemned for it by the present administration), the Obama administration quadrupled the Bush deficit and it projects out at these levels for over 10 years.

     And this, as stated by the Congressional Budget Office, is with the numbers presented to them by the administration. But in fact, much of this data is not only misleading, but also just phony.

     Case in point: The people were told that the recently signed Health Care Bill (Obamacare) not only was deficit neutral, but was a reduction of medical costs to the government. What it actually is beginning to be revealed is the biggest bait-and-switch scheme ever concocted. Even if we forget the presence if the usual „earmarks” included, a lot of the costs are simply accounted for in other spending bills or not even accounted for.

     Example: A number of the largest US corporations, as required by law, have reported to their stockholders of increased costs that will be encountered under the new Obamacare plan in regard to new insurance regulations. We are talking about multi billions of dollars here. By confirming to SEC regulations, these corporations are now the subjects of a grand witch-hunt by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D CA, and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for telling the truth and abiding to the law.

     Note that any cost incurred by a company must be covered by income and this means higher costs for telephone service, autos, computers, food and you name it. It is just paying increased taxes in another manner.

     The big cuts in Medicare will have to be acted on by congress later. And this type of entitlement scale-back has never been made in the past and will never be made in the future. As it is now, many providers are now opting out of providing Medicare now. Note that Johns Hopkins has joined the list recently.

     These costs (and we are only seeing the tip of the 2,700 page iceberg) will end up being paid from other accounts, but will affect the federal budget debt.

     By pursuing this path to national bankruptcy, the US will eventually reach a point that lenders will either hold back or stop purchasing the US debt. First by requiring larger interest rates or simply dumping their holdings to the world market.

     I am only using a couple of examples here, but there are many, many more and even more on the horizon.

     You say that this can’t happen. Think again. The US is ignoring the laws of economics here, like the train wreck promoters ignored the laws of physics. This train wreck might be here sooner than anyone thinks. Even now, the US treasury is, in effect, buying their own debt. Something like paying off your credit card by charging the payment to your credit card.

     And neither the administration nor the congress seems to be capable of stemming this rising tide.
Does this mean that I stand against Health Reform? By no means. There are many things that need improvement, but not with the corrupt blunderbuss method presented in Obamacare.

Richard N. Baldwin T., a ( contributing columnist, lives in Tlalnepantla, Edo de México. E-mail at: [email protected]