We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Who's going to pay for all this candy, Barrister? We are, of course. We, the eternally screwed taxpayers, are destined to pay for it, because folks refuse to learn that the further away the money is from the problem it is supposed to solve, the more money drains away before it gets to the problem to solve it.
Who's going to pay for all the sweets? I'm just a guy from the 'burbs, but from what can piece together here are some of the options:
1. Taxpayers. After all somebody said Dems spend and tax and Repubs spend and borrow. And the Dems now have the keys to the vault and probably will soon revert to form.
2. Children and Grandchildren. Just postpone the bill paying and keep piling on debt until the Boomers are dead and buried. How long can this go on? We may soon test the limits.
3. Chinese, Japanese and Saudis. The U.S.$s accumulated by our trading "partners" are spent for Treasury bills. The kindness of strangers has so far kept the party going. Again, are there limits? And where are they? If their exports drop, where does the money come from for them to continue saving our bacon?
4. Monetize the debt and inflate out of the problem. A dollar in debt is not so much of a problem - for the borrower not the creditor - if it winds up representing the equivalent of a dime. Unfortunately, if we are largely in debt to #3, they might not be down with that plan and the U.S.$ would be affected.
5. And, last but not least, the financial/economic site Fabius Maximus recently opined that the most likely outcome is an Argentina-model repudiation of debt to foreigners. Internally, there might be a variation of the Russian monetization of social welfare in 2005, a cash buy-out from SocSec and Medicare obligations. Thus, the USG triages winners and losers; you might say a selective buyout of the bailout. Obviously, a one time boost to inflation, but controllable over time.
The current problem is an unwinding of excessive and overvalued corporate financial debt. Actual or fear of possible unemployment is beginning to force a debt paydown and uptick in savings by households. Unfortunately, the unwinding of the public sector debt overhang within a few years will be a doozy. Substantial and extended economic dislocation would appear to be an inevitable outcome as the total debt overhang unwinds.
We live in interesting times. And they'll more than likely get more interesting in the future.