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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: And this, kiddos, is why the country is going broke

Editor’s Notebook: And this, kiddos, is why the country is going broke

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The graying news staff at Ye Olde Sun Gazette collectively figures its members will be in the grave before the final economic collapse of the U.S. government happens. But it’s going to be a photo-finish, we guess. Maybe 20 years?

Trillions here, trillions there, trillions trillions everywhere. But let’s not forget how those trillions that are being whizzed away add up in the first place.

Consider the case, as reported by our own Brian Trompeter (one of our fellow gentlemen of a certain age in the newsroom), that the Vienna town government appears to have secured federal funding to replace a pedestrian bridge in town.

The cost? About $250,000, although it seems a little nebulous as to whether the feds will come up with all of the moolah or leave town taxpayers with some of the bill.


Here’s the kicker: A voice of reason on the Town Council, Howard Springsteen, applauded the incoming cash but wondered if the project’s proposed cost wasn’t a tad over the line.

Waaaaayyyyyyyy over the line.

“Couldn’t we have two public-works folks with a chainsaw take down the bridge for less than $35,000?” he asked.

“I’m serious,” he added just to make sure people knew.

Yes, it probably could be done for a lot less than the current estimate. But simply paying it out of local funds would mean the feds wouldn’t have the power to dictate all the rules, regulations and special preferences that accompany such federal funding.

You can’t blame Vienna officials, or any local government, for taking the cash when it rains down from Uncle Sugar. But some day — maybe not in the lifetime of yours truly but not too long after — the bill will come due in perhaps unimaginable ways.

Sorry about that, future generations. Hate to be apocalyptic, but a reckoning with the laws of economics, though it can be delayed, can’t be denied.

THE LACK OF SELF-AWARENESS IS, OK, JUST HILARIOUS: Oh, I do love the self-proclaimed “conservative” Virginia political blog Bearing Drift. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

To start off February, one of the contributors opted to ‘splain how the rest of us should approach Black History Month, with paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of a missive that was more about her Never-Trumpie centrist world view than anything else.

Cringe-worthy? Oh, my, decidedly so. Unintentionally hilarious due to the lack of self-awareness? As the Three Stooges would have put it: “Indubitably.”

  • Scott McCaffrey

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