Like Biden's Busted Gaza Pier, So Drifts Away Our Economy

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 05:25 PM

Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you have completely given up on any semblance of fiscal responsibility from the current administration, and perhaps maybe from the nation as a whole, already. But if you’re one of the few still holding on to a shred of hope for fiscal responsibility…well…stop.

As best as I can tell, the Biden administration's current policy stance towards spending is basically "f*ck it, we’ve almost run up the credit card to its limit, so we might as well just blow the rest on a massive bender."

Biden reminds me of Michael Jackson in the Living With Michael Jackson documentary with Martin Bashir, walking into a (very likely insanely overpriced) Las Vegas antique store, filled with lavish looking garbage that no one ever needs to own, for any reason, and pointing at and buying literally every single item he doesn’t own yet.

The trillions of dollars in tax revenue that the country is bringing in pales in comparison to the speed with which the Biden administration has figured out ways to spend. Our nation's cumulative debt to GDP is at record levels and has surpassed levels that have broken many nations in the past.

The nation's spending habit has gotten so out of control that the Biden administration is actually thinking about implementing a tax on unrealized gains, one of the worst ideas I’ve heard over the last decade, even giving the "trillion dollar coin" idea a run for its money. I wrote about why this would be such a horrific idea just weeks ago, pointing out that it would obliterate what’s left of the economy.

The above Michael Jackson analogy is apt because the spending he was doing in that store was needless. Does anyone need another bronze gargoyle or $89,000 emerald chess set? Of course not! But, fuck it, we’re here to spend, and spend is what we’ll do!

To quote Oscar Martinez from The Office:

“This scary black bar is what you spend on things that no one ever, ever needs, like multiple magic sets, professional bass fishing equipment.”

These examples do well to explain the Biden administration’s reckless spending on things like hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign countries, unaudited, to help them fight wars, $7.5 billion dollar subsidies that over 2 years produce just 7 EV charging stations and bailing out university students from the debt they accrued while pursuing their degree in 18th-century intersexual French philosophies of applied communism and their respective effects on non-binary seagulls.

And while it’s not professional bass fishing equipment, there might be no better example of how careless we have become with our spending than the $320 million pier that the Biden administration just constructed in Gaza, supposedly to help ship aid to Palestinians.

Putting aside the inconvenient fact that the administration can’t seem to make up its mind which side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it’s on, this $320 million monstrosity was so wonderfully built and such an effective bastion of government efficiency, it didn’t even last two weeks before being washed out to shore.

Incinerating $320 million over the course of just 12 days has to be some type of record.

The US halted aid delivery from the $320 million "floating pier" off Gaza's coast due to structural damage from severe weather, barely a week after its debut, Fox News reported this week. Although 569 metric tons of aid were transferred to the dock, none had reached Palestinians by last week, per the Pentagon.

And what a surprise: the National Review noted that the pier wasn’t intended to be used in waters with over three-foot waves, which “occur in that part of the Mediterranean Sea frequently”:

It turns out that the pier system was not intended to be used in waters with waves higher than three feet, and three-foot waves occur in that part of the Mediterranean Sea frequently. We know that Pentagon officials can read a weather and surf report. Now the question is, did someone in the administration tell them to go ahead with the operation, knowing the risks?

A lot of us figured that Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad would have targeted the U.S.-built Gaza pier by now. But the wind and the sea got there first; what few of us realized was that the Pentagon built the pier in a location where it would regularly operate at the maximum safe-wave height and wind, and any bout of bad weather could break the structure apart.

Incredible work all around, everybody.

And to be frank, I wasn’t even planning on writing an article about this, but this morning, as I watched one headline after the next continue to go across my social media feed—each one sporting a picture of the pier drifting further and further out to sea—I couldn’t help but be struck by what an astute microcosm of our nation's failed economic policies it was.

It’s baffling to me to think about the juxtaposition between then excruciating planning that goes into collecting tax revenue versus the near-zero planning that obviously goes into how and why our country spends. Anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer laws in the United States won’t let you move more than a couple thousand dollars without setting off alarm bells at banks. Venmo transactions over $600 are monitored by the government. They are literally thinking about taxes that take gains you haven’t even realized yet.

Yet when absolutely gargantuan sums of money turn up missing, or boondoggle projects fail miserably, it’s no big deal.

Trillions of dollars go unaccounted for at the Pentagon, hundreds of billions go unmonitored in the form of foreign aid, billions get handed out to hostile nation-states like Iran — and now, as the icing on the cake, there’s $320 million worth of shit floating in the Mediterranean Sea somewhere.

And in the grand old tradition of our nation's fiscal policy on both sides of the aisle, nobody will be held accountable or have learned anything from the experience, except the contractors who likely overcharged the government to get the project done and are likely now touring the beautiful beaches of Tel Aviv in exotic cars.

I know. Every day we bear witness to dozens of examples of inefficiency in government spending. But for some reason, maybe it’s the timing, this one just stood out to me.

I’m not trying to be a doomsday sayer, but with the Fed caught between the rock of inflation and the hard place of a coming economic depression as the result of 5.5% interest rates — and half of the modern world in the BRICS nations openly challenging the dollar's reserve currency status, the carelessness with which we spend sadly really does seem like it has reached "end of Empire" levels.

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