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I really appreciate the simple honesty in Timothy Nerenz's thoughts.

Fiat Math
I have finally figured out how to attain my ideal weight. I will have a council of economic advisors say that I am 6’4” tall, and a special commission report that I weigh 185 lbs. That’s how the government does it – fiat math.

As long as I do not pass by a mirror in my clingy Under Armor or listen when you point at me and laugh, I can just pretend that my Keynesian diet plan – eating 1.6 trillion extra calories to stimulate my metabolism – is working. Besides, Joe Biden assured me I have already lost or avoided over 3 million pounds.

Last week was an especially bad week for the truth.

CBO reported that the $39 billion in Republocrat budget “cuts” described only a week earlier by President Obama as “historic” were 99% fudged. All that remains is for the real President - Ashton Kutcher - to jump out from under the podium, spin his hat around to the front, and yell “Punk’d!” Good one, Ashton.

It gets worse for those who shovel fictitious economic data for a living. Turns out that inflation, which we all knew was running over 10%, really is running at 10% if we count it as we did when I studied economics in college. And if we measure unemployment as we did back then, it is at 20%, give or take the margin of error. If I would have known we were going to have to do this for ourselves, I would have paid more attention in class; check that, I would have gone to class.

But government is sticking by its new and improved fiat math formula, calling unemployment at 8.8% and inflation at 2.1%. Add the two and those delivering the misery come up with a misery index of 10.9, while those on the receiving end are feeling the 30 points you get when you actually include unemployed people in the unemployment rate and things people buy in the inflation rate. I know, I know – hairsplitting.

And none of us knows what is happening with the money supply anymore, another one of those econ things we had to study by torchlight on our chiseled stone tablets. The Fed’s answer to its critics was to simply stop reporting weekly M1-M6 a few years ago. The new procedure is for Congressman Ron Paul to sue the Federal Reserve, who loses and appeals up to the Supreme Court. Two years after the fact we finally get our chance to gasp in horror. Transparency.

But wait - there’s more. A new study shows that women really make 8% more than men, turning 40 years of feminist propaganda and government EEOC policy on its head. And for the umpti-eth week in a row, the government’s economic models forecasted the wrong number for new jobless claims - not even close. Finally, GDP was again oh-by-the-way revised downward from what was previously reported; a story so boring it doesn’t even make the papers anymore.

Two words: toldya!

So let’s recap: the government’s smartest people, with unlimited funds and an army of minions at their disposal, do not know what government takes in or what it spends; do not know how many of us are working, what we earn, or what we produce; and do not know what things cost, or how much money they printed.

Those are the smartest people. The second tier of know-betters rely on that lack of information to decide what we can buy, what we will pay for it, how much we can earn, how much we can keep, what we can weigh, drive, watch, read, learn, teach, carry on a plane, do with our cell phones, heat with, shoot, and a thousand other things that are none of their business.

And the third tier is getting ready to run for office again in 2012.

It should surprise no one that a government unable to count has made a mess of everything we have entrusted it to do. The only thing either Party remotely cares about is votes, and they can’t even count them right. It goes straight downhill from there.

The only reform that will improve the federal government is to jettison large chunks of it. With all due respect to Congressman Ryan, there was no need to develop a fiscal “roadmap” to save the nation; we already have one called the Constitution.

Start with a budget of zero, then take Article 1 Section 8 and add the amount needed to perform each of the enumerated powers; stop when you hit Section 9. There’s your federal budget; about a quarter of what we are spending now, probably less.

Show me your plan to get there, leaders of either party, and I will support it. Until then, I’m with Joe Biden – let’s just take a nap until they get serious. It is frankly offensive to be lectured by middle-aged adolescents about the other guys’ “real” motivations. I’m quite certain Congressmen with autistic children do not secretly want to give them to billionaire cannibals for tax write-offs. And I doubt that the President’s real goal is third world nation status; it would be the first thing he set out to do that is actually working.

The legitimate negotiations over the size and scope of the federal budget were completed when each and every member of Congress swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It’s what they say next that makes clear just who it is she must be defended from.

“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.timnerenz.com">www.timnerenz.com</a><!-- w --> to find your moment and watch for the upcoming release of his new book, “Capitalista!”