Greek philosopher Zeno’s most famous paradox was an attempt to show that motion is a myth. In Zeno’s scenario, Achilles must race a tortoise and because Achilles is much faster he gives the tortoise a head start. Surely a demigod outraces a plodding reptile with four-inch legs, right?
|Zeno of Elea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
“Not so fast, my friend,” said Zeno of Elea, who may have been an ancestor of ESPN commentator Lee Corso. After the contestants begin running, Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, but the tortoise is also moving and is at a point farther down the track. Achilles will soon reach that second point, but his armored rival has again moved on. This scenario repeats an infinite number of times because there are an infinite number of points between the two.
The point (pun intended) Zeno was attempting to make was that while Achilles gains on the tortoise he can never catch him. The current – and more accurate – scenario is the reduction of the deficit can never reduce the debt.
The deficit is like the gap between Zeno and the tortoise; it doesn’t matter how much you reduce the deficit, income never catches spending and thus every year we are more in debt. When a politician brags on “reducing the deficit” - and I’m looking at you Barack Obama - remember they’re losing ground to a tortoise and at the end of the day our federal government is more in debt.