What? We’re still here? Well, hell’s bells. I guess Harold Camping was wrong about that end of the world thing. I’m sure he’ll figure out where he went wrong, though, and come back with the real date for the end of the world. But unless he comes up with something a few million years from now, we can be quite certain that he’s wrong again.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we won’t blow up the place ourselves before Earth’s natural end comes about. We’ve sure got the capacity to do that, and our own politicians seem to have no problem edging us in that direction whenever and wherever possible.

But now that we’ve dodged this bullet, maybe we should all take a deep breath and another look at what we’ve wrought here.

Harold Camping isn’t the only one to fuck up his calculations, y’know. The Republicans do it all the time, and the Democrats too,  just not as badly. Paul Ryan, for example. He calculated that he could propose gutting the security net for the elderly, and nobody would raise a stink about it. He was wrong. He doesn’t admit it, but he is wrong, wrong, wrong. Not that that will stop him and his buddies from trying again.

That’s the plan. Conservatives want to shrink government, and the best way they know how to do that is not the logical, smart way. They won’t raise taxes on the filthy rich, who can afford it. They won’t get us out of ridiculous wars. They won’t stop proposing defense contracts that even the Pentagon says they don’t want (just so they can bring the pork … I mean, the money, to their districts). And they won’t do a damn thing about creating jobs, which, as the rest of us all know, is a sure-fire way to bring more money into government coffers to pay for things we need.

And that’s the point. They don’t want to bring more money in. They want the aforementioned filthy rich to get filthier and richer. And how? Why, at the expense of the rest of us — and especially anyone who might need a helping hand. Conservatives want to strip every single piece of social program out of the government. Why their sheeple don’t see that, and why my beloved colleagues refuse to call them on it, I have no earthly idea. But since the earth didn’t end, we’re still gonna have to deal with the problems we’ve created.

There’s a lot of hand-wringing going on about the deficit right now. It’s pretty steep. But the interesting thing is that in the past 30 years, it’s only been Republican presidents who’ve left us holding the bag with a deficit. The one Democratic president left us with a surplus, which was quickly decimated by the next Republican, one George W. Bush.

And George W. Bush left us in such horrid shape that even a Democratic president, particularly one who spends so much damn time giving away the farm, isn’t likely to give us a surplus this time.

But two things will cure this deficit: End the wars, and tax the goddamn rich. We already know that cutting taxes on the rich doesn’t do anything but make them richer. So why the wait?

And a third thing will seal the deal. Sink some money into public programs, like, just to draw something off the top of my head, infrastructure. Our roads and bridges and power grids and all are crumbling. The Republicans don’t want to fix them, because … well, I don’t know why. They’re just idiots, I guess.

But I’ll tell you this — if we don’t start fixing the problems we have, we’ll certainly see the end of the world as we know it, if not the end of the world entirely. Harold Camping won’t get it, but jeez, the guy’s gonna have his own private rapture before the real end comes about.

The end isn’t near — but change is. And this is a calculation we cannot afford to fuck up.