Gubmint and How Gubmint Works

(Joyce sent me the following this morning and I thought it worth sharing with my readers, with a few modifications of my own.)

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night."

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll officer, then hired two people.

Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?"

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost."

So they laid off the night watchman.

Now, slowly, let it sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter.

Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY....... during the Carter Administration?




Didn't think so!

Bottom line. We've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency...the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!


It was very simple...and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

And now it's 2009--32 years later--and the budget for this "necessary" department is at $24.2 billion a year.  They have 16,000 federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees.

How successful has the department been in accomplishing its initial purpose of reducing our dependence on foreign oil?

32 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

And now, we are going to turn the banking system, health care, and the auto industry over to the same government?  The one who runs the post office, public housing, Amtrak, and the public schools?

Yes, we need more government.


Anybody Home?

Yesterday's Supreme Court Decision

My good buddy Eric asked me what I thought about yesterday's Supreme Court decision, and I am happy to oblige him with my wisdom.  My words will, of course, be the final authority on the issue and I'm sure all debate will cease after I have spoken.  Ha.

First of all, I want to say that it wasn't any of the Supreme Court's business to involve itself in the matter.  Whether I agree with McCain-Feingold or not, it is the legislative branch, not the judicial, that is to pass laws.  Otherwise, we end up with nine--or, in yesterday's case five--unelected, unaccountable people making laws for the country.  That is not what the Founding Fathers of this country had in mind.  The legislature legislates, the executive enforces, and the judicial applies the laws.  That is how it is supposed to be.

But, with that caveat, I agree with the decision.  People--individually and collectively--should be free to spend their money any way they desire, and if corporations want to pour millions of dollars into supporting a candidate, then that's their business; it's their money. Just because people are rich doesn't mean they shouldn't be free. Keep in mind that there have been no limitations on how much money unions can give to candidates. A lot of corporations will frequently give money to both candidates to cover themselves no matter who wins, so some of this argument is nothing more than politicians posturing for photo-ops.  That's a good way to get votes, too.  Get on TV a lot so people will know who you are.  And the fellow who is already in office gets that free TV time to scream his head off about how corporate money is ruining the electoral process.  What a pack of hypocrites.

It's also important to remember that there are always more "poor" (or middle class) people in a democracy than their are "rich" folks.  The poor can always outvote the rich, regardless of how much money the latter spend to get someone elected.  It's votes that count, not money.  Sure, more money is always advantageous; it is in nearly every walk of life.  How many poor people live in Malibu?  But in an election, money is never the sole factor in victory, and, especially in today's information saturated world, there are a multitude of ways to gain knowledge about candidates that have nothing to do with money.  Read this blog, for example. I'll tell you who to vote for, and it won't cost you a dime (though donations will always be graciously accepted, preferably in the millions....).

The scream against the decision, of course, is "fairness" and "equality."  But freedom is rarely fair and never results in equality.  Put me and Michael Jordan on a basketball court playing one-on-one, and if he is left "free," the game won't be "fair," and the result will certainly not be "equality."  This is, however, one of the greatest debates of our age and the issue for any self-governing people--do you want "fairness" and "equality" (if such is really possible, and I have my doubts), or "freedom" and "inequality"?  You cannot have both.  If people are free, they will not be equal.  If people are equal, they will not be free.  My inclination is towards freedom, which is why I support the decision.  Freedom can be abused, of course, but then, so can "equality."  Just look at the 20th century communist countries for full evidence of the latter. 

But freedom is dangerous without a virtuous citizenship.  As Burke said, it will produce "folly, vice, and madness, without restraint."  So...does that mean turning a country over to power-hungry politicians with the authority to control peoples' lives?  Ask the people of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia about that option.  There's no easy choice in today's increasingly immoral world.  Our Founding Fathers had it right--government by a virtuous aristocracy of merit with the support of a virtuous populous.  Unfortunately, it didn't work, but that's because of the corrupt nature of the human animal.  People will abuse "equality" as surely as they will abuse "freedom"--and visa versa.  As I said, my tendency is towards freedom because I want people to mind their own business and leave me alone, and I want to enjoy the fruits of my labors.  And since equality is unnatural, the only way it can be achieved is through governmental force (DeTocqueville argued this, and correctly).  And that means I have to pay for it.  I don't especially like that, especially if those to whom I am forced to give haven't earned it.

Yet there is one more reason--the most important of all--that I lean towards freedom over equality and that is I cherish religious freedom above all else.  And it is almost an ironclad law of history that, whenever a government, or an individual, gets too much power, the first freedom restricted is religious freedom, simply because no absolute government can allow allegiance to any higher authority than itself.  A secular tyranny will attempt to destroy all religion; the Soviet Union being a case in point.  A religious tyranny--and there have been plenty of those--will limit any religion's freedom except the one it favors.  Power is a dangerous, dangerous thing, and the more of it that is in the hands of the wrong people, the graver the danger to freedom--religious and otherwise.  And if government is given the power to arbitrarily take away people's money in the name of "fairness" or "equality", then it can arbitrarily take away anything else under the guise of any excuse it may devise.  There must be stated, and adhered to, limitations on the powers of government--and the freedom to break from that government and form another in case tyranny develops.  Do I need to explain this to Americans today?  I fear I do.  I know I do.

The Supreme Court's decision yesterday--even though, as noted, it should never have been involved--was the correct one because the Constitution, nowhere, gives the federal government the right to ursurp to itself the powers granted under McCain-Feingold.  But then, it's been a long time--before the War Between the States--since politicians in Washington, D.C. paid any attention to the Constitution (Grover Cleveland, one of my favorite Presidents, was a rare, though inconsistent, exception).

This is an imperfect world, however.  Perfection lies on the other side of the grave, not this one.

Brown's Victory In Massachusetts

The tremendous upset by Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race Tuesday has been analyzed backwards and forwards by pundits all over the country.  I doubt I can say anything that others haven't already said, but I do want to throw in my two cents.

1.  It was, frankly, incredible.  That was Massachusetts, folks, probably the most liberal state in the Union.  And it was Teddy Kennedy's former seat, perhaps the most liberal Senator in Congress while he was alive.  That deep blue state Massachusetts would elect a Republican was a serious slap in the face to the Democrats.

2.  Yes, this was a defeat for Barak Obama.  His attempt to blame it on George Bush is laughable and indicates the matchless narcissism this man has.  He better wake up.  Mr. Obama has accomplished nothing of any substantial worth in his first year in office and the people of the Bay State were telling him so.  We are still embroiled in two wars overseas, with no end in sight to either.  Obama has increased the national debt by a staggering amount, and the people of America realize, whether the President and Congress do or not, that a country cannot pile up debt forever.  This vote further was a rejection of the convoluted, complex, and unworkable health care bill slithering its way through Capital Hill.  That current--thing--in Congress is a maze of bureucratic lawyereze, full of pork and buyouts to Congressmen to get their votes.  It hasn't fooled anybody, well, not anyone with any understanding.  Obama has done nothing to help the economy; the unemployment rate has gone up, foreclosures are skyrocketing with no end in sight, and people are scared to death and have no confidence in the direction Obama and Democrats are taking the nation.  Simply put, Mr. Obama's first year has been--at least according to the vote Tuesday--an unmitigated failure.  Even The People's Republic of Massachusetts recognizes it and wants...change.

3.  Scott Brown's victory was also a serious shot across the bow of the Democratic party as a whole.  They have controlled both Houses of Congress now since 2006, and have increased the national debt substantially, not improved the economy, and given every indication of utter confusion and lack of direction.  Can anyone name me one good thing the Democratic Congress has done since it came to power?  The fiscal irresponsibility in Washington, D.C. right now is truly, truly amazing; the United States Congress, if somebody doesn't do something in a hurry (and it's probably already too late) is going to destroy this country economically by drowning us in an inescapable debt which will make our currency worthless on the world market and could very possibly send us into hyperinflation.  Frankly, if you stop and think about it, it's incredible how utterly reckless, rash, and economically irresponsible that body has been; it boggles the mind.  They are supposed to be leading this country and they give no indication that they have a clue how to do it.  It's almost like those 535 people are living in a completely different world, totally out of touch with the reality that every day Americans must deal with each day of their lives.  The American people want something done, but they want it done right, and the Democratic Congress's effort to ram a health care bill through that hardly anybody has read and will cost at least a trillion dollars does not encourage a lot of confidence in that august body, to say the least.  And the people of Massachusetts just told them so.  The Bay State rejected its own party--and that ain't hay, folks.

4.  But, the Tuesday debacle was not necessarily a total disaster for the Democrats.  The people of this country are forgiving, and tend to have short memories.  It's not a given that the Democrats will lose either house of Congress this fall, and they could retain substantial majorities--if they start doing the right thing, i.e., show some restraint, caution, intelligent deliberation, and fiscal responsibility.  Action, Mr. Obama, not talk.  Shut up, get off the television, and do something.  Something like minding your own business and letting the American people run their own affairs, which they know how to do a whole lot better than you and Nancy Pelosi.  In other words, Mr. Obama and Congress, truly convince us that you know what you are doing and have the best interests of this nation in mind.  But so far, Barak Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have given absolutely no indication that they have an inkling of the virtue, frugality, and wisdom necessary to guide the United States of America along a proper course.  And unless the American people stop them, the Democrats in Congress will sail the Ship of State right off the edge of the earth.