Cut What?

Bernanke is in the news again, this time with a speech chastising Congress about spending.  Not that they will listen, but it is at least refreshing to hear someone smack 534 (I always leave out Ron Paul) nearly brain-dead people collectively on the back of the head.  I feel better.  I think.

Helicopter Ben thinks it unwise to monkey with the deficit in the near-term.  He may be right, if monkeying with it means killing the Bush tax cuts.  Come 2012, though, the chickens are coming home to roost.  We must tackle the deficit.  But how?

There are two answers.  First the fantasy one.  Congress will realize that no matter what one’s political ideology, we simply cannot have all the things liberals think government should provide. We will embark on a sane, long-term redefining of the limits of government and steadily reduce its size and scope to that envisioned by the Founders.  Hang on, I am laughing so hard I can’t type.  Whew…that was a thigh-slapper.

OK, let’s try another one.

“Are you against puppies?”

“Well, I…”

“Oh, SURELY you are not against them!”

“Well, no, but…”

“So would you support legislation to tax trans fats to feed puppies?”

“No, I wouldn’t.”

“I knew you hated puppies.”

That is what we face.  In the light of day, such arguments have all the substance of hot jello.  In the dark collective cognitive space of Congress, they take on a queer kind of materiality.  In fact, they become the cornerstone of what passes for reasoning.  We can’t cut ____________ because only an insufferable brute would want to hurt _____________.

Over the next few years, whether Republicans or Democrats are in control, expect an unending and tiresome defense of government involvement in every aspect of our lives.  From military bases to Medicare, no one will want to touch anything.  We have only one shot at this, so let’s get it right.  We must maintain unrelenting pressure at the polls, Democrat and Republican alike.  For starters:

  • Repeal the Health Care Bill in its entirety.  Deregulate the health care industry completely.
  • Repeal all legal tender laws.  Allow citizens to use any form of money they wish to use for private exchanges.
  • Kill cap-and-trade.
  • Repeal the entire tax code in favor of a national flat tax or a national sales tax.

“But we can’t…”  Oh, shut up.  We not only can, we have to.  If we do not tame this beast, it will eat us all.  No one, no matter how cute and cuddly, will get anything from the government if it goes belly up.  Let them know we are serious.  If they don’t get the message, send them home.  If they complain that they can’t get elected if they cut programs, tell them we didn’t put them in office to get re-elected.  We put them there to restore sane government.  They do not have the power–we do.  It’s our government, and we want it back.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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