“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” –Freddie Laker
The final composition of the Super Committee to cut government spending is complete. I won’t bore you with its composition, but let’s think for a moment about its structure and intent. An even number of Republicans and Democrats from both the Senate and the House will reduce our national deficit by $1.5 trillion over ten years. In a related story, pigs soared over the nation’s Capitol today.
Of course, I am being facetious. The Super Committee will not cut our deficit.
First, I have lived long enough to know the mean lifespan of a Congressional promise. Science has recently developed measures for it. Think of a nanosecond that hasn’t quite reached maturity. What has been done can be undone, including the deal struck by both sides to overcome the debt ceiling impasse. You read it here first, folks. As soon as something unusual happens, like maybe the President stubs his toe and everyone believes the Tea Party did it, all those good intentions will become the asphalt with which, well, you know…
Governance in this country is supposed to be this way. The Founders knew they could not tame the beast of government any other way than to use its most potent trait against it–the incessant drive to accumulate power. Brilliantly, they conceived of three branches squabbling among themselves while the rest of us did business and raised families as we saw fit. Though not by design, the two-party system evolved with much the same dynamic–we count on the thugs cancelling each other out and leaving the rest of us alone.
The Founders failed to appreciate one thing, though. Eventually, thieves figure out how to work together. Witness mafia territories and drug dealer corners. Recognizing that constant fighting kills profits and shortens lives, a kind of truce is established. Everyone gets his/her share of the pie, even though they can’t really be friends. No matter to the rest of us. In the end, the neighborhood is overrun with thugs and drugs.
Congress has excelled at producing a theater of mock conflict for decades while agreeing backstage to rape, pillage, and plunder at will. Hell, if it weren’t for the Tea Party, Congress would not have seen a genuine conflict for nigh unto a hundred years.
The Super Committee will be no different. They will come up with something bold and useless, exercising all their creative powers to convince us that they really are trying, doggonit. Until Congress as a whole recognizes that we cannot, no matter how much we couch it in smug humanitarianism, continue providing entitlements and police the whole planet, we are on a train that is swiftly running out of track.
The solution? Steady, unrelenting, year-after-year pressure on members of Congress to adhere to some simple principles:
1) Limited government
2) Lower taxes
3) Free markets
You don’t have to be for or against immigration to join the fight. You don’t have to believe in or be opposed to gay marriage. You don’t have to have a stockpile of automatic weapons in your basement. And most of all, you don’t have to be a nut case. All you need to be is smart enough to figure out that we have too much government and that we will never have less government if we don’t force members of Congress to cut it down to size.
Liberals likening Tea Partiers to terrorists is a signal that we have hit our target. They are doing so not because we want to round up certain races or religions and put them in stocks. It is not because we loot stores, burn books, or torture puppies. They are upset because we don’t want to raise taxes, period. If the Super Committee sticks to that one, I am reserving a flight on the next pig.