Wanted – An Honest Politician

Big Lies in Politics

By Thomas Sowell

The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them; it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run. The current outbreaks of riots in Europe show what happens when the truth catches up with both the politicians and the people in the long run.

Among the biggest lies of the welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic is the notion that the government can supply the people with things they want but cannot afford. Since the government gets its resources from the people, if the people as a whole cannot afford something, neither can the government.

There is, of course, the perennial fallacy that the government can simply raise taxes on “the rich” and use that additional revenue to pay for things that most people cannot afford. What is amazing is the implicit assumption that “the rich” are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away. History shows otherwise.

After the Constitution of the United States was amended to permit a federal income tax, in 1916, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of $300,000 a year or more fell from well over a thousand to fewer than three hundred by 1921.

Were the rich all getting poorer? Not at all. They were investing huge sums of money in tax-exempt securities. The amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities was larger than the federal budget, and nearly half as large as the national debt.

This was not unique to the United States or to that era. After the British government raised their income tax on the top income earners in 2010, they discovered that they collected less tax revenue than before. Other countries have had similar experiences. Apparently the rich are not all fools, after all.

In today’s globalized world economy, the rich can simply invest their money in countries where tax rates are lower.

So, if you cannot rely on “the rich” to pick up the slack, what can you rely on? Lies.

Nothing is easier for a politician than promising government benefits that cannot be delivered. Pensions such as Social Security are perfect for this role. The promises that are made are for money to be paid many years from now — and somebody else will be in power then, left with the job of figuring out what to say and do when the money runs out and the riots start.

There are all sorts of ways of postponing the day of reckoning. The government can refuse to pay what it costs to get things done. Cutting what doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients is one obvious example.

That of course leads some doctors to refuse to take on new Medicare patients. But this process takes time to really make its full impact felt — and elections are held in the short run. This is another growing problem that can be left for someone else to try to cope with in future years.

Increasing amounts of paperwork for doctors in welfare states with government-run medical care, and reduced payments to those doctors, in order to stave off the day of bankruptcy, mean that the medical profession is likely to attract fewer of the brightest young people who have other occupations available to them — paying more money and having fewer hassles. But this too is a long-run problem — and elections are still held in the short run.

Eventually, all these long-run problems can catch up with the wonderful-sounding lies that are the lifeblood of welfare state politics. But there can be a lot of elections between now and eventually — and those who are good at political lies can win a lot of those elections.

As the day of reckoning approaches, there are a number of ways of seeming to overcome the crisis. If the government is running out of money, it can print more money. That does not make the country any richer, but it quietly transfers part of the value of existing money from people’s savings and income to the government, whose newly printed money is worth just as much as the money that people worked for and saved.

Printing more money means inflation — and inflation is a quiet lie, by which a government can keep its promises on paper, but with money worth much less than when the promises were made.

Is it so surprising voters with unrealistic hopes elect politicians who lie about being able to fulfill those hopes?

Barack and the Supremes

By: The Common Constitutionalist

I’d like to speak of the Obamacare legacy. Not what Obamacare will do to just healthcare, but the affect it will have on virtually every aspect of American life.

I personally know people; friends, colleagues and coworkers that will be adversely affected if Obamacare is allowed to withstand Supreme Court scrutiny. Adversely affected. That’s an understatement. How about crushed.

We here the liberals decry how unfair the current free-market (had to gag a little there. Our healthcare is far from free-market) system is. The poor are literally left to die in the streets. We all know this to be bunk, but it’s pretty close to the way they describe it.

We will all be adversely affected, but the ones the grand designers claim to care about, those currently on Medicare & Medicaid, will suffer the most.

Medicare is, of course, government controlled medical care for the elderly & Medicaid mainly for the poor.

For those on Medicare, there will be death panels. Oh, they won’t be called that, but rest assured, or should I say, Rest in Peace, there will a panel of government bureaucrats to decide whether you deserve that new hip or pacemaker. Old Granny, at 85, can’t benefit from an MRI like that 30-year-old taxpayer or that 40-year-old would benefit more from a cancer screening than Gramps, at 80.

The poor, currently on Medicaid, will of course get the shaft due to rationing. They will get what’s left over from the productive members of society. This is of course a form of eugenics. If you are unable to prove that you are of value to the collective, you will naturally be last in line for medical care, as are the elderly.

Not a very rosy picture, I’ll grant you, but I believe that if we continue down this path, it will be the logical end.

This is just one of the reasons this Supreme Court decision is so paramount.

If the High Court bestows constitutional precedence on Obamacare, there is no end to the government’s meddling in our everyday affairs.

Why couldn’t the government just tell us that we have to buy broccoli or brussel sprouts or some other nasty vegetable and must consume them daily, in the name of improving our health?

A whole new government department could be formed. Think of all the new jobs. It could be called The Major Intergovernmental Council of Health Education for Life Long Excellence or MICHELLE. There would be an army of agents similar to the electric company meter readers. They would travel the countryside making sure we all had our proper intake of good food and, of course, all the while, keeping a trained eye out for contraband like salt or a black market cheeseburger hidden under the mattress.

The president could appoint a new government fast food oversight board. After all, it is said that fast food is making us fat and killing us all. This will surely put a strain on the health care system. Maybe the board recommends to the president that fast food restaurants simply be closed.

Another board could be responsible for alcohol and tobacco coupons. Those who consume these substances will have to present a coupon giving them permission to buy the substance. Of course, the coupons will be rationed. We wouldn’t want anyone to abuse them. That would put a strain on the health care system.

Again, look at all the jobs that are being created, but I digress.

This is what can happen with a simple Supreme Court ruling. If the Supreme Court rules that the government can force us to purchase health insurance why could they not force us to purchase anything?

Once the Supreme Court rules in favor or against anything it sets precedence. Once this precedence has been set the Constitution is all but thrown out the window. Any subsequent case that comes before the Supreme Court will simply cite that precedent as proof of its constitutionality.

Ask yourself  just how far this could go? Why could they not just start demanding more control over us?

Why could we not be told what car we had to buy or what house or where we must go on vacation? Surely having too many children would put a strain on the health care system, not to mention the school system, the food supply, et al.

The government must also concern itself with not only our health but also the health of the planet. They wouldn’t want us burning all those fossil fuels to heat and cool our homes. Naturally we would be required to purchase smart meters and smart thermostats so they could control the heating, cooling and electrical use of each house.

It would be great! We could have rolling blackouts just like Venezuela.

Now just sit back and imagine the utopia. Life will be easy. You’ll never have to make another decision again. Everything will be taken care of and we will be wanting for nothing. Kind of like being in boot camp all over again.

Life in Utopian America:

We will grow up being told what foods to eat, what school to attend and what clothes to wear.

We will be told what college to attend, what our vocation will be and how much money we will be allowed to make.

Prior to starting our new job we will be required to give one or two years of community service in order to help pay for our free college education and for the good of the collective.

We will then be free to marry a woman, a man, or perhaps our pet hamster. We will have no more than 2.4 perfect children. Of course, if they’re not perfect, we can always abort them. Don’t worry about that whole parenting thing, the schools will take care of that.

We will work at our preselected vocation for a number of years until such time as our usefulness to the collective is exhausted.

At that time we will be given our choice of residence at a lovely nearby government rest home.

When another board decides it is too costly to care for us we will simply be given a pain pill and asked to go sit in the corner and die with dignity.

It’s a Wonderful Life! Where do I sign?