This past November, after unseating a thousand Democrats nationwide in state and federal elections over the past few election cycles, Republican voters thought finally they had government under control. With a strong President as leader, figuring Republican members of both houses in Washington would be grateful, thankful for the majorities graciously handed them, voters expected campaign promises made would be kept. In particular they counted on repeal of Obamacare. “Repeal Fixes Obamacare,” they said. So they were content to let markets restore healthcare to its former health. Fifty times Republicans had repealed Obamacare. Just one more time, they thought.
So setting the scene much like in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die, after Speaker Ryan saved Obamacare in the House a high speed chase was joined by Republican voters through the swamps of Washington, DC that is. After numerous wrecks, roadblocks. After all that, in the person of Louisiana Sheriff J.W. Pepper, exhausted, exasperated voters finally caught up with Speaker Paul Ryan:
Voter J.W. Pepper: (to the MSM) “There’s that son of a bitch, we got him."
Individual liberty is best safeguarded when as much government as possible stays home, remains local. Most of the good a politician can truthfully, honestly brag about is what he does at home. Unlike bankers, plumbers, and teachers that can do much good in their professions away from home, politicians have few redeemable qualities reflected in their work away from home in Washington, DC that is.
At home most every individual, including politicians, attends (as is age appropriate) to the things impacting the security, finances, health, and well being of the house. But in government politicians have few responsibilities, their primary concerns being national security and a budget. The founders assigned most everything else to individuals, families, local governments, and state governments, specifically tasks politicians in far away Washington would presumably know little about and fail to address adequately based on local conditions. Their plan was to keep government local, as much as was efficiently possible.
The politics word of the week? Mean. McConnell’s Senate unveiled its revision of Obamacare Thursday. Not a single Republican spoke up to set the tone of the legislation before Nancy Pelosi had already on camera eviscerated the legislation. She obviously thought she knew what was in the bill before she read it. Her labels, “sad, mean, and heartless.” Chuck Schumer immediately doubled down on the mantra. The Senate’s bill “is even meaner” than The bill Paul Ryan introduced to save Obamacare.
It’s reported President Trump was the first to use mean to describe Ryancare while talking privately with some Republican senators. No source is cited except “those close to the President,” Nor is there clarity if the President quoted someone else or came up with the term mean on his own. But someone in media latched onto mean, probably focus grouped it, not for long, then distributed the term to MSM and politicians to repeat ad infinitum.
Mean politicians budget. Other politicians dally. The tension, the vast stretch of difference between one politician and another is: Mean politicians budget while Normal politicians neglect to budget. Sometimes they pretend to budget, but rarely do they so much as feign remorse when columns fail to balance. Most politicians somehow get away with calling themselves budget hawks. Only the mean politicians really are hawks. This is no small matter, since as stated above, politicians have very few actual responsibilities, especially when compared to an average homeowner. Our liberties, our economic and military security depend on budgets to keep America and Americans economically liquid, free of a massive debilitating debt that could one day be called in without recourse.
The foil politicians use while fencing (that should be taken a couple of ways) the budgeting process is baseline budgeting. Baseline budgeting bakes unreported, unpublicized increases into each successive annual budget. This allows politicians to do what a homeowner can only dream of geting away with. Under baseline budgeting guidelines a politician can report an increase is not an increase, an increase is a cut, and a cut is a cut when it is an increase. Politicians are also privileged to claim small increases are mean and to demagogue cuts that do not cut a thing are mean.
The resultant bologna they proudly label a responsibly developed budget for the American people is not a budget. For only budgets that balance are budgets. Any other productions of mystifying dollar figures with no context bearing on reality result in theft, theft from coming, perhaps yet unborn generations that will arrive deadbeats because government has for decades been about giveaways and spreading the wealth, around.
As a previous blog post advanced, Disruptors and big government central planners both can produce chaos. In fact, chaos is a certainty when industries and markets are run by big government central planners. With disruptors like a Trump, maybe it’s 50 – 50 things will destructively hit the fan. With big government politicians like Ryan, McConnell, Pelosi, and Schumer it’s 100 percent.
We know the four leaders of their respective parties are chaos producers because none have brought themselves around to accept #RepealFixesObamacare even though Republican majorities in both houses of Congress were obtained on the basis of that one simple solution (and both houses were lost to Democrats for the same reason) presented to voters as a remedy for today’s healthcare industry’s regression to Venezuela.
Opposite big government central planners are you and I: individuals making decisions on the basis of local, regional, and national circumstances; on the basis of an individual’s and family’s priorities. In simpler language, individuals practice economics when government can’t intrude very much. The more government, the more regulation, the more coercive taxation intended to produce a central planner’s Utopian results; the less evidence there is economics will explain what just happened in the lives of Americans.
Robbin’s definition of economics that Thomas Sowell has quoted often goes something like this: “Economics explains the use of scarce resources that have alternative uses.” Big government central planners do not care about alternative uses, don’t want them to exist. Nonetheless since the enactment of Obamacare numerous Americans spent three billion dollars to avoid paying mandated premiums; because they had alternative uses for the scarce cash in their shallow wallets: a vacation, a boat, a home, or a college education; which shows while individuals across the country practiced economics, their counterparts in government played Russian roulette. Or perhaps in a moment of candor they will admit they played Spin the Bottle.
Our big, growing by leaps and bounds government has abandoned both economics and budgets, hasn’t practiced economics or passed a budget in several years. Yet its elected and nonelected office holders enjoy trappings traditionally, gratefully, rightfully reserved for legitimate servants of the people.
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About The Pundit
This retired window washer now provides instruction on the benefits and perils of time travel through focusing an allegorical lens on the present.