You probably remember these whoppers from your teen-age years: “I promise I’ll cut the grass tomorrow if you’ll give me an advance on my allowance”; “We’re just going to the movies, and there’ll be lots of other kids there”; “I’ll always love you.”
Our wanna-be Presidents offer similar morsels:
- It’s our turn to run the country.
- We’ll cut the deficit/streamline the government/make the government more responsive to the people [pick any number].
- It’s time to get this country moving again.
The only thing worse than failing to deliver on such promises would be to deliver on them. Let’s take them in turn.
1. Running the country. Who wants a bunch of Harvard history professors or Yale lawyers running the country? These are the people who brought us Vietnam, from which disaster the country still reels. And after barely averting the debacle of Hillary-Care, it seems that the Washington Wizards (that’s Congress, not the NBA team) may opt for creeping socialized medicine instead of swallowing it in one dose. Keep it up, guys and gals, and only the truly rich will be able to afford high-quality health care — by buying it on the black market.
2. Cutting the deficit, streamlining government, and making government more responsive to the people. Lord, save us from the unholy trinity of political panaceas. Right now, with an economy that’s healthy, no thanks to Bubba Bill and the Washington Wizards, the deficit is on the run. But you know what’s next: Let’s spend a little more here and there for the happiness of all of our favorite special-interest groups. Comes the inevitable economic slow-down and guess what will happen? Oops, we’ve made all of these commitments and can’t renege on them; guess we’ll have to raise taxes to fight the creeping deficit.
Of course, it takes more bureaucrats to collect higher taxes and to spend more money. So, forget streamlining because Washington without bureaucrats is like a hamburger without grease.
As for making government more responsive to the people: Why do you think we have deficits and bureaucratic bloat? Making government responsive to people, in practice, means satisfying special-interest groups at everyone’s expense.
3. Getting the country moving again. I guess you didn’t notice this on your way to the White House, Mr. President Du Jour, but the country moves better without your help, thank you. In fact, the administration of Herbert Hoover, abetted by Congress, caused the Great Depression; the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, again abetted by Congress, caused the Depression within the Great Depression. (You can look it up.)
Getting the country moving again really means moving the true believers in big government to Washington — and moving our money there, too, as quickly as possible.
* * *
Let’s get real, folks. Did you believe the whoppers you told as a teen-ager? Okay, you didn’t tell whoppers: Do you still believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus? Well, then, why do you still believe they’re alive and well in Washington?