Hail to the Tongue Lashers

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

                                                                                                                -Ronald Reagan

Cleaning out a heat exchanger at one thirty in the morning last night when I should have been sleeping, cursing the engineer from hell who managed to jam the fittings on this thing into the most inaccessible knuckle busting place behind molding press number 1’s sheet metal facade, I couldn’t help but think I should have gone to college I need to hire a maintenance man I should have been born a Kennedy!

With only common sense and that miniscule bit of capital I’ve managed to accumulate over years, I find I rarely indulge the esoteric kind of thinking with which college grads, celebrities, and wealthy heirs partake.   You know that uppity, sanctimonious kind of thought that mechanics, truckers, and tradesmen, could not possibly comprehend.   The kind of thought and philosophy that only educated intellectual elites could imagine to solve all the ills which plague our modern society.

For the brilliant purveyors of these ideas and their high minded precepts I have a simple question.  

What happens to all of your good ideas when guys like me, hard-working middle class, grease under the nails and a little dense in the noggin, don’t follow along with your prescribed solutions to America’s problems?

After a myriad of negative responses, lashing me for my ignorance and idiocy in lamenting the exalted fair tax last week, I was reminded how successful, omnipotent  government policies have been in managing and directing economies throughout the world.

So well in fact, the Soviet Union no longer exists.

China has reluctantly adopted free-enterprise policies because she couldn’t even feed her people.

Youngsters are rioting in the streets of France because unemployment is over twenty-five percent for that demographic.

The fair tax is a mirage.   No matter how good it sounds it will still be managed by bureaucrats.   It also gives the taxpayer much more mobility in avoiding taxes by refusing to purchase things, or by purchasing them on a black market.  

The point is, if you are looking to some new government program to solve problems you’re sure to be disappointed.  

How is the fair tax or any other radical policy shift going to answer these realities:

Bureaucrats don’t get paid by solving problems, they get paid by raising taxes.

Government doesn’t grow to help people, it grows to help itself.

Politicians are the only people on earth who become multi-millionaires on government salaries.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Those first three are mine, some guy Newton came up with the last one.

Brevity is the soul of wit Shakespeare.

If we don’t focus on making government smaller and simpler to insure that our politicians and our bureaucrats possess less power, no amount of imaginative policy making (including the fair tax) is going to make our lives any better.

Our government is a big filter, but unlike the water filters I should have installed to protect press number 1’s heat exchanger which filter out damaging particulate only to allow clean water to pass, our government takes out the good clean water and lets us keep the dangerous particulate.

According to the Heritage Foundation:

Government auditors cannot account for 25 billion taxpayer dollars.

One hundred million dollars has been spent on unused plane tickets by the Pentagon.

Department of Agriculture has diverted mil ­lions into personal purchases through government issued credit cards.

Medicare wastes billions annually.

The Army Corps of Engineers routinely exaggerates data to increase its budget.

The Federal government reimburses over fifty percent of Medicaid costs to states.   The system encourages states to over report its Medicaid expenditures.

Etc., etc., etc.

The fundamental problem is government is too big, it is corrupt, and bureaucrats as a group are incompetent.   Messing around with peripheral tribulations only masks and obfuscates the real problems Americans need to address.

I suppose all the fair tax supporters like Hilary’s universal health care system as well it’s suppose to make health care more affordable for everyone, right?   Anyone want to bet?

Anytime you hear politicians proclaim the government has the answer to our problems, remember, enriching politicians is the only task government has ever managed.

By the way, here’s the bookend quote.

Man is not free unless government is limited.

                                                                                                                -Ronald Reagan


Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo

11 thoughts on “Hail to the Tongue Lashers

  1. Your straight talk is what Americans-black, white, male, female, left and right-are waiting to hear come out of the mouths of one of the candidates. I enjoy having Ron Paul in the debates because he is trying to educate Americans about what is broken in DC.

  2. I love reading the straight talk from someone who knows there business, BUT, you know we have to many people that BELIEVE that our government owes them, well it just proves that the liberals are right because the people that are voting for the Demo’s are the exact ones who are getting the hand outs, I believe that if we cut out handing all these imigrints a free paycheck with OUR tax’s and supplying all the lazy people with hand outs maybe we could salvage a little of our country back…Im really gettin tired of hearing people complain about how mean our country is to them while they are getting paid to do so …lets take America back before its to late………..

  3. All you are basically saying here is that bureaucracy is bad. Yes I agree. But you can’t deny there are significant problems such as global warming, illegal immigration, resource depletion, excessive inequality and crime that need governments to intervene to correct them.

    It isn’t enough to simply say beaurocracy=bad and government=beaurocracy therefore government=bad. We would never solve any of our problems if we thought all government action led to failure and therefore we didn’t do anything. Of course government intervention is never perfect but its a lot better than leaving the issues I have pointed out to become worse and worse.

  4. Matt,

    Global Warming is a scam.

    Illegal immigration? Look at Kennedy, Feinstein, Mc Cain (a Democrat masquerading as a Republican) and others to the left for that problem.

    Resource depletion? You really got to get off the loco weed. The drugs and propaganda has not ameliorated your thinking. One hundred years ago we only had a hundred years of oil reserves before we exhausted them at a time when our usage was much less. Today the worst cynics say we only have two hundred years to go.

    What the hell is excessive inequality? I work 100 hours a week and don’t make as much as Ben Affleck or Tom Cruise, is that the unfairness you’re talking about?

    It IS simple enough to say bureaucracy=bad, bureaucracy=government, government=bad.

    Less IS better…as the Founders knew.

  5. Reagan had it right; Less government, lower taxes, and a strong military…

    Brevity IS the soul of wit ( and Wisdom )…

  6. Very well said. Our government is so messed up now that they’ll spend $2000.00 on a $10 toilet seat at the end of the fiscal year just to use up their budget in time. Why? To make sure that their budget allocation for the next year will not shrink. What a mess. It is well past time to cut out the 99% of excess fat in our Federal Government & get back to following the constitution.

    “Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” – Ronald Reagan

    “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate i t. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Reagan

    “The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.” – Ronald Reagan

    “Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed,
    there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself,
    you can always write a book.” – Ronald Reagan

  7. Jim,

    Of course it’s not in your interests to support the global warming thesis, but to a greater or lesser extent humans have caused an unnatural warming of the earth over the past half century or so that we all have to deal with. Educate yourself: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf

    You have to realise that we cannot go on consuming at the rate we are if we are to preserve our planet and our way of life. As much as you may like to think we can consume raw materials ad infinitum the simple truth is that we are living beyond our means and the government needs to step in to regulate consumption, particularly that of multinational corporations.

    What the hell is excessive inequality? Well that would be not having free health care or decent education that would enable everyone to at least begin on a level playing field. The ‘American dream’ means nothing if those who are not well off are trapped in poverty unable to lift themselves out.

    Presumably you think the government should intervene to deport illegal immigrants or prevent crime? Or would you be against that purely on the basis of excessive beaurocracy?

  8. Matt,

    You seem to really like Ronald Reagan. You seem to hate high spending.

    Have you forgotten that Regan has led us down this path of endless deficit spending? Reaganomics works for about 8 months at a time, after which taxes have to be readjusted to account for the higher interest payments on an overinflated debt, and on and on and on.

    The reason the richest 10% of this country pay 35% of the income to the Federal Government is because of Ronald Reagan.

    Imagine what this country could accomplish with, say, a Trillion or so fewer dollars on our back.


  9. Lou,

    I think you mean Dustin. He quotes Reagan as if he was a supreme economic philosopher (which he wasn’t, he merely worshipped at the church of Hayekian neo-liberalism). Reaganomics (or Thatcherism in the UK) was necessary at the time but it is now outdated. Conservatives should realise this.

  10. It is an unproven hypothesis at best & an outright made up lie at worst that we humans are causing so-called “global warming” – one single volcano eruption adds more to so-called “global warming” than hundreds of years of Human existence. Scientists have proven that global temperature fluctuates all the time, millions of years before we humans had walked this earth, much less invented the automobile. The folks who are really hoping we’ll make changes to prevent global warming are in reality simply trying to form a world order or world government similar to the European Union. They want us to form a North American Union & then they want to unite the American with the European.

    As for me, I prefer to keep our sovereignty. I’d be fine with disbanding the UN entirely – we contribute way more than our share to fund it & to fight its battles, yet the UN wants to take away our guns & take our sovereignty.

    Some thanks we get for saving those forgetful ingrates from Hitler & then helping them rebuild.

  11. Dustin,
    Did you even read the report? Global Warming is being significantly contributed towards by humans and no amount of anti-UN rhetoric will make that go away. Here is yet more evidence for you (one of which is from a conservative source!)http://www.lenntech.com/The-greenhouse-effect.htm http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3048538.ece

    I hardly think the UN is a conspiracy trying to bring down American sovereignty. If anything it is a rubber stamp for American foreign policy and whenever it attempts to exercise its (incredibly puny) muscles, it is batted aside by the might of the American diplomatic machine.

    The EU is very similar in its construction and in its vision as the US was when it first started. There is no plan to include America as most of the politicians in Brussels despise the US.

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