Friday, October 16, 2009

Fool Me Once

Powerline contributor Paul Rahe writes of President Obama's campaign rhetoric on Afganistan that his left wing supporters assumed that candidate Obama was lying when he called it a necessary war. Assuming that to be the case, the consequence of doing so, however, is that eventually the lie is exposed and Rahe points out that Americans don't like being conned.

There, I tend to disagree. If Americans don't like being conned, why do they continually fall for the obviously impossible promises of politicians? Visions of a free lunch danced in their heads as voters pulled the lever for hope and change. I have lost hope that the American public will ever learn that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

No, Americans love being conned. What they don't like is being made to look foolish. And that is what enables our beloved and dysfunctional political class to extend the con into ever greater realms of fantasy, such as health care reform. That's right folks, we can add 29 million people to the rolls of the insured, require the insurers to provide all manner of benefits to all and sundry, and your insurance premiums will not change, the federal government will not be out one thin dime and your health care won't change a whit.


For decades here in New Jersey, we have been conned into voting for promises of property tax "relief" that has resulted in the highest tax burden in the nation. In the seventies, we were promised that the newly imposed income tax would lead to property tax relief. Didn't happen. Later, the increase in the sales tax was for the purpose of providing property tax relief. Didn't happen.

No tax relief of any kind will ever happen, at any level of government, federal, state or local, without spending reform. In an admirable experiment, President Reagan tried to reform spending by cutting off the funds to the federal government. He failed. The day the public realizes that government benefits are not free (and in most cases are far more expensive than the same thing provided by those horrible profit making capitalist bastards) is the day that spending reform will become possible.

That day is not in sight. And if President Obama has is way, that day will be farther away tomorrow than it is today.

My father long ago taught me the expression "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." In politics, the proper formulation is "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, please."

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