“I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.” – Anne Frank
Lots of stories out there today, perhaps with some intertwined themes – namely that you are a slave (at least in part), and the benevolent, all-knowing, all-loving, wiser-than-though federal government will use you as it sees fit.
You will kill who I say you will kill …
A few weeks back, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels (who has since withdrawn his name from the nomination process) signed a bill to defund planned parenthood in Indiana. This did not sit well with the Obama administration, which is now threatening to take away Indiana’s Medicaid money in retaliation (story here).
First, I totally agree with defunding planned parenthood. Planned parenthood receives taxpayer money and performs abortions – therefore it uses taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. Money is fungible, there’s no other way to slice it.
The Obama administration is simply playing the traditional game of political thuggery – both parties do it. “If you don’t do as you’re told, we’ll withhold federal funds.” You see, the federal government has no authority under the constitution to mandate that Indiana funds planned parenthood; but apparently they can tax the residents of Indiana into oblivion and give some of it back if the good sheeple do as they’re told.
Now, were I an Indianan, I’d gladly sign up for the proposition. We defund planned parenthood, the federal government removes our medicaid funding, and we stop paying medicaid taxes … sadly that last bit isn’t on the docket.
I don’t care if it collapses – as long as it’s later …
Getting more visibility today is the debate over Medicare reform in the Ryan budget proposal (the stories are everywhere, I suppose a link is hardly needed). At one townhall meeting, I caught a sign, held up by a retirement-age voter that read “Don’t touch my medicare!”
Let’s unpack this for a moment, shall we? The system is collapsing, forced to pay out ever-increasing and entitled benefits with fewer and fewer dollars coming in. The money you pay in goes for current payouts, not an insurance plan or savings account for your future expenses. The system will collapse at some point, and there will be a generation who paid in for their entire lives and receive paltry or nonexistent benefits upon retirement.
So who will it be? What generation will get stuck with the bill? The protestors have stated their will quite clearly – “let it be our kids or our grandkids, as long as it’s not us!”
OK, it ain’t exactly Matthew 10:21 (“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death”), but it’s not exactly hopeful and compassionate.
Strauss-Khan works for you …
Times are tough for former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Khan. Having just allegedly raped a hotel maid, been indicted and stripped of his post, he now is going to lose his rather handsome salary. Of course, he’ll have a nice severance package – $250,000. And who pays the bill? Well, in large part, you (story here).
It has never sat well with me that the U.S. taxpayer has had to fund bailouts of bank bond holders. Public risk and private reward. The Strauss-Khan bailout is a microcosm, of course. Still, these are the people that the federal government has hired on your behalf, and paid with your production; and these are the deals that they’ve struck. Your employee, Strauss-Khan, is relieved of his duties in disgrace and you cannot simply fire him – no, you pay him a nice severance package … what a hard bargain you drive, Mr. and Mrs. taxpayer.
It’s all more of the same …
When they can get away with it, the federal government simply flouts constitutional limitations on its power. (Consider the proposed regulatory commission under the Fed … perhaps we should write about that soon.) Whey they cannot, they simply flout the constitution with soft power. Take from all, give to those who do what we want. It is, fundamentally, usurpation all the same – but we’ve been told that this is just how it’s done.