Much of what government does seems unfathomable until you remember one thing: the politicians think the people are morons.
Take the latest example: the effort to avert the “fiscal cliff.” If, as the politicians say they believe, the country is in a budgetary deficit and debt crisis combined with an anemic economic recovery, why would they raise taxes on everyone (don’t forget the hike in the payroll tax and the Obamacare taxes) and not reduce spending? The anemic recovery is explainable by the burden of government, and the budget crisis is explainable by runaway spending. So Congress and President Barack Obama have done precisely the opposite of what they needed to do, namely, roll back government dramatically, nay, radically.
Former U.S. treasury official David Malpass, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says, “The Congressional Budget Office scores the Senate bill [passed by the House and signed by the president] as adding $4 trillion to the national debt by 2022. That assumes the sequester or equivalent spending cuts are fully implemented in March, which seems unlikely.” This is what the country was on the edge of its seat waiting for? Is Washington full of fools? No. But it’s full of men and women who think we are fools.
America is smothered by government, but the news media are too busy to notice. They’re far more interested in picking political winners and losers. That’s to be expected. The Washington media are little more than the propaganda arm of the ruling elite, and most reporters and pundits see things through the eyes of the governing class. Cable TV programs are merely parades of stale establishment types who repeat the same old clichés, while blithely tossing off plans to spend other people’s money. Fed a steady diet of this gruel, most people are lulled into a state of semiconsciousness (at most) or helplessness about government policy.
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Sheldon Richman (photo)