Saturday, January 5, 2013

Led by Giants...

The irreplaceable Mark Steyn on the fiscal cliff “deal” – ridiculous, unseemly, repulsive, and wicked.  Yup, that about sums it up.  An excerpt:
Around the world, the only interest of friends and enemies alike in this third-rate Beltway hokum is (to return to the theme of my book) the question of whether America is capable of serious course correction – and, from debt ceiling to supercommittee to fiscal cliff and now back to debt ceiling, the political class keeps sending back the answer: No, we're not. For a good example of how Washington drives even the greatest minds round the bend, consider Charles Krauthammer's analysis on Fox News the other night:

"I would actually commend Boehner and Paul Ryan, who in the end voted 'yes' for a bad deal. But they had to do it."

If courage is the willingness to take a stand and vote for a bad deal because you've been painted into a corner and want Obama to fly back to Hawaii at the cost of another $3 million in public funds that could have gone to algae subsidies so he'll stop tormenting you for a week or two, then truly we are led by giants.

But is that all there is? As the old song says: What's it all about – algae? Is it just for the moment we live? What's it all about when you sort it out – algae? Are we meant to take more than we give?

If you think politics is a make-work project for the otherwise unemployable, then the system worked just fine. And I don't mean only the numbers:

On Monday, 300 million Americans did not know what their tax rates would be on Tuesday. That's ridiculous.

Then, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spent the night alone in a room with Joe Biden (which admittedly few of us would have the stomach for). And when they emerged they informed those 300 million Americans what their tax rates now were. That's unseemly.

Then, in the small hours of the morning, the legislature rubber-stamped it. That's repulsive.

There's a term for societies where power-brokers stitch up the people's business in back rooms and their pseudo-parliaments sign off on it at 3 a.m., and it isn't a "republic of limited government by citizen-representatives."

There are arguments to be made in favor of small government: My comrades and I have done our best over the years, with results that, alas, in November were plain to see. There are arguments to be made in favor of big government: The Scandinavians make them rather well. But there is absolutely nothing to be said for what is now the standard operating procedure of the Brokest Nation in History: a government that spends without limit and makes no good-faith effort even to attempt to balance the books. That's profoundly wicked. At a minimum, the opposition, to use a quaint term, should keep the people's business out in the sunlight and not holed up in a seedy motel room with Joe Biden all night.
But you'll definitely want to read the whole thing...

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