Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Post-Mortem

A Post-Mortem
©2012 Ross Williams

I don’t watch politics as it occurs. Too much like work, and it’s depressing besides. The only thing that happens is that I have reaffirmed to me that I am virtually alone in my political sensibilities, that getting an actual politician to convey my sentiments, more than accidentally and longer than it takes to caveat it for the purpose of not alienating his all-important “base”, is never going to happen.
Since when is the “base” more important than doing the right thing for the right reason, where the thing to be right is identical to the thing listed in the Constitution, and the reason to be right is confined to “because that’s all we’re allowed to do”.

I’ve long ago given up the fantasy that my contemporaries are going to wise up to the fact that I – nearly alone – am right and they are all one degree or another of wrong. Wrong in substance, wrong in style, wrong in reasoning [especially wrong in reasoning]. I don’t know of anyone who is always wrong, in fact some people are quite often right. But they are not always right. Only I am.

Being always right is not the same thing as thinking I know everything. I don’t; far from it, despite what many many people have told me. But when I don’t know something I have the ability that most people lack; I am capable of saying – without shame or embarrassment – “I don’t know”. Saying “I don’t know” is, quite often, the only available way of being right. It is frequently the only thing that comes out of my mouth for long stretches of time, which annoys my wife to no end.

Being always right is also not the same thing as getting my way, which confuses many others. I get my way almost never. I understand how something works, explain that something to someone else complaining long and bitterly [and irrationally] about it, and the next thing I find is that I’m accused of being the guy who made the thing work the way it works – I designed it just to annoy everyone else.

Incorrect; it may [and typically does] annoy me just as much, only I understand how it works and why it works that way. Explanation is not apologism. It is, instead, explanation, which is why there are two separate words for the two different things. This “you’re just bossing your way around” occurs quite frequently at work, where I have become, in the last decade and despite my wishes, older than the average data analyst working for the war-making people, and among the guys that knows where more of the bodies are buried than the younger bucks do. I hate to break it to them, but the stupidities that I painstakingly explain to them predated my involvement, and have often evolved straight from grease pencils-on-glass without even the courtesy of changing the grease.

When it comes to politics, I don’t know many things – and proudly say so [not here in my essays; my essays are for saying what I do know]. I also never, ever, ever get my way – all politicians are either Democrats or Republicans, and I am neither. Even those who claim to be of the label that I often use for myself, just to give me a label in our label-intensive world, are either Democrats or Republicans. But they are Democrats or Republicans who are innately ashamed of their party’s ideology [which is at least progress, of a sort] and have the integrity to begin to separate themselves from that ideology.

They never complete the task, though. Ron Paul is not a Libertarian – sorry, Paulies, but learn what libertarianism is before you use the term. I find it insulting to be linked with a social conservative, small-government Republican with an anarcho-pacifist streak a mile wide. The libertarian comb-over is not becoming on him. Or you-all, for that matter.

Because I can’t get no satisfaction in politics unfolding before my eyes, I skipped the debate between the socialist National Savior and his job-exporting challenger. Instead, I read what others said about it, and who those others were. I get far more satisfaction out of this exercise.

Liberals were all weepy the next morning because Barry Hussein didn’t plow up Mitt the Mormon with his “47% gaffe”.

What gaffe? He was right. 47% of Americans do not, in fact, pay federal income tax. Partly because they are retired and their social security [and other pensions] don’t exceed their exemptions; partly because they are employed for such low wages that their total income also does not exceed their allowable exemptions; and partly because they are unemployed and don’t make an income to tax.

He was also correct in saying that [most] of this non-tax-paying near-half is largely responsible for the federal entitlements that are handed out left and right. Those who are retired and get Social Security are getting ... Social Security, which is the preeminent entitlement program. They are also nearly invariably on Medicare, another entitlement. Those who work but don’t earn enough to exceed their exemptions are very likely to be receiving one or more entitlements under the wide and disparate “welfare” umbrella, to include food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, and child care tax credits, to name just four. And when they are unemployed, they are almost certainly receiving a federal entitlement of one kind or another.

What is wrong about saying this?

Oh, right, it’s not that the guy mentioned our democracy’s dirty little socialist secret, it’s that he claimed he wasn’t particularly interested in seeking their approval to be president. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t seek their approval either. What a monumental waste of time. Yeah, there’s a portion of them that are politically conservative and who see the inherent fallacy of robbing Peter to pay Paul even though they are Paul [albeit a different Paul than the pseudo-libertarian Paul mentioned above]. The fallacy is that everyone seeks to be Paul and Peter is left to suck his thumb. Unless he amscrays which, since Peter is rich, he has the ability to do.

Peter has used this mode of self-preservation for thousands of years whenever a government became more confiscatory than Peter could stomach. And suddenly we see why a certain job-exporter running to replace the National Savior exported those jobs to begin with: it cost too much to leave them here.

But that brings up the nugget of the tax break for exporting jobs that the bed-wetting liberals accused the Socialist-in-Chief of letting slip. The tax break is not part of the IRS rules, no; it is gotten instead from eliminating the IRS as the taxing authority and replacing it with the taxing authority of the government who runs the nation you moved the jobs into. Only an idiot industrialist would move his manufacturing plant to a nation with an effective tax rate for that industry higher in net than the US. And, since no nation has a higher statutory corporate tax rate than the US, it’s fairly easy to see why net taxes would also tend be lower elsewhere.

This was not always the case, by the way ... but that was back a few generations when US television manufacturers actually made TVs in the US instead of Mexico.

Our idiot socialist National Savior may very well be re-elected; if and when he is, he will continue his socialist panderings to the culture of Pauls he is cultivating in the pockets of Peter. And that will simply hasten the departure of more and more Peters – and the jobs they carry in their wake – now in its second generation.

Of course, if the job-exporting challenger is elected instead – and the odds-makers are considering it more likely after Barry Hussein phoned in his debate performance the other night – he will continue the socialist panderings to the culture of Pauls we have cultivated in the pockets of Peter. Peter will continue fleeing the sinking ship of state – carrying jobs with him ... but maybe not as fast. And when he says he’d eliminate Obamacare – I don’t doubt him. But he’d replace it with something that duplicates the function. The last time our federal government tried doing something fiscally responsible – by means-testing a portion of the Medicare program, under Bush I – AARP had a screaming fit and the whole thing was undone.

Obamacare was fiscally IRresponsible, people still hate it enough to get rid of it, but government power is government power, and Romney is no less power hungry than Obama – he is running for US President, for godsake! Obamacare is power; he’ll get rid of it but replace it with something that leaves him with just as much power in his job-exporting mitts.

For the only sure thing is that no matter which party wins, the same self-destructive, Constitutionally-prohibited policies will be maintained; the only difference over the last generation has been the speed by which new ones are added. Republicans merely double the speed of the last Democrat administration; Democrats triple.

Neither one of them wants to hear that buying votes through social programs is not allowed to our government. Once again, I’m right and they aren’t. The historians will tell my great-great-grand children – and theirs – all about it.


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