Every second year

At times, I have lamented the frequency of Congressional elections. The perpetual campaigning, the challenge to continuity. Perhaps three or four years would be a better term. This year, though, I am reminded of yet another facet of the founders’ foresight.

“Every second year” they gave us the constitutional chance to completely replace one-half of the federal legislature. As a result, we can have a revolt without a coup, a revolution without bloodshed.

Many are asking, “What happened to the hope and change of 2008?” New York Times columnist Frank Rich blamed the ingratitude and ignorance of the American people.

Citing a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, Rich claimed the 2009 stimulus bill has saved 3.3 million jobs (actually the high end of the CBO’s estimate) for which our nation should be thankful.

Though “jobs saved” seems like a nebulous number to calculate, let’s do some math anyway.

The CBO said the stimulus bill will have spent $570 billion by the end of 2010. Simple division tells us that each of the 3.3 million jobs cost taxpayers $176,000. And if we use the low end of the CBO’s job estimate (1.4 million), the per-job cost rises to $407,000.

Do these figures strike anyone else as inefficient? They stir many feelings in me. Gratitude is not one of them.

Then, Rich blamed the evaporation of Obama’s momentum on the 95% of Americans who received a stimulus-funded tax cut in their paychecks last year but failed to realize it!

In fact, the Obama Administration supposedly wanted the tax cut to be a secret. So people would spend the money instead of saving it, what people generally did with their Bush tax cut rebate checks. Heaven forbid saving!

Mostly, Rich blamed Obama’s inability to prosecute the bad actors of the financial meltdown. I don’t disagree that some individuals could have been held more responsible, including the perpetrators at Fannie and Freddie.

But the bad actors behaved badly because the bond rating agencies called their badness good and because buyers were willing to buy their badness downstream. Should grandma’s pension fund manager also be jailed for investing in worthless assets?

Rich fails to recognize what the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer does: Obama’s chief sin was taking a center-right country hard to the left, toward a Europe that is presently imploding under the weight of its own entitlements.

At their core, Americans don’t want free government heath care. They want a healthy, free economy and money in their pockets to buy health care of their own choosing.

At their core, no matter how poor, Americans know that a government big enough to give everything is also a government big enough to take everything.

Equalizing wealth is the goal for our “green” president who ironically doesn’t care “all that much” for the presidential Camp David retreat.

Mr. Obama is indeed green, but in a dollars and cents sense, not in an environmental sense.

He lives out dreams from his father who once said, “Theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.”

Thanks to the dreams of our fathers, something “can stop the government:” mid-term elections. While we can’t oust Mr. Obama for four years, we can at least make him impotent in two.

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1 Response to “Every second year”


  1. 1 matt diana November 4, 2010 at 16:04

    Kevin,

    Ecxellent, as always.

    Matt


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