How Government Growth Creates Scrooges

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Scrooge’s nephew left the office and let in two men in the process. They came to ask for a donation for London’s poor.

“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

“And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

“The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

“Both very busy, sir.”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

“Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

“Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

Dickens, Charles (2004-08-11). A Christmas Carol (pp. 5-6). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Liberals, of course, consider Scrooge the quintessential Republican. Scrooge cared only for himself. He was a miser. His miserliness made him miserable, bent, and twisted. 

humbug-scrooge

Of course, this liberal view of Scrooge lacks consideration. It misses the fundamental flaw in 19th century English government meddling. 

Is Scrooge’s attitude so different from most American’s? Do we really take it upon ourselves to help those in need?  Are we, as individuals or groups, trying to build a better society?

Or do we say, “let the government take care of it?”

Government largesse only encourages misers like Scrooge to remain miserly. The debtors’ prisons and Union workhouses lent Scrooge an easy out.  “That’s what government’s for.”

The traditional American view of the good society differs wildly from Scrooges; the welfare state’s view does not.

When it comes to certain topics—sex, drugs, profanity, modest dress—we often hear, “you can’t legislate morality.”  Why do we never hear that about charity?  Isn’t welfare simply government’s attempt to force a moral viewpoint on society?

And doesn’t it fail as surely as attempts to dictate skirt-lengths or song lyrics?

Good societies result from good people. All legislation is moral, but legislation can’t change men’s hearts.

The After Party is St. Louis Tea Party’s attempt to repair the fabric of society—a fabric left to rot as we turned to government for solutions to problems that can and should be handled by local communities, charitable organizations, and states.

That’s not to say that government, at every level, must withdraw from charitable programs. Rather, the Constitution provides no authority to Washington. And local programs tend to trump distant ones precisely because the benefactor and beneficiary live, work, and worship together.

While the Tea Party is not a charity, it does have the tools to make stronger, healthier human bonds.  These bonds give us all resources for handling tough times. 

More importantly, these bonds encourage us to look at each other as human beings. And we’re more likely to help fellow human beings than we are to give up another tax dollar to a bureaucracy that loses and wastes more money than returns to the needy.

By the way, the two gentlemen soliciting donations said something you’ll never hear from a Washington bureaucrat.  Did you catch it?

The GOP is to Public Relations What Evel Knievel Was to Motorcycle Safety

Reading Time: 2 minutes

evel-knievel-crash

I live in a very hilly area. Yet I’m still alive. Explain that.

Maybe that’s why I’m a lower-case “r” republican and not an upper-case one.

Republicans seem to feel every hill is worth dying on. 

What else could explain the House’s rejection of a silly payroll tax cut extension followed by a doubly-damaging capitulation?

By “silly,” I mean ill-advised, inconsequential, irrational, and fiscally irresponsible.  The Senate’s two-month extension of the Social Security tax cut represents the worst of Washington.

And the GOP House just signed off on it, caving to pressure from the White House and media.

In the chess match of public relations, the extension was golden. The press trumpeted it as a victory for the little guy that only the most cynical, hateful bastards on earth could oppose.

The GOP could have eked out a tiny PR win by denouncing the Senate’s cynicism in passing a meaningless and destructive bill by lying to people about its benefits.  Then quietly pass the stupid thing, and leave on Christmas break.

Instead, the House GOP stepped up to the microphone and announced, “Well, we are cynical, hateful bastards, and we’d be happy to oppose it!”

Having taken the black eye for opposing a tax cut for the little guy, the GOP could have shown some muscle by sticking it out.  They could have said, “The Constitution places power to tax and spend with the House, Mr. President. You might be willing to compromise your principles, but we are not.” 

Sure, the press would call them cynical, hateful bastards.  But they’d at least be resolute, firm,and committed.

But they caved.  The pressure got to be too much.  Or Christmas spirit overwhelmed them. 

One way or another, the House Republicans took a black eye and got nothing for it.

Yes, the Tea Party’s core principles are Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.  This extension fails the middle one.

But we have a much longer vision than two months.  Our goal is to stop and reverse the illicit growth of government power, growth that requires fiscal irresponsibility,and power that consumes human freedom. 

Our mission requires more than one election cycle. Dying on on this particular hill didn’t advance our fight—it set us back.

Moral of the story: win every battle you fight, but don’t fight any battle unless it’s a strategic necessity. 

Who’s Fit?

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Take a look at Drudge.

I’ll wait. The day doesn’t really matter.  It’s always full of stuff that makes you think rivets are flying out of the planet like a jalopy in a cartoon.

  • Two girls beat another girl into convulsions over the course of eight minutes while cowardly young men quiver in fear.  (But an old lady steps in and protects the victim.)
  • Syrian security opens fire on demonstrators killing 90.  (But it’s Good Friday.)
  • U.S. Dollar collapses as fear of government debt makes everything American worth less. (But Greece and other European countries even worse.)
  • Japan warns that earthquake aftermath could cause them a double dip.
  • U.S. spending could hit the debt ceiling in a week.

These are everyday headlines from an abnormal time. A time as odd as a football bat.

Abnormal Times Breed Abnormal Leaders

The next president or two cannot be ordinary.  As much as we like the underdog and the plain, common sense, everyman, there are times when history demands a GIANT of a president.

The Depression and World War II would have crushed Truman.  Not that Roosevelt’s policies were right, but his stature was.  FDR was a giant.

Winston Churchill was a giant.

We’re in another era that calls for giants. At least one—one in every country that hopes to survive.

France had no giants in the 1930s.  Nor did Poland or Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, on and on.  The countries without giants fell to monsters.

The World Thirsts for Leaders

You know the difference between the Depression-WWII era and now?

All the giants of that era are dead.  So are most of the people who were young then, the ones who fed their families during the Depression, then conquered the monsters in the war.  They’re mostly gone. And those that remain are too old to fight.

The Baby Boomers are the age that Roosevelt was during the last crisis era Gen X is Truman’s age, Eisenhower’s, Patton’s, and Bradley’s.  Gen Y will become the heroes of this era when the history’s written 40 years from now.

But if we don’t get some national GIANTS, who knows what language that history will be written in.

Is Trump the Giant?

I’m not saying Trump’s my first choice. Nor will I pretend I believe he’s an ideological Tea Partier.  I bet he can’t tell you how many Constitutional Amendments there are.  I bet he’s not conversant about Article I Section 8, nor about the 9th and 10th Amendments.  I’d be surprised to learn that he knows the issue in Wickard v. Filburn.  Has he read The Federalist?

As dear and important as those things are to us in the Tea Party movement, I’m not sure how important they’ll be in the next four years.  I’m not sure how important anything we’re talking about today will be four years from now.

The United States is on the verge of defaulting on its loans.  U.S. Treasuries are on the verge of being dumped.  The U.S. dollar’s value is plummeting.  The Fed holds $trillions and doesn’t know what to do with it. George Soros is pushing to issue his own international currency.

The U.S. economic system is about to collapse under 70 years of illegal government activity funded with irresponsible, Ponzi scheme borrowing.

The next president should resemble Churchill and Reagan, Lincoln and Washington rolled into one.

Stardom and Chutzpah

In modern America, two qualities are indispensable for national leaders: stardom and chutzpah. Those qualities are table stakes now. But star-power and chutzpah alone do not guarantee success.

In addition to stardom and chutzpah, success as president requires strength, decisiveness, and a bit of national pride. These are the qualities Obama lacks.

I see only two potential candidates with all of these qualities:  Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.

That disturbs a lot of people. Left, right, and center.

Can you name another giant personality with the will and resources to challenge for the world’s highest office?

P.S.  If you haven’t read this post, please do.

How to Kill the Tea Party

Reading Time: 1

If the Tea Party—or ACORN or the Democratic National Committee or anyone or anything else, for that matter—stays in a perpetual state of heightened negative emotions nothing positive gets accomplished.

The gazelle that flees imaginary lions soon dies of exhaustion. As positive emotions researcher Barbara Frederickson puts it:

when extreme, prolonged, or contextually inappropriate, negative emotions can trigger a wide array of problems for individuals and for society.

Phobias develop out of unchecked fear.

Continuous negative emotions can lead to unhealthy stress levels and compromise the immune system in humans, according to psychologist Ann O’Leary in Psychological Bulletin (1990).

Too much negativity turns off society, too.

When man or beast trumpets his distress signal out of context or after danger has passed, the rest of the pack eventual turns against the noisemaker. We call such creatures “alarmists,” and it’s not a compliment. The boy who cried wolf wasn’t just ignored; he was despised.

The Power and the Glory

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"For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."
– Gen. George C. Patton

In 2008, the world hailed Barack Obama. Even staunch conservatives voted for him.  I know some. They deluded themselves, of course, but they voted for Barack Obama.

Today, his supporters politely heckled him in a back yard in Ohio.

The Tea Party has effectively seized the Republican Party. Glory is not yet ours.  We need to find 38,000 new voters in the 3rd District alone. 

And even then, glory is fleeting.  Eyes will be on us.  Not just the angry eyes of our enemies, but the hopeful eyes of the unemployed. The praying eyes of the disillusioned. The proud eyes of our believers.

Glory flees regardless of what we do, but we can move from triumph to triumph, seizing new glory and  releasing the old.

We can also squeeze glory and feel it slide between our fingers and float away. That’s what Obama did. And Clinton in his first term. 

All glory is fleeting. Letting go leaves your hands free to grab the next triumph. 

Learn to let go and keep your eyes open. 

The next chance to shine is every day between now and November 2.  Come to 4512 Hampton Avenue, Monday through Saturday after 10 am. 

Read more . . .

Take Your Bill and Shove It, Mr. President

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Missouri voters roundly rejected ObamaCare, all of its works, and all of its empty promises.

By an overwhelming, unmistakable 71 percent, we said to the Obama Regime, “Take this bill and shove it.”

The overwhelming passage was a slap in the face to the Missouri Hospital Association and to BJC President Steven Lipstein who spent nearly $500,000 trying to convince their employees that the hospital chain profits trump the Constitution.  Pathetic worms.

To those who worked tirelessly, like Caroline Mueller, Ben Evans, Annette Read, Margaret Walker, Robin Weymire, Patrick Touhey, and dozens of others, we all owe a big thanks.

Thanks also to those who sweated through the hottest day of the year to man the polls yesterday in support of Prop C and conservative candidates.

Thanks to those who banged doors, hung signs, and walked miles for issues and candidates, including my sister, Mary, who’s been a few thousand homes in recent weeks.

Thanks to Ed Martin for letting my dad, a WWII and Korean War veteran, lead the Pledge of Allegiance at last night’s celebration.

Thanks to all of the candidates who stepped into the ring.  Yes, people get emotional in campaigns. Yes, people violate Reagan’s 11th commandment.  In the end, though, we must honor those who do take the plunge and stand for office. Someone has to—otherwise Basil Marceau would be governor of Tennessee.  Or (yikes) Missouri.

On to November.  If we want to repeal ObamaCare, we need to expel from every rubber stamp who voted for it, every rubber stamp’s sister who supports it, and every corporation that profits from it.

Let them all earn a living for a change.