Friday, November 10, 2006

How The US Changed November 7th

"Daddy- how will things change now that the Democrats won the election?"

How proud would you be if your 11 year old daughter asked you that question? Then imagine that your 13 year old daughter chimed in, and your 5 and 8 year old were listening with rapt attention?

Well...either proud...or maybe you immediately recognize that you have the news on too much and your children's God-given desire to stare endlessly at the TV has overcome their natural distaste for news programming.

My kids ask me questions fairly often, some deep, some not-so much. This one stumped me for a minute. I think because I was caught off guard. I am not one to let the government's swaying and proclamations get in the way of my day-to-day life. I know several people that live and die by what the government does, thinks and says. As for me, I rather like these quotes about government:

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a
bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
- Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
- George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man....which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
- G Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
- James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
- Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown Univ.

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
- P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
- Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
- Ronald Reagan (1986)

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.
- Voltaire (1764)

I particularly like President Reagan’s and Voltaire’s quotes. That about sums up my philosophy. Please don’t mistake this blog for a political one. I wouldn’t dare venture into that world- those bloggers who live there, according to them, are much more superior and smarter than any of us. I wouldn’t dream of treading into their space. I’m just a regular old dumb American.

This, instead, is about how I answered my daughter’s simple question. It was not the most convincing answer- remember I was caught off-guard…and the underlying message here is that I didn’t have a solid answer in my heart that I truly believed.

The answer is…in my opinion, that it will not really impact us that much in ways that are evident to my daughters. This is how I did answer:

“Girls- that’s a very good question. Very good. Really, it is. Why did you ask that? (note the stalling technique). Well, let me see. Well, hmmm…let me think. Ok- this is what will change now that the Democrats control Congress:

  1. Nothing will get done, mercifully, because no one political party, or wings of those parties, have a strong majority. We will have two years of really cool soundbytes and headlines about people being jerks and mad that things aren’t moving forward (again, mercifully).
  2. One way or the other, our taxes are going up. Daddy gets to give more of his money to other people that want to spend it for him better than he knows how to.
  3. The world, according to “journalists” will instantly seem better, nicer, friendlier, happier, sweeter-smelling now that “their” team has won control of congress. The fact that we have the lowest unemployment in years, a strong economy, low cost and high standard of living, and a peaceful country will suddenly dawn on them…and they will gleefully thank the new congressional leadership. The world as it should be. Dan Rather must be dancing in his professional grave.”

They didn’t get that last one. Or number 1 for that matter.