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Getting Numb To The Dumb

Recently, as the inanity of government policies has increased exponentially, our capacity to get used to the nuttiness has also increased.
Seemingly, we barely notice anymore. I guess you can get used to anything after a while. We get numb to the dumb.

Like some half hour TV sitcom, silly things happen all the time but within a few minutes of its ending, we forget what happened and move on to the next show. Lately, it's kind of like that with current events. But for me it's hard to shrug off some things, even when I'm in that mindset.

If you live in Illinois and you didn't get a little cross-eyed last week when newly elected Governor Pat Quinn announced that his plan for dealing with the impossibly huge debt the state is collapsing under is to borrow another 15 billion dollars, you have a better pair of glasses than I do.

But I haven't heard a peep from the "peeps." They must be numb from hearing that kind of stuff. It's so preposterous that it stretches the imagination, even in a state that sets the standard for preposterous schemes. It's your government at work.

Then there is the dumb notion that feeling up or taking nude pictures of granny at the airport will somehow make it harder for the "underpants bomber" to burn his crotch off if he ever gets out of prison. Your government at work.

Or take the case of the two airline pilots who are suing the government because they are forced to go through the full body scans and/or pat downs themselves, even though they are going to be the ones actually flying the plane. If they are themselves federal air marshals who carry guns into the cockpit (as many are), doesn't it seem just a tad dumb to be searching them first to look for weapons? And all the while the cleaning crews merely have to swipe a card to gain unsupervised access to the planes. It's your government at work.

Or how about the two guys who were rescuing a drowning deer with their own equipment when the local Natural Resources Police officers (who declined to help) decided to fine them each $90 for not wearing their life jackets while performing the dastardly deed? It's your government at work.

Or the decision of the know-it-all nannies in the St. Paul Minnesota School District who have declared a "sweet free" zone to deal with the obesity problem there. While the health implications on obese children are a problem worthy of attention, TV, video games, the Internet and poor parenting leading to sedentary kids are much larger causes of  that problem. The idea that childhood obesity can be solved in this manner without taking it to its logical police state conclusion is dumb. It's your government at work.

Next up is the "gang" that was disciplined at Battlefield High School in Virginia for handing out tiny candy canes in their Christmas sweaters. The ten had to do detention because, as one school administrator explained, "not everyone wants Christmas cheer." It's your government at work. *

And the list can go on and on. What is even dumber, but cannot go on much longer, is the idea that the debt disaster which looms can be solved without any plan except more borrowing and spending. And while the above examples are actually somewhat humorous in their stupidity, the last problem is deadly serious.

According to Lewis M. Andrews of The Yankee Institute for Public Policy, three large dumb states, California, New York and Illinois are already "delaying payments" to vendors. In other words, they are currently unable to pay their bills. And with Illinois spending in 2011 projected to be 140 billion dollars more than expected revenues, anyone who thinks that Governor Quinn's plan to fix the problem by floating a 15 billion dollar bond issue will work, is truly dumb enough to buy the bonds.

The national debt has gone from 13 trillion dollars to 14 trillion dollars in just the last year and the costs of Obamacare have yet to be added to the nightmare scenario of default on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid obligations. We are nearing a point where the whole house of cards can come crashing down at any moment. A crash that will make the housing crisis look like a smallish blip on the economic radar screen.

So the question is, can this stupidity continue on much longer just because we are getting numb to the dumb? You don't have to be smart to know that that's dumb.

* Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute recently wrote a blog essay which I featured at The Humble Libertarian highlighting the dumb things that some agents of government have been doing lately. So a tip of the hat to him for inspiring this piece and the links that go with it.


Anonymous said...

Numb to the dumb. That's priceless. I don't know how you did it but you made me laugh and made me mad at the same time.
My guess is that Obama will try to bailout these states. You know, Too Big To Fail. Then when they spend all of that money they'll come running back to the trough again.
This is worse than dumb, Grant. This is INSANE!

Grant Davies said...

The writing must be getting better if it can make people laugh in anger. Thanks for the comment.