Our neighbors in the North Country have a birds-eye view of the American Soap Opera. There’s no sitcom more astonishing, more preposterous. One of our Canadian friends made some trenchant observations about the loony bin to his South, inferring that “Only In America” — a nation of incalculable accomplishment — could people behave like real-life actors in The Walking Dead. With apologies to this anonymous author for a paraphrase here and there:
♦Only in America do some politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund-raising event.
♦Only in America do some people claim discrimination against black Americans when black Americans have a black President, a black Attorney General and a roughly 18% black federal workforce — while only 12% of the population is black.
♦Only in America could the two men most responsible for the nation’s tax code — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and former Ways and Means Congressman Charles Rangel — be outright tax cheats — both in favor of higher taxes.
♦Only in America do Muslim terrorists kill people in the name of Allah, and see the mainstream media react by complaining about a Muslim backlash.
♦Only in America do honest people wait years and pay thousands for the privilege of becoming immigrants — while people who sneak into the country illegally ‘magically’ become American citizens.
♦Only in America could people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country’s Constitution be thought of as hardcore extremists.
♦Only in America do you need a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.
♦Only in America do people demand to investigate whether oil companies gouge the public over gas prices, when the return on equity of a major company (Marathon Oil) is less than 1/2 the return of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).
♦Only in America does the government collect more tax dollars than any other nation in recorded history, yet still spends a trillion dollars more than it receives, for total annual spending of $7 million per minute; then complain it doesn’t have nearly enough money.
♦Only in America could the most productive people who pay 86% of all income taxes be accused of not paying their “fair share” by the country’s President and by the people who pay no income taxes at all.
Meanwhile, as the inmate in Washington rules the Cuckoo Nest, you learn that U. S. welfare spending has mushroomed from $563 billion in fiscal 2008 to $746 billion in fiscal 2011, a prodigious leap of 32 percent.* This amount is more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government. You and your neighbor to the north are now witnessing a real life example of “killing the goose that lays the golden egg” — American style.
Epilogue: A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. G. Shaw
*Congressional Research Service.