“If one man offers you democracy and another offers you a bag of grain, at what stage of starvation will you prefer the grain to a vote?” — Bertrand Russell
A reminder that stark differences remain between big spenders and responsible leaders was brought home again to me via Kentucky’s Washington delegation on page 16 of a recent Kentucky Gazette. See if you notice a difference:
A statement by a U.S. Senator bemoaned: “We are spending our nation’s future into the abyss. … by 2020, that cost (of the national debt) will jump to $248,700 per child under the age of 18. … As a country we have to make hard decisions when it comes to entitlement programs. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue to drain our resources.”
Right next to the Senator’s statement is one by a Louisville congressman who spent his whole clip talking about how much taxpayer-funded pork he brought home: He announced that Kentucky would receive an additional $175 million in federal stimulus funding. The congressman bragged that “this new funding brings the total amount of Recovery Act dollars the Commonwealth has received from the U.S. Department of Education to more than $1.14 billion.”
So, what will be the end result of all this stimulating spending, Mr. Congressman?:
“With this investment, our nation is guaranteeing our students have the resources to receive a high-quality education while maintaining the highest-skilled workforce in the world.”
Wow. Really? Has he heard about: 1) Kentucky’s 10.7 unemployment rate; 2) the massive problems in its schools; 3) employers who want to hire district graduates, especially minorities, but can’t find those academically proficient enough to fill out a job application or read a simple manual?
He must not know: If money solved our education problems, Louisville, which spends 19 percent more per pupil than any other district in the commonwealth, would be the poster district.
On the very same page in the very same paper on the very same day, you can have two political leaders taking very different approaches to our fiscal problems. One is warning that we’re spending away the future of our children and grandchildren. The other: Bragging about more spending.
This division is a microcosm of the entire country.
Some want less government, lower taxes and adherence to the Constitution by our elected officials.
Others prefer the Sugar Daddy approach, which keeps more and more dependents sucking on government’s teat, all while vigorously shaking their heads in approval at policies that redistribute the wealth and institute a State of Nanny-ism that runs every aspect of their lives.