Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. Good person. Smart person. But also an Obamabot. Unfortunately, I think the conversation was a very typical one you’d hear between a conservative and a liberal. Rather than explain to you just how maddening the conversation was, I’ll do my best to recreate it. Here goes:
Me: Did you hear what’s happening in California?
Obamabot: No. What?
Me: The government is about to run out of money and the legislature is having a standoff. The Democrats want to raise taxes on businesses and individuals. The Republicans say no, it’s time to cut spending. Both sides aren’t budging. In fact, the Republicans just canned the one of their caucus leaders because he was about to give in and support raising taxes.
Obamabot: Well, they should raise taxes.
Me: You think? I mean, between the federal income tax, state taxes, and hundreds of other taxes, people are really hurting. Especially in this bad economy. Don’t you think people are taxed enough already?
Obamabot: Yeah, but we’ve got to pay for stuff.
Me: Right. But we should cut spending, not increase taxes. The government is incredibly wasteful. Surely there are ways they can cut spending. That’s what most families have to do when they have budget trouble. Why shouldn’t the government cut spending too?
Obamabot: You can’t cut spending.
Me: What? Sure you can. It’s easy, just cut spending 10% across the board. Instead of giving some program $30 million a year, they get $27 million. That’s still plenty of money. That program will have to sacrifice and make do, just like families are doing now. Think of all the billions and billions of dollars the government would save if they just did something like that.
Obamabot: What about education?
Me: Cut spending there too. The problem in most government programs isn’t spending, it’s incompetence and inefficiency. Look at that new school they built over on Park Lane. Beautiful new building, but the kids in there aren’t learning. The schools are failing despite all the money being thrown at them.
Obamabot: How do you know schools are failing?
Me: What? It’s been in the news for a few decades now. Test scores are plummeting, competency in reading and writing is abysmal. It’s in the news all the time. And it’s getting worse, not better. The problem isn’t money.
Obamabot: What do you care about education? Your kids are going to private school.
Me: I know. I have to send my kids to private school because the public schools stink. And I’m still paying outrageous taxes for the public schools.
Obamabot: Yeah, but what do you care about education?
Me: I care because that’s the future of our country. Younger generations aren’t learning squat. I want them to be educated. Don’t you?
Obamabot: That’s why we need higher taxes.
I just shook my head. I mean, how do you even have a conversation about this kind of stuff any more? And this was a regular, smart, relatively successful person. It makes me want to sell everything I own, move to the mountains, build a little shack by the river, and eat fresh rainbow trout the rest of my life.
God help us.
I mean really.
More musings at http://letsthinkaboutthat.blogspot.com