Government is good at two things: waging stupid wars and distributing money. This should be examined closely in light of the clamor from Democrats for “Medicare for all.”
For to govern is to choose, and as the new Democratic U.S. representative from New York City, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has observed, nobody ever asks where the money for another stupid war is to come from, and Afghanistan has consumed hundreds of billions of dollars over 18 years.
No, there’s always money for stupid wars, if only because war means military contracts even in nominally liberal states like Connecticut, while improving access to medical insurance is always hindered by questions of cost.
Under Trump, Republicans have abandoned their pretensions to budgetary restraint and economy in government. While a few years ago the TEA Party movement — for “taxed enough already” — dominated the Republicans, the movement has disappeared as the president and most Republican congressmen have discovered that infinite deficits and borrowing are more fun. Most Democrats agree.
As a candidate, Trump complained about the wars and “nation building” in Afghanistan and Iraq. But as president he has continued the wars, and the country and Congress doesn’t seem to mind.
Central banking and computer networks may make money seem infinite, but actual resources never can be. So the clamor for “Medicare for all” or just decent medical insurance for all should explain how it can be achieved while there is still Afghanistan for all.
Incorrigibility Law Needed
Some people are scrutinizing the conduct of the Hartford police officers who stopped and fatally shot a man, when he attacked one of them and grabbed the officer’s gun after a car chase the other day. But this scrutiny is a waste of time. For the video from the police body cameras clearly shows the man bounding out of his car and lunging at an officer, and anyone who behaves that way is asking for deadly trouble.
This scrutiny of the police is also a waste of time because the far bigger offense here is that the perpetrator was on the loose in the first place. For, as the Hartford Courant reports, the perpetrator had a long and serious criminal record, with many convictions and many years in prison, but repeatedly was released anyway despite his brazen incorrigibility.
That is, the Hartford incident is another reminder of Connecticut’s failure to enact an effective incorrigibility law. It doesn’t have to be a “three strikes” law. Even a “10 strikes” law would be a big improvement.
No Bags, No Revenue
Highway tolls, Gov. Ned Lamont says, are for transportation infrastructure. Actually tolls are to replace the transportation money the governor and Democratic state legislators are diverting to other state and municipal government purposes to cover increased spending.
A similar fraud began this week. Plastic bags used by Connecticut supermarkets are now subject to a 10-cent tax in the name of protecting the environment. But prompted by the tax, many supermarkets are eliminating the bags right away, even as the state budget counts on the tax to produce about $27 million per year for two years, when the bags will be outlawed.
If state government really wanted to protect the environment, it would have outlawed the bags without taxing them. If the tax eliminates the bags quickly anyway, the environment’s gain will be the budget’s loss, and nobody wanted to help the environment that much.