We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We have no "insurgency" in the US now. What I think we have is a reaction to governmental overreach - an overreach which, as I posted yesterday, will only with time ratchet ever upwards until it breaks.
What did the guy say? "Tighten the bolt until it breaks, then back off a little."
Being a Constitutional Conservative is a depressing role.
The American government has become a gigantic regulatory juggernaut. It decides the fate of individuals, businesses, whole industries, and entire regions. A few lines in a statute, or a paragraph in one of the many administrative codes that enmesh our productive lives, can mean wealth or ruin. This is a huge, unchecked, and increasingly unaccountable power. Where there is such power, as our Founders knew, it will be abused. Picking better people won’t solve the problem, because where such power exists, it will corrupt the people who have access to it. This is a political law almost as universal as those of Newton and Maxwell in the realm of physical phenomena. A regulatory state this powerful will necessarily be corrupting, venal, and suffocating.
OK, sure. But people voted for that stuff. What can anybody undo? Even Ronaldus Magnus could not take on the ridiculous and useless federal Dept. of Education. Megan McArdle mulls over government coercion, and exposes the straw man of Somalia. A quote:
Unfortunately, I don't have a Grand New Theory with which to replace it; I think of "society" as a chaotic system, within which government, like corporations, are necessary evils that will only ever imperfectly perform the idealized roles to which we would like to assign them. As such, I can't generate any neat sound-bytes like "Taxation is theft!" or "Why don't you just move to Somalia, huh?"
Nobody is advocating nihilism. I do have a grand theory, from Thomas Jefferson: "That government which governs least, governs best." A light hand. The Constitution remains a good idea, and it worked pretty well for a long time. We had a country of self-reliant, strong men and women and kids who took nothing for granted except that their lives were in their own hands, and God's.
And Matt Taibbi snarkily notes the Medicare Tennessee Tea Partiers in their government-paid scooters. I think that Medicare should have been means-tested, but that fight is long gone. The Liberal youngsters are going to pay my medical bills in a few years - if they can find a job. The joke is on them because, the way things are going, I have far more assets than they will ever have. Too bad it's not a joke.
"I think Medicare should have been means-tested." Medicare IS means-tested and always has been. Medicare contributions are a percentage of your paycheck. If you earn more, you pay in more, often a lot more. (I actually earn somewhat less and I pay in less.)
But when it's time to actually use Medicare, your benefits are the same as anyone else's. Most businesses that might have offered retirement health care benefits wound up paying Medicare instead and many can't fund retirement health care benefits.
Another way that Medicare is becoming means-tested is that it's harder to find a provider who accepts Medicare. Those with the means are using their own resources to at least get into the doctor's office.
This is a lot like the idea that my generation (I'm 53) should be proud to support our parents and ashamed that our children may need to support us. Huh??