23 March 2015


This morning, I listened to NPR’s Radio Times, hosted by Marty Moss-Coane.  I like her show.  Her guest was former Congressman Barney Frank who is out flogging his new book.  (He was similarly hosted by Terry Gross on Fresh Air! last week.) These are the only NPR programs I listen to with any hope of professional journalism.  Sadly, Ms. Moss-Coane dropped the ball this morning, not badly, but a very evident fumble.

Congressman Frank was just what one would expect of a New England liberal.  The President is one of the finest chief executives that the Republic has ever elected, the liberal agenda is just what America needs, everything would be great if we got rid of our armed forces, and, if the American people would just listen to the liberal elite, they would realize that we do not have enough government in this country!  In fact, he takes the liberals in his party to task for failing to educate the people about why they need more government.  Congressman Frank repeatedly came back to this theme:  “Whenever someone says to me, the government is too large, too intrusive, I ask for particulars.  What do you want to get rid of?  Policemen and firemen?  Social Security and Medi-care?  Veterans’ benefits? Roads and bridges?”

It reminded me of the President’s talking points every time the issue of the unfathomable national debt and his desire for more taxes and more spending comes up.  He always says that without the new taxes and spending, seniors won’t get their social security checks and Medi-care will be broke, veterans will lose their pensions and/or VA benefits, and the Armed Forces will have to be cut.
And that is the basis of my question.

Why is it that the only programs that liberals want to cut those that that the recipients have already bought and paid for?  On the night of 10-11 June 1969, every man in my platoon overpaid for whatever benefits we may get from the VA.  I have paid social security taxes since I was 16 and medi-care taxes since the program was adopted.  If you read the Constitution, the United States government has a delegated responsibility to build roads and bridges and harbors and to raise and maintain an army and a navy.  Local governments have had a responsibility to police their jurisdictions and since Ben Franklin started the first fire department in the colonies, fire protection has come to be recognized as a responsibility of local government.

Those are the only programs the liberals threaten to cut.

And here is where Ms. Moss-Coane dropped the ball.  Radio Times is a call-in program.  I was on the phone, having posited my question to her producer, but it was never asked.  Only three people got to ask “questions.”  One woman kept asking some computer-related question with respect to elections.  To his credit, the Congressman kept telling her that he does not speak “computer”, did not understand her question, and was not qualified to attempt to do so.  The next “questioner” spent 2 minutes telling the Congressman what a great man he was and how the Republic will surely fail now that he has retired.  (OK, I jest, but there was no question, just puffery.)  The third question got him off on the topic of marijuana, and that was it.

So, dear friends and family, I pose my question to you.

Why is it that the only programs that liberals want to cut “roads and bridges and harbors and armed forces and social security, medi-caid and veterans’ benefits?

Why is it that they never think of abolishing the Department of Education, a bureaucracy that does not educate a single child?  Why do they never propose to get rid of the Department of Energy, whose greatest claim to recent fame is that it bet over half a billion dollars on Solyndra just weeks before it took the money and promptly filed for bankruptcy.  Why do they want to cut benefits that citizens have paid for, but have no problem with massive income redistribution in the form of “entitlements” to people who have never worked a day in their lives?

I’m all for charity to those who would, but can’t.  I just don’t understand why cut the flow of trillions that, for over a half-century, have not ended poverty, stopped crime in the crowded cities, and suggest that those recipients have a responsibility to work for themselves, the folks who can, but won't.

I anxiously await for an answer.  Have mercy on me:  I’m holding my breath.

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