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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“For those about to spend, we salute you”

Last Tuesday, our community was dealt a terrible blow when Proposition 200 (for the numerical augmentation of the Tucson Police Department) was defeated.

True, one may argue that there are already plenty of officers in the department’s ranks. Some might also contend that the TPD should prioritize its duties so that officers focus on our safety rather than our sobriety. One TPD officer won’t arrest a cokehead and his posse for sucker-punching a student in his own backyard and breaking his jaw, but another officer will put a man in handcuffs and give him a red tag for having a gathering of three whole people. These arguments are not irrational, but they ignore the core issue of the proposition: supporting our boys in blue with more public funding, regardless of how inefficiently the government uses money.

This is more than just a cause worth fighting for, it is fulfillment of the purpose of government. Indeed, American legislatures on every level have taken on the altruistic duty of spending money to support some pseudo-important cause.

Support the police with more money, support the farmers with market-crushing subsidies, etc. Sure, by and large, said money doesn’t belong to legislators, but trust me, these guys are fighting the good fight. Oftentimes the money isn’t even there to be spent and must be borrowed, resulting in interest that must be paid and added to the list of causes worth spending money on — this just makes the legislators that much more brave for spending the money.

Now, let me briefly explain how this works. First, you earn money from working. However, you’re not responsible enough to effectively spend some of this money. You may think you are, but you’re not. To help you, our legislators have taken on this burden. And trust me, boy, are these guys smart to be spending half of your money (slightly higher than the 5 percent income tax instituted during the Civil War on those with higher incomes).

Certainly, it may appear that legislators’ specialty is simply campaigning well, but in reality, they are experts in everything. That’s how they know how to spend your money so efficiently. Congressmen and senators, the greatest of the legislators, may say some of the dumbest things imaginable and act completely inept, but they’re just faking it to be more relatable to the average American; in reality they are almost alien to the common man in their nigh-omniscience and über-benevolence.

I mean, legislators are giving away an unimaginable magnitude of currency to support groups that only coincidentally vote for them. For example, unions that just happened to give hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the Democratic Party (some almost went bankrupt) get lots of money from Democrats, especially when Democrats do things like pass Hulked-up “”stimulus”” bills.

The most valiant of Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi are also trying their hardest to expand their role in health care, even though it will probably create more problems than it solves, and regardless of how inefficient it may be. I mean, these folks don’t even care about the basic elements of health care improvement such as tort reform — that’s dedication right there. Git-r-done.

Now, we already know that such legislators are inconceivably generous, but just how generous are they? Under the Democratic Party’s budget, 43 cents of every dollar Washington spends this year will have to be borrowed, and we’ll have to pay it back with interest over the rest of our lives. Over the next decade, net interest spending is set to jump from $173 billion to $774 billion. Wow. That’s a lot of money. The best part is that the “”temporary”” (read: stepping stone) spending snowballs, gaining momentum for less cuts and more splurging.

Unfortunately, some people don’t like all this awesome spendage. They’re called “”conservatives,”” and as opposed to Democrats who are known for their throbbing, big, tenderly-loving hearts, these conservatives have cold hearts, which are actually mandarine-orange-sized, cast of iron, and tend to chill at a temperature of 3-8 degrees centigrade. At any rate, conservatives are more tight-fisted than open-handed with spending our money, and the problem is that sometimes Republicans kind of act like conservatives (i.e. the Republican health care bill, which spends about 7 percent of the opposing bill and actually would lower the cost of health care and decrease the number of uninsured). When this happens, spending doesn’t stop because it’s really hard to stop tossing greenbacks to boatloads of people who feel like they’re entitled to our money, but spending doesn’t get any higher.

More ominous is that if Americans start to realize that when they support fiscal conservatism and sky-high taxes plummet (such as by cutting taxes along with the Social Security Ponzi Scheme Act), Democrats may try to act conservatively. Then Democrats and Republicans might even compete to spend money more efficiently. I shudder at the thought.

— Daniel Greenberg is a Near Eastern studies senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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