The Arrow Is Plugging The Wound by the Writer in Black

*I will state my issue with this post upfront: The Writer In Black is right. In fact, he’s covered in reason, (as grandma would say.) I just don’t know that the Bidentia Junta is going to allow us to do it gradually or bring everything down with a roaring crash and make things very precarious indeed – SAH*

The Arrow Is Plugging The Wound by the Writer in Black

In other places I’ve made it pretty clear that I lean sharply libertarian and that the role of government should be sharply limited. “To preserve these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  That’s it.  Going beyond what’s necessary to “secure these rights” is to go beyond “just powers.”

As I point out in earlier blog posts, a certain level of government actually helps to secure the basic rights of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness (Part 1Part 2Part 3)

Obviously, we are far, far beyond that point.  To get there we need to cut government back, way back.

Here’s where I part company with many Libertarians.  They want to do it in one fell swoop.  Every part of government that is not part of the minimum necessary “to secure these rights” (which some consider to be “all of it”) must go.  Now.

That, however, may not be a good idea.  Oh, the end goal of getting rid of most of what government does may be a laudable one but the question is how.

Consider this analogy.  A man has been shot with a number of arrows and is lying there like a meat pincushion.  The wounds, if properly treated, are such that he can survive and heal.  If left as is he’ll bleed to death.

Some folk have the instinct to jerk out all the arrows since they’re what caused his wounding.

Very foolish that.  Those arrows are also plugging the holes so he doesn’t quickly bleed out.

This is where we are with government.  It’s bleeding free society to death, slow or fast depending on your perspective but it’s also “plugging the holes”.

Consider what President Dwight Eisenhower said about Social Security and other programs: “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

Eisenhower was not endorsing Social Security and those other programs.  No, he was pointing out the reality that so many people had grown dependent on them that people would rise in such outrage that the “offending” party would be voted out of every office they hold, from President all the way down to dog catcher, and never be heard from again. [Ed. Note also what I had to say in Yesterday’s post, The Dismal Science.]

And the plain fact is that many more people are dependent on many more government programs than ever before.  Cut the program and people will suffer, in the short term at least.  Maybe, probably, they would if given time adjust to the new situation and the economic growth that comes from the increased freedom and less tying up of the economy caused by the government passing money back and forth from hand to hand with no new products and services to show for it would improve their lot.  But there’s the problem “given time”.  Most people will only see their immediate hardship.  As the line says from the movie Annie (the 1982 version; I haven’t seen the 2014 version and don’t intend to) “People don’t eat in the long run.”

There’s another factor as well. Even if you remove the arrows and stop the bleeding, infection brought in by the arrows through the open wounds they created can still kill the body.

What is the infection in this metaphor? Infection is the beliefs and ideas that are only government can solve problems or, perhaps more pernicious, government can solve them best. And so, even if you reduce the size and scope of government (or, miracle of miracles, get rid of it entirely) the moment problems arise (and they will, this being far from a perfect world) people will immediately turn to government to “solve” those problems. And how do you stop them, short of force, which would make you a government?

It’s a strange infection that causes people to stab themselves with the very arrows you just pulled out of them, but, well, it’s not a perfect metaphor.

The other problem is that the arrows are barbed. The organs of government, in the end, are made up of people and they are going to “softly and silently vanish away” because you are no boojum. They’re going to resist. Remember the Iron Law of Bureaucracy? The people in charge of most of the bureaucracies are “type 2” bureaucrats, those dedicated not to the goals for which the bureaucracy was formed, but to the organization itself. They aren’t going to quietly see it go down, and they’re perfectly willing to do untold damage in their fight for institutional survival.

We saw exactly that under Trump. The irony was that people claimed Trump was paranoid for claiming that the “Deep State” was working against him to undermine his Presidency (starting with putting surveillance on his campaign). And time and again during various hearings we saw witnesses describing how they had worked against Trump to undermine his Presidency, starting with surveillance on his campaign.

Thus, while reducing the size of government is a good thing–indeed, it’s something that must happen if we’re to remain anything resembling a free and prosperous country–great care must be taken in how its done.  It needs to be done gradually–we didn’t get where we are in an instant and we won’t get back in one either.  We must be prepared to deal with the “bleeding” that will come from removing each “arrow”, with the infection that it’s let into the system, and with the hidden barbs it contains, lest instead of a healthy, prosperous nation we end up with an exsanguinated corpse.

Recognizing this, of course, makes me a horrible “statist” who doesn’t care about freedom.  Or so I’ve been told.

The Writer In Black normally blogs at: The Writer In Black.

Also look for his books on Amazon under David L. Burkhead.

181 thoughts on “The Arrow Is Plugging The Wound by the Writer in Black

  1. IIRC Tom Kratman said that if the Supreme Court ruled that Social Security was unconstitutional that there would be public outcry for an Amendment to the Constitution to allow Social Security.

    1. I want an “Opt Out And Gimme My Money Back” option. Not gonna happen as they don’t have my money, they’ve been using it elsewhere, and everyone like me also opting out would crash their ponzi scheme that much faster.

      1. As you noted that money was spent long ago. Theoretically some of that money was in US bonds, but that was just a legalistic way of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul without officially admitting its a effectively a ponzi scheme.

              1. That oi ending is plural in Greek where at least Aristoi (aristo) originates, I suspect Mr. Wells echoed Greek with that name.

                1. “ellos, elloi” are young deer.

                  Elos is a marshy meadow or a backwater; and possibly Wells was treating them as backwaters of evolution.

                  That said, I’ve always believed that the Eloi name was an “elf” takeoff, just like eldil is Lewis’ Tolkienish word for angels.

          1. Probably the mosat realistic solution is the one the late Milton Friedman proposed: Make current obligations part of the general budget and only eliminate SS going forward. Still that whole “institutional survival” fight makes that like Von Clauswitz said about war: In war everything is very simple, but the simplest things are very difficult.

            1. And every tool you create to cull the bureaucracy is one that will be used against you, two to four years later. Even if the manner in which it is used is outside the scope of what was created, as we have seen over and over.

              I have not done enough research into the matter myself, but it occurs to me that there are a few things that might help, though. Lower the rewards for bad behaviors, things we want to reduce. Raise the ones for things we want to succeed.

              Make it easier to start a small business. Lower the regulatory burden, taxes, etc. Lower the federal gas tax. Lower the income tax for low wage earners.

              Those who have been stuck with taking the government handout for whatever reason will tell you, they don’t make it easy to get off welfare (and other such similar entitlements). Lazy people will, of course, not even try. But those with the guts and the willpower face an uphill battle.

              I do not think that a bill to tack SS onto the budget would pass even a Republican congress, much as I would very much like it to. They’re not called the stupid party for nothing. Heck, we can’t even get them to get a handle on the rampant, stupifyingly huge amount of spending that goes on.

              One thing that might- I say might– have a positive effect would be to allow Senators and House congress critters to do their business from their home states. Get them out of the DC swamp. Closer to their actual constituents. Note I say allow, not mandate. I think it might be possible that such a thing could pass. And I think the benefits that could come from such outweigh the possible malus that might occur.

            2. Realistically, you need to phase in that elimination – from age 50 onward, people have to prepare to support themselves. Cut current recipients by 1% of their monthly benefit (and continue with an additional 1% of the Original amount each year). Family, for the most part, will have to pick up the missing money.
              Same with Welfare – 1% less each year, along with an equivalent amount from EBT and housing subsidy. Will it immediately cause starvation? Don’t be ridiculous – the poor are as good as any group at managing to make ends meet.
              And, unless a SERIOUS, documented case of physical disability exists, ALL welfare should end in 2 years. No more after that. If someone is too mentally ill to manage, they need to be in facilities.
              And, for God’s sake, end the subsidization of drug addicts and other self-induced problem children.

        1. Point out that the effect of having the bonds is zero — they still have to get the money — and it has some interesting effects.

        2. That’s one of the reasons WiB is right. SocSec can’t be fixed overnight. There have been several proposals to gradually privatize it; but the Demoncrats refuse to do so because they lose power over voters when they’re not dependent on the government. And those self-same Demoncrats turn on their MSM flunkies to shout down any such proposals whenever they occur.

      2. I’d settle for an ‘Opt Out And Walk Away’ option. Allow people to simply quit Socialist Stupidity, abandoning their ‘entitlement’ despite the money they’ve already paid in. Some would choose to quit, some would choose not to.

        Second phase, stop bringing new people in. Yes, we’ll all be on the hook for paying the existing recipients, but at least the boondoggle will be decreasing instead of increasing. Eventually this would put an end to the biggest Ponzi scam in history, which was only kept going because the new fish were ‘encouraged to invest’ at gunpoint.

        Pay for it all by cutting back on other parts of government. Start with Jimmy Carter’s Department Of Education which has wasted 40 years and over $2 TRILLION to accomplish less than nothing. Government schools today are worse than they were back in Carter’s time.
        Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

        1. Pay for it all by cutting back on other parts of government.

          Not possible. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the interest in the national debt currently consume 95+% of all government revenue as it is. We could fire every government employee, from the president to the lowest private, and it would barely balance the budget, much less free up enough money to pay for our universal blue-hair welfare and health care entitlements. The main job of our government is redistributing money from young to old.

          There are six ways out of our entitlement crisis:
          1. Increase revenue by raising taxes. Republican opposition.
          2. Increase revenue by increasing the number of tax payers. Bipartisan opposition to raising taxes on the poorest Americans and of encouraging immigration of net taxpayers.
          3. Increase revenue by growing the economy. In theory the easiest thing, but there’s bipartisan opposition to keeping political and administrative fingers out of the cookie jar.
          4. Decrease expenditure by cutting payments. Bipartisan opposition; old people refuse to acknowledge that the Supreme Court ruled that no one is entitled to the money they put in way back in 1960! We’re almost to the point of this ruling being as old as the youngest retirees.
          5. Decrease expenditure by cutting the number of recipients, most likely on the basis of income. Democratic opposition; the universality of these programs is what keeps them untouchable.
          6. Decrease expenditure by inflating the currency. The strategy actually in effect, as it’s a lot easier than running a country well.

          1. Decrease expenditure by cutting the number of recipients, such as by deliberately exposing them to a manufactured virus. See New York.

              1. I didn’t say they were smart. And the illegals are young enough to be useful forced labor (they think).

          2. 1. Only Democrat politicians support tax increases. Taxpayers do not.

            Plus, you missed:

            7. Do nothing, and watch the whole corrupt edifice crash and burn.

            1. Nah. Dem voters do too. Most either don’t pay or make enough that it’s not a major hit. Plus they make sure they have ways around in the tax laws.

          3. 2. Increase revenue by increasing the number of tax payers. Bipartisan opposition to raising taxes on the poorest Americans and of encouraging immigration of net taxpayers.

            You missed a trick: bipartisan opposition to humans.

          4. Given the malevolence of the criminals, sociopaths, and idiots running DC and printing its propaganda, any scheme to reduce the size of Government expenditures will be met with violence, whether official or rent-a-mob variety…Hence the whole notion of gradualism is a pipe dream..

          5. I think al lot of the problem could be solved by shoving all of those currently-federal entitlements onto the states.

            The feds would have to give the states a list of all ss/medicare/whatever recipients in that state, along with whatever portion of their entitlement balance exists.

            From there, the feds would stop collecting the money (Yes, lol fat chance, I know), tell that states that they are now responsible for collecting the money for the entitlement, and let the states confirm whether those people actually exist, and whether they will continue to be supported in the manner to which they are accustomed.

            … It would be a multi-year process, most likely, but of course would have to be completed within one president’s term, so as to make it established practice by the time the next one comes in.

          6. Trouble with inflating the currency is that while it gets the government off the hook (assuming they don’t load up on more debt) it also destroys any alternative savings by workers who tried to improve their positions over basic poverty.

        2. Never gonna happen. If they stop getting the 7ish percent from me (I’m 34. I’ll have put myself into a bridge abutment long before I qualify.) That makes the handful of people that get paid from the money that govt takes from me (who paid in decades ago and approved of the govt expenditures that ate away the “lockbox”) unable to be paid. The existing benefits will collapse almost immediately. This is the same thing that broke bush’s push.

          1. You’re paying a lot more than 7ish percent. It’s over 12%. You just think it’s around 7% because that’s what you see pulled out of your check from your employer. In reality, both you and your employer are paying 6.2% of what you earn to .gov. If you’re self employed it’s much more apparent because you have to pay the entire 12.4% yourself.

            1. More that I didn’t remember the number offhand. I try to block out the size of the hands in my pocket. Too depressing

            2. Hubby calls the self employed he golfs with the 14% contributors … They don’t think he is that hilarious. When they glare he just shrugs and states that we paid, through the government, to cover my 3 surviving grandparents, the disabled Uncle, his parents, and eventually my parents. Honestly, we never expected to see a dime in return and planned accordingly. That we are actually getting money from SS is a surprise to us.

            3. I see this argument a lot. You assume that if the employer didn’t have to send its 6.2% to the Feds, they would automatically give it to you as a raise. Why should they?

              1. Because you would demand it when you’re in a favorable market position, i.e. when businesses are going begging for workers. Not every business would do so, of course, since they could now afford to pay their workers 6% better wages, some would. And then they would, over time, be able to hire people more easily because they’re offering better wages. It’s how competition works for everything, wages included.

                Some people (such as labor unions, who have a vested interest in your thinking that you can’t get a good wage without them) will tell you that competition for wages only goes one way, in a “race to the bottom” where workers undercut each other and you end up with people working for pennies per hour. That, they will tell you, is why minimum-wage laws are necessary, and why labor unions are your best friend. They lie. In 2019 I was in Texas, looking at the “help wanted” signs at Buc-ee’s (a huge gas station chain in TX). They were advertising their pay rates of about $13/hour, at a time when the minimum wage was $7.50 or so (I could be off by a few cents but it was below $8). Why wouldn’t they just pay minimum wage? Because Buc-ee’s management is smart, and they know they can get much better employees, who’ll show up to work on time, sober and drug-free and ready to work, if they offer them better pay.

                Competition works both ways. Don’t let the labor unions and other vested interests lie to you and tell you it only works one way. It also works to increase wages by as much as businesses can afford. Relieve them of 6% of employee cost that they don’t have to pay to the government, and they’ll be able to pay that to their employees instead. Not all will, but some will, and that will create market pressure on the others.

                1. I missed a word. The word “but” should have appeared in my first paragraph: “Not every business would do so, of course, but since they could now afford to pay their workers 6% better wages, some would.” I believe the meaning was still clear… but I would edit it in if WordPress allowed editing comments.

                2. I guaranty that an employee’s compensation package cost is built into any offer.

                  Would I have gotten a 3% raise if I formally opted out of the Simple IRA? Or any other 401(k) matching percentage? Not a chance.

                  Did I get the money saved when opting out of medical insurance, when monthly co-pay required for employee (could because had family insurance for no co-pay through hubby)? Really rare, but one employer did, not all off the employer premium portion, but some of it. Could have opted out of last employer’s insurance, even though no co-pay on my part, but why? Wasn’t getting anything for doing so. It was crappy insurance, so it only paid on the required items without triggering deductible which never got close to, so hubby’s family based insurance ended up paying as secondary. Also didn’t get extra compensation for not signing up son or hubby (expensive) which employer picked up half the insurance on.

                  So correct. Some employers, if not required to pay the feds the 6.2%, would pass that pay on to employees. Some would not.

              2. Funny that they keep including it in my “compensation” package that they send me every year, along with what they pay towards my Health Insurance, Life Insurance, retirement, etc. It sure seems like something they would pass onto me if they weren’t required to send it to the feds. And as Robin mentioned, most employers would pass that along because it would actually be good for their business.

                1. It’s a matter of attitude. Whether the IRS considers me to self employed or not, I am self employed. I sell my services to whoever gives me the best deal, in MY opinion. I figure the value to me of benefits such as healthcare, vs the cost of providing my own, etc. And come up with a dollar figure. It’s an estimate of course, but life is not certain. And then compare dollars to dollars.

              3. It kind of depends on the employer, and the employee. A lot of employees aren’t worth what they are being -aid, much less pay and benefits. Their salaries are based on a combination of coercion by government and the hope that the few who STAY with the company will eventually be worth MORE than they are paid.

                Basically; any employment agreement at present has the State as an un-indicted co-conspirator. Given the State’s history of ham-handedness, counterproductivity, and stone headed idiocy, it’s tempting to assume that removing it from the equation would benefit everybody.

      3. The sad part of that situation is that if the government had kept Social Security separate from the General Fund, then they would have to do something with the money. They’d have to invest it, which means that the Federal Government would literally own the economy! So instead they “invested” it in the General Fund. No good options. As Reagan said, the closest thing to eternal life is a government program.

      4. While it’s true they don’t have the money, unlike other “we just printed a trillion dollars from nowhere” programs, that’s a one-time cost that is about the only way you’ll ever wind down the Ponzi scheme — let people get “their money back”, buy private insurance policies for the few who can’t do the math and don’t take the deal. Yes, you printed the money from nowhere, but you got rid of the infinitely large future overhang in the process.

      1. My generation counted on 401Ks, but I think those are going to get torched as well, again because of the way the government structured them.

        Like health insurance, 401Ks are so heavily tax advantaged, that the fund managers can destroy half of the money you put into them, and it still costs someone less to keep the money in the 401K than to keep it out and use it elsewhere.

        I think that’s why we’re also seeing corporate boards go nuts: because of the tax incentives they have to destroy ~60% of shareholder value before it’s less expensive for the investor to walk away rather than hold.

        1. I’ve intentionally not looked at mine. I did borrow from it recently, but only a small amount compared to what I could. I’ll pay “myself” 3.5% over 3 years as opposed to some shady loaner (quiet, I am NOT shady, more glaring . . . it’s the bald head)

        2. Rolled all my 401-K’s over into an IRA which I manage myself.

          That will be fine, until the government nationalizes all the IRA’s and kicks off Civil War, Act II. January 6? They ain’t seen for insurrection yet.

          1. I need to find out if my employeer even allows me to do that.

            That’s really the problem: because tax barriers can end up being extremely high if you don’t, or can’t thread that needle, it rewards investment firms that focus on capturing investors and have negative net performance.

            If so want to stay in index funds, and the index fund I’ve been using decides that DEI is more important than maintaining a balanced index, I should be able to say “thanks, no thanks” and change to a different one without getting some huge percentage of my money destroyed. Problem is, that’s not really the case, so funds do better to become the sole option for as many large employers as they can, then they can just burn money.

            It’s just taken them a bit to realize it.

            1. Rolling 401(k) into IRA’s can be done if you change employers, at any age. I did that twice. Hubby did his at retirement. I know my last employer the Simple IRA (small business 401(k)) had an option at a certain age the pay in, get employer contribution, roll out into self directed IRA, could happen. I think at the age you could withdrawal with out penalty (59 1/2). But since I retired 4 months shy of that … Would say the 401(k)s make it easy to do the rollover, and in general they did. OTOH the last one ….. grrrrr. Got it done, but dang it was a PIA.

              Yes. Ours are all self directed too. Hubby manages them. Know what he is doing and why. Just have no interest on actually doing this myself.

                1. Sometimes you get it for “free” when a company decides it no longer wants old high cost engineers. Not particularly pleasant but hey you tke what value you can get 🙂 .

                2. Yea. I got lucky with my first two 401(k)s, back in the time when company stock was the matching portion. First one we even kept the stock for decades after the rollover into the IRA (company sold regional division, which put me out of the job). The other one, when the company was bought out the stock held in 401(k) had to be cashed out, not traded for the new company stock, made out like a bandit. By then the whole company stock compensation in 401(k) was not allowed (good thing, that was the company that went bankrupt). Otherwise regarding choice of funds, we were pretty aggressive as we offset elsewhere. After all the concept of “Balancing” isn’t in any single investment vehicle, but across Everything held. Could we have done better on our own? Now? Definitely! Then? Not so much.

          2. January 6 was laughable. I know a person, who, by himself, could arm a reinforced company or a light battalion. They might be a bit weak on crew-served weapons, but not totally lacking in that regard. And politically? He makes me look like a raving communist. I know plenty of others who could, individually, arm a squad or two.

            Insurrection? Had that been an actual insurrection, the Capitol would have been ankle deep in blood, not the only acknowledged death by violence being unarmed protestor Ashli Babbit. (No, coroner’s report says the cop wasn’t a death by violence, acknowledged or otherwise.)

            1. I can’t help but wonder if that is part of why politicians have decided to go all in on Red Flag laws just now.

              It does streamline the process of picking off potential troublemakers.

              1. The vast, overwhelming majority of us troublemakers restrict ourselves to talking. Pointing out inconvenient facts, laughing, jeering, making horrible jokes and memes, and all manner of derogatory comments about the Proggy Pols. Any attempt at Red Flagging/SWATting by the pols is going to lead to that CW2, everyone else keeps trying to avoid, very quickly.

            2. The DOJ also reportedly combed through the video footage looking for any evidence that Officer Sicknick (sp?) was struck in the head during a scuffle on that day. They were unable to find any footage of such an event.

              1. Coronor’s report said “no blunt trauma.” I believe the final cause of death was either a stroke or heart attack. One of those “natural causes” things.

              2. The problem being that the Progressive Panjandrums seriously believe that in the event of CW2, they would win. Not ‘have a chance of winning’; win. Because they know damned little military history, and what they DO know ain’t so.

                You can tell by the way they keep telling themselves that small arms are no use against a military with tanks.

                1) I have no idea why they assume the military will side with them. I know they have subverted a lot of the officer corps, but what I think they will get is ‘you want us to take direct action? That we can be blamed for after? Please fill out these 100 million obscure forms, in ink, in Latin and Navaho.’

                2) In spite of the fearsome appearance, it isn’t really possible to run a tyranny from a tank or tanks. There’s no place for a desk. Tyrannies are run from office buildings. And office buildings that cannot be shot into or blown up are hard to arrange, and uncomfortable. Mistresses will not live in them.

                1. Yeah, they believe a hundred million armed Americans will be easier to put down than a few thousand illiterate goat-raping primitives in a country the size of Arizona AND that the U.S. military will commit atrocities against Americans that they wouldn’t consider doing against the Taliban. They’re going to use nuclear weapons against towns where Americans give them The Finger.

                  Actually, between Dopey Joe and the incompetent dipshits they’ve installed at the top levels, that last one’s not completely inconceivable.

                  “Here, Mr. President, just put your thumb on the pad and type in this code…”

                  “Then I can haves ice cream?”

                  “All the ice cream you want.”

            3. Yep. If it had been a real insurrection, it wouldn’t have been an insurrection at all. It would’ve been a massacre or the start of a revolution, probably both.

            4. Much closer to an “insurrection” would have been the Veteran’s Bonus Army occupation.


              Only this time it wasn’t Congress that attacked the protestors, it was the President, Hoover, who used active duty troops (led by Gen Patton of all people) to destroy the encampment, and drive out the vets and their supporters. ” total of 55 veterans were injured and another 135 were arrested.”

              Yet this occupy wasn’t any different than Occupy Wall Street (encampment probably was a lot cleaner.) And there wasn’t any break in into the Capital Building.

              The truth the Democrats and RINOs in Congress refuse to accept, because they are corrupt maggots (apologies to honest fly larva), is that there was NO INSURRECTION.

              1. I thoughtt it was MacArthur who led the ousting of the Bonus Army. (Checks Wikipedia . . .) Yep. MacArthur commanded, Patton led the Cavalry. Ike was mixed up in it also.

              2. Patton was there, but the actual commander was MacArthur.


                On the morning of July 28, 1932, President Hoover, in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the military, ordered his Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley to clear the Bonus Army camps and disperse the protesters. At 4:45 p.m., U.S. Army infantry and cavalry regiments under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, supported by six M1917 light tanks commanded by Maj. George S. Patton, assembled on Pennsylvania Avenue to carry out President Hoover’s orders.

                With sabers, fixed bayonets, tear gas, and a mounted machine gun, the infantry and the cavalry charged the veterans, forcibly evicting them and their families from the smaller camps on the Capitol Building side of the Anacostia River. When the veterans retreated back across the river to the Hooverville camp, President Hoover ordered the troops to stand down until the next day. MacArthur, however, claiming the Bonus Marchers were attempting to overthrow the U.S. government, ignored Hoover’s order and immediately launched a second charge. By the end of the day, 55 veterans had been injured and 135 arrested.

                Dugout Doug got an early start on ignoring Presidential orders.

  2. I would agree if I had any belief that such changes (IMPROVEMENTS!) in government would continue past the first pain point. As soon as the first largish, vocal group starts to be inconvenienced there will be enough uproar to derail whatever the logical Next Steps would be and things would grind to a halt.


    1. Changes have been happening my whole adult life. When I first started paying attention to politics – in the mid 1970’s – it was next to unthinkable that the Progressive Establishment would not continue indefinitely. But their obsession with being avant-garde has pushed them to the point that they are actually in serious trouble. And in the meanwhile alternate points of view have – in spite of vicious opposition by the Powers That Be – become a great deal more respectable.

  3. The Gingrich congress started the necessary work to chip away at welfare with the work requirements it implemented. Unfortunately, iirc Obama undid all of it.

  4. One of the things I noticed that Trump did that passed under the radar was a simple regulation that was glorious in effect. All it did was make it so that if you had to do a study under federal regulations, you did not have to do a separate, identical study for another department.

    Because that’s what was happening. If you had to do a study for, say, the EPA, and the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife also needed that study, you formerly had to do a whole separate study instead of the LOGICAL thing, which is to send a copy of the study over to the new department.

    No wonder infrastructure development and repair has slowed to a crawl. You could’t start anything without physically doing everything in quadruplicate.

  5. A few years ago in a conversation with a friend, discussing Social Security, he said that there was no way to stop Social Security payments. The citizens would revolt and toss the politicians out of office.

    “Sure,” I replied. “The payments will keep coming. The dollar amount will stay the same. But milk will cost $20 a gallon, bread $10 a loaf. They won’t cut Social Security, they’ll inflate the currency.”

    Ah, well. Here we are.

      1. Social Security payments are tied to the CPI (as are other similar programs). However the CPI “basket” of items has been hacked many times to remove more price “volatile” items (Gasoline, Fuel Oil) and its calculation notoriously understates inflation even for the items it does track.

        1. That simply isn’t correct. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, “Most importantly, none of the prominent legislated uses of the CPI excludes food and energy. Social security and federal retirement benefits are updated each year for inflation by the All Items CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).”

  6. This is a fundamental defect of almost every political faction, ever. I would say ‘every’, but my know;edge of history is not encyclopedic. Nobody ever seems ready to change things gradually.

    And things ARE changing. It used to be, not so long ago, that all viable candidates from both major parties, were members in good standing of the Progressive Establishment. Nixon certainly was. He may have believed in a slightly different set of priorities for the vast central authority he envisioned, but he was certainly in favor of more centralized power.

    When I was in Middle School, circa the bicentennial, 9t was broadly assumed – EVEN BY GUN FOLKS – that hand guns would be largely banned within a decade, and that tight restrictions on long guns would follow quickly. Instead, that whole process was thrown into reverse, and the Gun Banners are having hysterics.

    A lot of change is down to overreach by the Progressives, plus their compulsion to be avant-garde. They always, Always, ALWAYS have to push, and now they are getting pushed back by people who considered themselves Liberal as recently as a decade ago, simply because the Progressives have become a bunch of gibbering idiots.

  7. Eliminating government agencies will always be difficult – but there’s enough deep anger at DEI/CRT right now that eliminating the Department of Education (which is pushing those ideologies) would have widespread support (and very loud ivory tower opposition). It wouldn’t be easy but it could be done. And those school districts who realize that they can then get rid of all the compliance paper shufflers and put resources into actual education will likely get better results.
    If that could be pulled off, then making the case for eliminating other agencies (like the Dept of Energy) whose efforts have been counterproductive to their supposed mission could also succeed.
    The Writer in Black is correct, you can’t do it all at once, apart from violent revolution which rarely turns out well and should not be attempted unless you’re ready to eat rat. But it should be possible a bit at a time.

    1. Once a program starts it’s almost impossible to get rid of, even if it’s been “ended”. Even in Red states. My wife’s a teacher. When there was a huge push to end No Child Left Behind my state changed the name of what they were doing, but the standards remained the same.

      It was basically just so that if parents were upset with NCLB they could say, “We aren’t doing that anymore.” While at the same time, if parents were upset that NCLB wasn’t enforced anymore they could say, “Look, the standards are the same.”

      1. There is good reason that President Reagan said that the closet thing to immorality on Earth is a government program.

        1. I think that was supposed to read “closest thing to immortality on Earth is a government program.” But your version also seems pretty accurate.

    2. “…eliminating other agencies (like the Dept of Energy) whose efforts have been counterproductive to their supposed mission…”

      Are there any federal agencies whose efforts haven’t been counterproductive to the noble missions they declaim?

      1. The Department Of War, back before they wussified it. Funny how all the ‘Defense’ it has done since the name change has consisted of military offensives in other countries.

        Not saying some of them weren’t necessary, but ‘Defense’ they weren’t.
        People can make stupid mistakes. Only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

        1. Well, in fairness, part of the Middle East wars of occupation against terrorism and other bad actors gave those opposed to western civilization a conveniently close target to attack, and pretty much kept those outside nuts from causing problems inside the U.S specifically, and the western hemisphere in general. Although I doubt that was intentional on the part of anyone in the U.S. Government.

  8. Recognizing this, of course, makes me a horrible “statist” who doesn’t care about freedom. Or so I’ve been told.

    Part of this response isn’t just people being obtuse dumbasses. A lot is like the response to gun control: we are so accustomed to anyone taking the “reasonable”, or “nuanced” route doing it so they can get close enough to plant a knife, that it settles on “no, fuck you, and fuck the syphilitic camel you rode in on”.

    1. After 80 years of ‘Reasonable Gun Control’ violence has only gotten worse, and worst in the places with the maximum ‘Reasonable Gun Control’.

      Rather than reach the obvious conclusion — ‘gun control’ does not work — they claim that the total failure of ‘Reasonable Gun Control’ makes UNreasonable gun control necessary. Anybody with enough functioning brain cells to form a quorum knows they’re lying, but such folks seem to be in short supply these days.
      The Democrats trust violent criminals and terrorists with guns more than they trust you.

      1. I have recently learned that actually enforcing the handgun laws already on the books in places with Reasonable Gun Control is deemed racist. Some shooters are more equal than others….

          1. The one I saw was in connection with a gang shootout in Philadelphia where a number of bystanders where hit. There are far too many “enlightened” who can see racism everywhere except in the mirror.

      2. “The Democrats trust violent criminals and terrorists with guns more than they trust you”

        For good reason.

      3. The Progressive Establishment trusts violent criminals more than they trust the citizens, for the simple reason that they are fairly sure they can BRIBE the criminals, but are uncomfortably aware that sooner or later the citizens are going to some for them with torches and pitchforks.

    2. Listen dude, this weekend we can discuss how vending machines should dispense nukes. People like the writer in black and I hold on to the dream, but we’re alas OWLs: Older, Wiser Libertarians and realize sometimes there’s delays and the opposition needs to be got around.
      If you live long enough, you’ll become one. Alas — gives politics the sideye — that might be a challenge.

      1. There’s “where you’d like to be” and there’s “where you are.” Unfortunately, Niven’s Transport Disks have not been invented so you can’t just instantly apport there. The path is long, arduous, and filled with confusing crossroads where the “obivous” path to the end goal leads back to the starting point and the path that reaches the end goal is not obvious.

        Basically, it’s a dungeon crawl with a truly fiendish DM and the map designed by Daedelus. 😉

        1. I’d like to take three of Larry’s transport disks, and put two as receivers on the end of a long, spinning boom in geosynchronous orbit. Then tell all the Proggies that if they step on the one here, it will send them where they really need to go.

  9. Actually SS payments do not stay the same. COLA is what happens. Of coarse medicare payment goes up too. But my first three COLAS medicare didn’t apply (62 – 64). Now it does. But even then I netted $30 or $40 extra. Now pensions, even mom’s PERS, does not adjust to inflation. We had monthly expenses dialed into income (SS x 2, Pensions x 2, even with only one of the latter being $121/month, but I get something). Then we could pull from IRA to cover shortfall. Shortfalls are getting huge. It will be touch and go to see if the investment growth still out grows removal. We’re not only withdrawing much more per month, but investments are dropping like a rock.

  10. The last time a country achieved a drastic and permanent reduction in the size of government, if memory serves, was in Britain after the Napoleonic wars. The British Treasury had been funding not only its own war effort, but those of all its allies – which, by the end, meant most of Europe. The debts were insupportable. Even the Bank of England, which in theory was independent of the Treasury, was so severely affected that it came within an ace of suspending payments and going bust. (Someone found a bag of old gold sovereigns in the cellar, which tided the bank over till the end of the day. The coins were supposed to be sent to the Mint to be melted down and re-coined, but they were pressed back into circulation to meet the emergency.)

    Lord Liverpool’s government and those that followed it eliminated thousands of pensions and sinecures, not all at once, but by letting them lapse when the existing holders died or retired. The entire British government was cut down by attrition as the only alternative to bankruptcy and revolution.

    Similar things have been done on a smaller scale since, but not, alas, to lasting effect. Here in Canada, in the 1990s, we made substantial cuts to the size of all levels of government because the IMF privately warned the incoming Prime Minister that the country was in danger of dreefault and they would not bail it out. Rather than go down in history as the man who made Canada go bankrupt, the PM reluctantly met the IMF’s demands. Unfortunately, subsequent governments have resumed feeding the cancer.

    So the thing can be done, but it takes force majeure to overcome the inertia of politics.

    1. Coolidge was able to get the Federal bureaucracy reduced in size. Unfortunately, he was followed by Hoover and FDR. Both of the latter were big fans of Federal intervention.

  11. On a related note, I understand from news reports that diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is in shortage right now.

    Guess what every diesel truck, farm tractor and construction machine requires, thanks to the Greenies? Yep. DEF. It doesn’t make the truck go, but the truck won’t go without it. Because computer interlocks and regulations.

    Guess what season this is? PLANTING SEASON! If you miss planting season by a couple of weeks, your crop will be too late and the snow will kill it, because this is North America and we have seasons here.

    If you wanted to f- over North American agriculture and industry, imposing a DEF mandate and then arranging a DEF shortage is a great way.

    Presently (as in within a few days of the shortage really biting down) I expect to see all manner of hacks being shared online for how to FIX the DEF “problem” with a software patch and a pair of side-cutters. People are -not- going to let their farms and trucks go idle over a stupid regulation.

    We will see how serious the governments are by their response. If they start demanding internet providers silence hardware hackers and start arresting truckers/farmers for modifying their rigs, then we’ll know it isn’t a shortage.

      1. I must have missed that post. I know a few of them, I used to read all about DEF delete kits, EGR deletes, nitrous for added power, water injection, all that great stuff. Banks makes a great water/methanol injection kit for Ford diesels, reduces intake temperatures and boosts power while reducing soot better than DEF.

        For that mattter, DEF is urea in water. You can make it out of fertilizer in a bucket if you have to. Ugly, but doable.

        Can Farmer John deploy that tech hack in the middle of planting season to his whole fleet because he can’t get DEF? Probably. Will the government -let- him, is the question of the hour. They will if this is all a fubar. They won’t if it’s a set-up.

        Also I expect the government inspectors who actually go to the farms and check trucks on the highway will mostly develop sudden selective blindness in all but a few cases. You can’t stay a wild-eyed Leftist and work in farm country, IMHO. Plain osmosis will get Reality seeping in.

        1. From what I’m hearing, the current DEF systems may not actually check what the fluid even is. One may actually be able to defeat them by simply filling the DEF tank with water.

          The weird thing is, isn’t urea just the core non-water part of urine? I’d think it would be reasonable, if extremely pungent to process it into DEF, depending on the human output concentration and quantity requirements.

          It’s going to be interesting times.

            1. Would that be a variation on a famous saying, “Piss on this for a game of bureaucrats!”? 🙂

              1. My ten year old grandson’s joke.

                What happened when Chuck Norris peed into an 18 wheeler’s gas tank?

                It turned into Optimus Prime.

                On a more somber note, hubby runs an auto parts store. Not one of the national chain stores. I asked him about the situation and it is very dire. He can not get DEF in jugs any more but only in 55 gallon barrels. And he can’t always get those either. He also tells me that there is no practical way around DEF. The fines are so high for getting caught circumventing it that people would lose their business. He deals with over the road truckers, loggers, mining companies, farmers, homesteaders, construction companies and regular folks who have diesels. Unless regulations are waved and fines reduced it will get ugly.

                1. The Reader observes that the EPA hates diesel engines with a passion beyond reason and has since its formation. There is no chance that there will be any waiver. The DC swamp dwellers in the EPA really don’t care if the country shuts down. The Reader guesses if DEF becomes unavailable or unaffordable there will be mass disobedience and little likelihood of successful enforcement in red states. The blue states may well be left without freight transportation.

                    1. As of a couple weeks ago truckers were refusing loads to and from Cali because they don’t pay. This was reported as a widespread phenomenon, and due mostly to fuel prices not being matched by load payouts, also the extreme greenie regulations. It may have changed by now, but I bet not.

                      Also mentioned were truckers refusing loads to Saskatchewan because of fuel cost and no return loads, again widespread and affecting fertilizer deliveries at planting time out west.

                      Gee, I wonder what a DEF shortage will do to that?

                  1. “The blue states may well be left without freight transportation.”

                    That would, I’d assume, include Sodom-On-The-Potomac. OK, so what’s the downside?

                    1. The Reader’s sister lives in Maine. While we disagree on many things, I do not wish her to freeze in the dark this winter. Leaving Caracas on the Potomac without trucks would be sport though.

                    2. As soon as district one has inconvenience it’ll be all in to fix it. For itself. I doubt they would have a thought against nationalizing trucking, effectively holding drivers hostage to make sure they get their due.

                    3. “…I do not wish her to freeze in the dark this winter.” If your sister is like most down-Easters I’ve met she’ll get along fine; they’re one of the most self-reliant populations in the US. The worthless parasites inside the Capital Beltway, OTOH…

                    4. Although the local attitudes may have rubbed off on her, I’ll second your hope, and wish for a happy outcome.

                  2. The problem is that a not insignificant part of the national transport network is blue states. Since everything is injection molded in Shanghai now its gotta go thru LA. So the parts you need to bypass the system, you’ll need to homebrew.

                    1. It doesn’t HAVE to go through LA. There will be an increase in time and cost to ship it via other routes.

                    2. Ya, there is the gulf coast. But they couldn’t take the thruput at this point. Plus since corps send the work overseas just to save pennies it would take a lot to force the move. Especially since the decision makers are insulated

        2. reducing soot better than DEF

          That isn’t very hard at all considering that DEF isn’t intended to reduce soot.

          It’s there to reduce nitrogen compounds.

        3. Urea in water. So a viable replacement for DEF is to piss in the bottle? So that’s why the military was so gung ho on “piss testing” for drugs!

            1. It comes from an EPA administrator — can’t get more certified than that. 😎

    1. I have a diesel, compact utility tractor, 30 hp. All it uses is diesel. None of this so-called DEF crap. Of course, I did buy it just prior to the model being modified for ‘green’ reasons. I suspect that existing diesel engines can be de-modified to not use the DEF crap, but then they won’t pass whatever exhaust tests they’re subjected to. That won’t be a problem for farm equipment, which never gets tested after sale; but anything requiring inspections to drive over the road are stuck with it.

  12. How many scoops of porcine scat is acceptable on your breakfast cereal? For me, none. YMMV.

    I’m okay with just eliminating (“with prejudice”) the Democrats from Government. All of them. Even the “nice” ones. Especially the ones that claimed to be Republicans. They all favor infanticide. They’re all death-cultists.

    HOWEVER. I just transitioned from Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor. It took about 6 years even with the best doctors, nurses, technicians, imaging, surgery, chemo, radiation, etc. There were steps to follow. They had to take breaks to allow my body to recover between chemo, radiation, surgery, next radiation, next surgery. Then repeated testing that started on a 3-month, the 4-month, then 6 month and now 12-month basis. And now that they think I’m going to live, they are concentrating more on quality of like as opposed to just defeating the destroyer.

    We don’t want to kill the patient. We might need “America the Beautiful” in the future, not a bad clone of the USSR or Red China, not a Caliphate, not a North American Reich, not a re-established Monarchy, and not any type of theocracy. Even if my preacher was to be the leader. And I like him. But that’s not the right way.

    The commies started by taking over the schools. We need to kick their tail-feathers to the curb, stomp on ’em, and kick them on down the street until they agree to emigrate. At least rhetorically. We aren’t, after all, Democrats ourselves. And we need to regain control of our children’s education.

    2 Chronicles 7:13-14, Proverbs 3:5-6 and Romans 1:18-32 might be useful for folks who believe.

    1. First rhetorically, then literally if necessary. In either case, without mercy; they have shown none and deserve none.

  13. I liked Trump taking the first step by moving the Department of the Interior actually to The Interior and away from all the career seat-swappers. FICUS, of course, undid it with the stroke of a pen. I can’t see how FBI and DHS as well as DOE are salvageable at all at this point. A right-thinking Congress would have to slowly starve them funding-wise, and that, of course, depends on being in power long enough to change the culture. Same reason we can’t bring peace to the Middle-East. It takes longer than 4 or even 8 years of consistent messaging and pressure, and our politics doesn’t allow for that.

    1. FBI is a criminal organization that needs to be destroyed, burned, salted, and the ashes scattered at an unknown location at sea.

      1. Think of the poor fishies! Naw, just seal the remains up in concrete containers and store them at the still-unused Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository for 10,000 years.

  14. The Reader is with Sarah on this one. While it would be nice to do the reverse of the ‘long march through the institutions’ we need to recognize that the other side gets a vote. And right now they are voting for a social implosion, whether they realize it or not. A lot of institutions and people are going to bleed out.

  15. Excellent points. It needs to be done slowly, but unless we can get near total agreement to move forward, the “other side” will keep putting it all back together when they get the chance (hell, even when they aren’t in direct power, they seem to be able to stall us in the courts to maintain the status quo.)

  16. The real problem is corruption. It becomes so hard to navigate the dysfunctional bureaucracy that bribery becomes the only way to get things done. It goes from what do you know to who do you know.

    Elon’s problem now is that those who make the hidden decisions will now oppose him, because he has left being a faithful member of the hive/borg. You see this in Boeing moving to DC, to suck direct from the NASA tit, fighting to keep SpaceX from getting us into space. I am amazed they let the Texas launch site go forward. The battle is not over.

    California used to have honest government. It would be interesting to have an honest review of the EDD, and “Bullet” train. Who made money? Where did it go. Willie Brown will have much to answer for when he heads to the hotter place for eternity. Short term gain, long term pain.

    1. “I am amazed they let the Texas launch site go forward. The battle is not over.”

      No, because they didn’t let it go forward; the FAA imposed a list of 75 “environmental mitigations” that would have to be met. That way, they hope people will have your reaction, while keeping SpaceX jumping through subjective hoops.

      “An environmental assessment by the agency has concluded that SpaceX’s plans for orbital launches will have “no significant impact” on the region along the Gulf Coast near Brownsville, Texas. But the F.A.A. is also requiring the company to undertake more than 75 actions to minimize the impact on the surrounding areas as it begins flights of Starship, a vehicle that is central to NASA’s plans to return to the moon as well as the vision of Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive, to colonize Mars…”

      1. I think there was something in the FAA conclusion that also said that compliance with the 75 actions would not guarantee that a permit would be issued. And some of the actions have nothing whatsoever to do with the environment or safety around the launch site.

        1. The amazing thing is people in the FAA (and other government organizations) aren’t dropping like flies; assassination is far cheaper than any legal alternative. On the other hand, the fallout from such actions have rather dire social impacts.

        2. Like paying vig to the various organizations that were opposed to the use of boca at all?

    2. Not as much NASA as the Pentagon’s. Senate launch system is a drop in bucket.

  17. The Reader offers this as some evidence of the coming implosion. The SEC is suing the Rochester NY school system complaining that the ‘rampant overspending on teacher’s salaries’ constitutes fraud on the investors in the school system’s bonds. Wonder when the teachers union will tell the administration to rein this one in.

    1. Any complaints about the “rampant overspending on bureaucrats’ salaries”? Because that’s where most of the money goes. School board members are paid at least 4 times more than teachers. Useless overpaid bureaucratic deadwood grumble grump…

      1. Absolutely true. But the thing the Reader finds curious about this story is that an arm of the administration (actually the SEC appears to be Liz Warren’s enforcement arm) is doing something that is guaranteed to piss off the teacher’s unions. Wondering what the infighting means.

        1. Hopefully, it means the Kilkenny cats solution is a possibility. Now if only it can be made to spread: FAA vs. FCC, DoE vs. HEW (no heat for schools, y’know), everybody vs. IRS… 😉

  18. The problem with leaving the arrow in is that you only have a short time to seek competent help to have it removed. If you leave it in too long you get a nasty infection and die of sepsis even after a successful surgery to remove the arrow. . Not really a nicer way to die than bleeding out. It’s a lot more painful for one thing.

    I’m not seeing any competent help on the way and there is no hospital or doctor in eyesight. If it was a limb or two that could be lopped off to remove the infection, we might have a chance, but it looks like we’ve been gut shot. And we are surrounded by people who wouldn’t know a mortal wound if they fell into a wood chipper and don’t seem inclined to seek help.

    Once the sepsis gets into the bloodstream, it’s tough to come back from.

    I fully expect a miracle of some sort. I saw one with my youngest son, so I know it can happen.

    It’s our only chance. So I’m praying in confidence that however bad it seems, we shall prevail.

  19. One slow thing that could be done to fix a problem is to eliminate the “welfare cliff” that keeps people from working their way out of being dependent on the government. Once a household’s income hits a certain level, the gov’t. benefits just … stop. So suddenly there’s a huge hole in the budget and one’s standard of living is greatly reduced. If the benefits were changed to taper off rather than stop, potentially a lot more people would start working in better-paying jobs. In the long term, that would reduce welfare payments by the government, and allow the size of the various welfare departments to be reduced.

    Since this has been known for decades and not implemented, there’s obviously much more support in Congress for keeping people dependent on the government than for helping them wean themselves off of the teat.

    1. Not only welfare but other low income help. Don’t know the entire list but BIL a store manager had staff turn down full time hours because it would cost the employee, by putting the employee’s family income over certain levels. He couldn’t offer enough money per hour to make up the difference. Some was childcare costs, but not everyone, and not all of it.

      1. Quite a few years ago, we were going through a really bad patch. I swallowed my pride and applied for, and got food stamps. About 2 months in, the work came back, the unemployment pay that was being contested got approved, and Blessed be the Name, we had funds again. I called the unemployment office nd told them we no longer qualified. I kept getting letters to come in and sign for my food stamps and pick them up. And I would contact the office and tell them “As I have said, we no longer qualify.” They always told me we’ll take care of it. After the third month, I said I thought they were keeping us on the list to maintain the client load per worker, and I wondered if the local paper would be interested. Silence, and then a hang up. But the letters stopped.

        1. Here is a sad fact. I’m sure only a percentage, won’t say small, but couldn’t say it would be a majority, the following applies. So niece applied for WICS, she qualified because single mother, but not for anything else because of household income (she was living with her parents and siblings, more or less). The problem was the abusive bio-dad who got a hold of the WIC card during one of the bounces. Niece finally got religion when baby was 3 months old. But getting that WIC card canceled was epic. Even after she and her parents each went to court for restraining order against him. Her on the behalf of her infant and herself. Parents on behalf of themselves and their one remaining underage child. The other two, non-minor, in college, still living at home, didn’t get restraining orders, but testified.

          Didn’t witness it, either the incident, the testimony. Apparently he did attempt to attack the older of the two, of the three younger ones. Now he is 6’4″, but long and lanky. Not one of the three younger girls are over 5’2″ (sister is something like 5′); small. She ran him out of the house, by his testimony. Granted he left out why. Not that their lawyer let him get away with it. Currently he resides in prison. When, and if, he gets out (alive), he is on the sex offenders registry. Turns out he had 3 other young children older than great-niece, three different mothers, and not long after the above oldest told a teacher about abuse. Niece and her sisters had to testify then, only that they and the great niece had not been abused, that way, anyway.

  20. Perfectly sane. I have always considered that walking back to, say, Pre-Wilson and untying everything bad* since the 16th Amendment would take at least 25 years of intense pain, longer for more tolerable pain. With each Administration along the way fully committed to the project; the last 18 months have vividly demonstrated just how fast one bad administration can unravel such an attempted reform.

    *I would keep the 19th, 20th, 22nd, and 25th Amendments, at least. There is more grist for this mill in the regulatory state and bad Supreme Court rulings.

  21. The obvious solution is introducing a phased decline:

    Social Security, Medicare, etc – Pick an age, say, 25. Everyone younger than 25 on X date will not be eligible for SS or Medicare. That caps the maximum number of recipients, which will decline (death, moving out of the US, etc.). Couple it with the tax reductions necessary for individuals to fund their own retirement and medical care.

    RE: government agencies – freeze employee numbers, fund it in full for one more year, on Oct 1 (fiscal year start) distribute the gross to the employees PLUS an exemption from any and all federal taxes, of any kind, for a period – say 3 calendar years – and include lifetime ineligibility of employment or receiving remuneration from any part of the federal government (with the exception of salary, benefits and retirement commensurate with rank in the US armed forces).

    Set term limits that steadily decline on politicians and federal civil employees – start at 30 years and reduce it by one year annually for 18 years. Won’t matter how many “terms per office” get limited, when the calendar says you’re finished, you’re finished, and lifetime ineligible for remuneration from the federal government.

    Logical and sensible. Impact planned over time to allow adjustment and accommodation. It would never work. Ever. Immediately upon enacting it politicians would start adding Their Favorite Groups, exempting them from ineligibility; “not fair”; “discriminatory”; toxic to the poor/disadvantaged/black/red headed/green/left handed.” You name it, they’ll find a way to subvert it.

    Not to mention the next legislative body sworn in will seek to repeal it.

    Same thing applies to any plan, however logical and well-balanced, to scale back government-operated money transfers.

    I’ve long thought the Constitution is missing an enforcement mechanism (it’s frequently pointed out that’s what the Second Amendment is for, but we seem too damn reluctant to use it, especially years ago when it would have been easier).

    Sorry, the only way it will end is when the crash is so hard and complete and the resulting smoking crater is so deep there is absolutely nothing to hand out, millions die from it, and we’re forced to rebuild from the Stone Age.

    Until then, just sit back and enjoy whatever ride is left. And don’t worry about what your children and grandchildren will have to go through. That’s their problem.

  22. The big problem is the victim (America) is already mortally wounded. Not much can save it from death at this point. Trump offered the “pull one arrow out at a time” option with the chance the patient would recover. Biden’s Puppeteers didn’t want that (the GOOD people of this country to rule again), so they are shooting as many arrows into Uncle Sam’s body as possible hoping to kill it! They hope if they do that, they will be in power. They underestimate the pain we are willing to suffer to retake our Nation! Look at the pain of the Revolutionary War and Civil War (southern-viewpoint) suffered but still made it through.

      1. Point taken! I think I was really saying I’m not sure that America will exist in the same form as we remember. (e.g., it might splinter and fragment into multiple countries). Is that really the death of our country or is it reborn in a new form? All I know is with the current intentional Bidenista self-inflicted wounds, it will take a lot of effort, courage, and sacrifice to save it. Sure, flyover country can rebuild some of it, but as an economic power that has been milked dry by elite rentiers, I’m not sure how much will be left to rebuild. I’m an engineer and it takes a lot to rebuild a house that has been burnt to the ground (as they are trying to do). However, as long as the foundation (the good people) is there, it still can be rebuilt with enough resources and effort! I am still hopeful we can save this country before it’s too late! We should all hope for the best, expect and prepare for the worst, and know that reality is likely somewhere in the middle. However, the people who are destroying our country underestimate the strength of the people who want to preserve some measure of it. This is their weakness and may be our saving grace. Our founding Fathers left us the blueprint to our house. Maybe we should start rebuilding it there again. Start by getting your garden seeds and breaking out your Grandfathers plow!

  23. Did anyone see the report that 25% of US Health Department employees didn’t check their email or even log onto their laptop. through the entire lockdown?. No wonder they’re so opposed to going back to the office. The thing is that no one noticed, no one. Fire them all.

      1. It depends. If they are the drone issuing regulations, probably. If they are the drone that stamps paid on an application that is required to do business, no. And these organizations are more interested in issuing regs and fines than just keeping things amooth.

  24. First of all, I don’t think it’s a case of either “pull all the arrows out at once” or “pull them out gradually one by one.” It’ll probably be bunches at a time for some, and gradually one by one for others. And yes, we’ll probably have three steps forward, two steps back.

    And secondly, I’m pretty sure that in my own case, my job isn’t going to be pulling any arrows out at all, fast or slow. My job is going to be to prevent infection of the arrows in my immediate vicinity that are still in, and to help staunch the bleeding for ones that are coming out.

    Do what you can where you are. As always, easy to say, hard to do.

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