Tea Parties and Rhode Island
As illustrated in a recent National Review print edition piece, Mark Steyn gets the tea party movement more than most:
… The signs on display get the underlying principles of the Obama era: “LET THE FAILURES FAIL!” Teenager: “STOP SPENDING MY FUTURE!” Senior: “THIS GRANDMA ISN’T SHOVEL-READY.” Just as importantly, the demonstrators understand the essentials more clearly than many of the think-tankers and Sunday pundits and other insiders hung up on the fine print. “Death panel” took off because it clarified the health-care stakes in ways none of the other oppositional lingo quite managed. My NR colleagues were sniffy about it, and, like many health policy wonks, seemed to think it an extreme characterization of whatever this or that provision in paragraph 7(d)iii on page 912 of the bill actually entailed. All irrelevant. Yes, once the governmentalization of health care is fully accomplished, there will be literal “death panels”, like Britain’s NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence), an acronym one would regard as Orwellian had not C S Lewis actually got to it first — NICE (the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) in his novel That Hideous Strength. But that’s missing the point: The entire reform package, not page 1,432, is the death panel, in the sense that it will ultimately put your body under the jurisdiction of government bureaucrats.
What’s really disconcerting, though, is how accurately, if inadvertently, he describes the end-game through which Rhode Island is suffering (or game-ender, if you prefer to assume ignorance rather than malice in those who brought us here):
If you expand the dependent class and the government class, you can build a permanent governing coalition, and stick the beleaguered band in the middle with the tab. …
At a certain point, why bother? As fast as you climb the ladder, you’ll be taxed and regulated down the chute back to the bottom rung. You’ll be frantically peddling the treadmill seven days a week so that the statist succubus squatting on your head can sluice the fruits of your labors to Barney Frank and the new “green jobs” czar and whichever less hooker-friendly “community organizer” racket picks up the slack from Acorn, as well as to untold millions of bureaucrats micro-regulating you till your pips squeak while they enjoy vacations and benefits you’ll never get. Who needs it? If you have to work, work for the government: You can’t be fired and you can retire in your early 50s. But running your own business is for chumps.