Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – There’s a survey out there that people actually believe, if you can hold this thought in your mind, that if spending on individual programs is increased, that that will then result in a decrease in overall spending. I am not teasing. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: First of all, Governor Jindal — I don’t know if you caught at the end there when the reporter said: Did you ask the president about the cut? Jindal said: I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but he basically told me to shut up, that he won the election. AG, did you catch that part? The truly amazing thing about this, and I think almost everything that Obama does is truly amazing in a republican sense of the word because you stare at him and go: There’s no way you can get away with that. You can’t get away with that, but get away with it he does.
The truly amazing thing is that vast numbers of people seem to actually believe some of this BS. That, my friends, is the shocker of 2013. There are people out there that actually believe this. As a matter of fact, there was a story yesterday, I think Chris Cillizza. He had a piece in the Washington Post where he said: This is at least part of the problem, and that is that there are people in the United States that actually believe spending on individual programs, it’s okay for that to increase. And when that happens, it results in a reduction in total federal spending. Folks, I am not making that up. There’s a survey out there that people actually believe, if you can hold this thought in your mind, that if spending on individual programs is increased, that that will then result in a decrease in overall spending. I am not teasing. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Here’s the headline: “Why we need the sequester.” It is by Aaron Blake at the Washington Compost yesterday. In his post, he goes down some of the reasons why the miniscule amount of trimming in the so-called sequester actually would amount to a good thing, or a good first step.
Please don’t be of the notion or idea that any of this is going to matter and that it’s going to in any way, shape or form solve the problem because it’s not. That’s the real joke about this. They’re arguing and jawboning over this as if there’s real calamity if it does happen or real calamity if it does not happen. Relatively speaking, the amounts that are in question are infinitesimal.
A Pew Research Center poll conducted earlier this month makes clear the country’s “both/and” nature and why it is so hard for politicians to thread that needle. [Mike: Listen to this. I read this and I went: That has to be a misprint. Then again, in the age we live in, it’s hard to imagine anything ridiculous that is not based in some form or has some scintilla of truth behind it.]
While there is widespread support for trimming federal spending, when it comes to the specifics of what should be cut, clarity disappears. In not one of the 19 specific areas did a majority of the sample express support for a diminishing of federal spending. [Mike: Again, you people get the government you deserve. You ought to get it hard.] Somewhat amazingly, of the 19 areas Pew asked people about cutting, Americans favored increasing spending over decreasing spending in 16 of them.
Mike: You tea partiers out there, listen to me. You’re working on the wrong people. You’re working on the politicians, on those you believe are the greaseballs. The greaseball is your neighbor. The greaseball is cousin Vinnie. The greaseball is Aunt Edna. The greaseball is sister Susan. The greaseball is brother John. The greaseball is the guy that lives down the street that’s lavishly existing off the pork. That’s the greaseball. We now have people believing they now have some sort of a say-so in the distribution of other people’s money. This is truly sick. I don’t want to depress you, but I propose the question — open the phone lines up, even though there’s not a single, solitary sole on hold. Answer the question: What do you propose to do about your neighbor? You can argue and you can holler and you can debate and protest and lobby your politician all you want.
What are you going to do about your neighbor? They’re asked the question of whether or not they want to cut federal spending [mocking] “Yeah, sign me up. I’m all about it up there. Here in Wisconsin, we gotta balance our budgets up here, ya know.” — “We’ve got 19 programs here. Which one of these would you like to see less spending in?” — “Let me look at your list there. No, not that one. That one there needs to increase. I work in that field there. That’s a great one. I want more of that one.” — “You do realize that you getting more of that means someone else has to be taxed or a future generation has to be enslaved in order to repay that, don’t you? You do realize that?” — “No, we don’t think about that there. That’s never gonna happen. The government is gonna take care of that. They take care of us.”
This is sad. I read this and relate this with true sadness. What’s happened to humanity? To repeat, according to a Pew Research Center study, when asked specifically to identify programs in which federal spending ought to increase or decrease, even though a majority of people say they want a decrease in federal spending, by a tune of 16 to 19, 16 choices out of 19, people actually favor increasing the spending. As if that is not insulting and degrading enough, I would like to have asked the nitwittery that responded in the affirmative to continue this: What success do you cite? What’s on the résumé of that agency that makes you think they ought to spend more or you ought to plow more of your daughter or son’s future earnings into that? Can you give me an example? Do you know what it is that they’ve actually done? Let’s go through this paragraph without me interrupting it.
While there is widespread support for trimming federal spending, when it comes to the specifics of what should be cut, clarity disappears. In not one of the 19 specific areas did a majority of the sample express support for a diminishing of federal spending. (The closest was the 48 percent who favored cutting “aid to the world’s needy.”) Somewhat amazingly, of the 19 areas Pew asked people about cutting, Americans favored increasing spending over decreasing spending in 16 of them.
Mike: I’ll tell you what, folks, knowing what your fellow citizens think about federal spending and not being capable of the infantile deduction that — where’s all this money coming from that I’m voting on and telling them they need to increase spending? Is someone actually having to fork this over or will someone have to fork it over? If there is one scintilla of thought that somebody must be taxed, [mocking] “But it’s not me. It’s the guy down the street. He’s a little better off than I. I really don’t mind that he’s being clobbered. I never liked him at soccer games anyway. His little sniveling brat scored the winning goal in a game that my little darling should. Screw him. He ought to pay and I ought to be able to spend and enjoy.”
People, by and large, enjoy and support wealth redistribution. But we’re not socialists. No, no, Mr. Church, we’re not socialists. We’re capitalists. We are the freest, most greatest people in the history of the world. We have ambassadors that go on national television shows, former ambassadors to the United Nations, and proclaim to the world that America rejoices in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of her own citizens because it was the right thing to do, John Bolton said. Folks, we don’t deserve — I mean we in the collective, the royal we, the editorial we — we don’t deserve a prudent, frugal government that guards our liberties and safeguards our posterity. We deserve exactly what we’re giving. As a matter of fact, the politicians may actually be better people than your neighbors. At least they have to publicly express some remorse over this. At least they have to pretend like they’re contrite and pretend they’re sorry for the sorry state of affairs. Your neighbor, though, cousin Gertrude, no remorse whatsoever.
What those numbers make clear is that most people live in a fantasy world where overall federal spending decreases even as spending on virtually every federal program increases. Given that “reality”, it’s uniquely possible that only through crisis — manufactured or not — will people come to grips with the fundamental paradox at the center of their thinking of what the federal government should or shouldn’t do. [Mike: By the way, Aaron, it’s not a federal government; it is a national legislature these days.]
Make no mistake: People aren’t paying much attention to the sequester. And, it’s possible that even after it goes into effect later this week and the consequences begin to be felt, most people still won’t pay attention (or care).
But, it’s also possible that the size of the cuts — a trillion dollars is a ton of money even spread out over the next decade — and the heat of the rhetoric coming from the two parties causes the sort of crisis that forces a decent number of people to pay attention and begin to re-examine…
Mike: I don’t believe that for a nanosecond, not unless Billy Bob down the street doesn’t get the full boat ride of federal benefits or payments that he or she is currently getting. Even then, [mocking] “I didn’t get as much this year as I got last, but that’s okay. I made do. Hell, I ain’t gotta work for it.”
And, if enough people start paying attention, their politicians — forever a reactive species — could well be emboldened or intimidated into doing something big.
The most basic truth of modern politics is that action happens only in response to crisis. [Mike: He’s right about that. It takes a crisis to do anything around here. Usually the reaction or what is proposed after the crisis is just going to make another crisis down the road.] The sequester may not be that crisis — maybe it’s the debt ceiling fight to come later this summer — but if it is, that’s probably a good thing for people who want things to change in some meaningful way.
Mike: I’m just blown away by that.
End Mike Church Show Transcript