We'll Gladly Pay You Someday for Your Liberty Today
By J.J. Jackson
August 31, 2009
J. Wellington Wimpy, as many will recall from the Popeye cartoons, is a lazy and gluttonous shyster. He is most famous perhaps for his attempts to con food without paying stating, with a straight face, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Of course he has no intention of ever paying. Instead he hopes that his mooching and his frivolous promise will be forgotten. But if his actions were not forgotten he had contingency plan. When someone got upset with Wimpy to the point where he needed to talk his way out of a situation he would frequently pacify them by inviting them over to his home for a duck dinner to make everything all right. This would allow him to get out of the line of fire and then he would yell back to those angry at him, "You bring the ducks!" and hightail it out of there.
His attitude is a lot like that of government that has become too big and under the control of people without scruples and those who practice cons for a living. Exhibit A is the failure of the government to administer its "Cash for Clunkers" program in which it promised to gladly pay cash money for Americans to turn in their old cars. It was a back handed attempt to promote the fallacy of man made Global Warming being fueled by automobile emissions from older, less fuel efficient cars. But its real goal was an attempt to pass along another bailout to the auto industry without actually calling it such after the last one was met with great resistance. This time around government figured that by giving a billion freshly printed dollars supposedly to the people themselves instead of directly to the automobile industry, although that is where they end up anyway, it would help placate the ire of the American citizenry as government continued to prop up a failing business model. Well, that did not work as public opinion has been solidly against the program since the beginning. But you still had lots of Americans rush out to take advantage of the scam.
Now we see how the federal government has been just like Wimpy. Despite the claims that the program ran out of money, the billion dollars originally allocated before Congress threw more money down the rabbit hole to extend it, the facts are that the government, benevolent as it is, has only approved a small fraction of rebates applied for by the dealers. That fraction adds up to nowhere near the original billion much less the additional money now allocated. So we are told the money ran out but the money has not been paid out leading to quite a paradox.
The government got Americans, both the buying public eager to stick their hands in the cookie jar and automobile dealers in a panic with recent sales lower than Nancy Pelosi's approval rating, to buy into their promise. They said to all, "We'll gladly pay you ... uh ... someday for your liberty today." Foolishly many Americans from both groups believed that "someday" would be someday soon. Ha! The joke is on you. Because now all we have is more federal debt to pay off and we are shackled by one more chain to the federal government which drags down our liberty because we are going to pay for that "free" money through the nose in the future.
Many dealers have suspended participation in the program until they get paid. Many others that have not done this simple and smart thing have come up with ways to defray the costs of not getting stuck holding the bag. So, how's that Obama thing working out for you lately?
All this comes as no surprise to anyone that is not blinded by the prospect of "free" money which is only "free" in the sense that you do not know you are paying the price for it in the long run. This is standard operating procedure for the federal government when it promises to pay for something. Just ask doctors who still accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. These programs are notoriously difficult to get money out of for legitimate care with some claims needing to be filed multiple times after multiple rejections for clearly covered procedures costing more time and money. Then when the reimbursements come they are far below market value. This is exactly why many doctors will not accept any new patients under these government plans if they accept any at all.
Now the same problems are seem with Cash for Clunkers. How many more times must we see the same scenario play out before our eyes before we understand that this is the modus operandi for our federal government which has grown far too large? How many more times will we be duped into believing that government has it all figured out this time? With the prospect of yet another government run health care and insurance system looming despite public outrage and on top of all the other programs that already exist from Medicare to SCHIP will Americans get duped again? And if, despite the outcry against another such scheme which will obviously fail simply by looking at the lessons of history, Americans are funneled into such a plan when the angry mob rises up to call our leaders to account and they offer us another "duck dinner" to calm us down?
Probably. And then they will yell back at us to bring our own ducks. They have to because government cannot give us anything without first taking it from us. It has no ducks to give and we will once again pay for our own appeasements.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.