a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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The Politics of Dancing

“I know a lot of fancy dancers, people who can glide you ‘cross the floor.
They move so smooth but have no answers. . .”
Cat Stevens

It doesn’t seem to matter how often they get it wrong, nothing deters governments from forging ahead and making the same decisions and making the same mistakes over and over and over again. It’s unbelievable! It’s like you have to pass a stupidity test to run for office.

“Sorry. You have a brain. You’re over-qualified.  Candidacy for electoral office denied. Next!”

Most of these people, irrespective of party or even nation, can’t think beyond the end of the last idea they had let alone the end of their noses. Almost all of them haven’t the strategic vision to plan anything beyond next Tuesday.

They don’t, so much, trip over the law of unintended consequences as wallow in it and seem to spend more of their time and our money addressing the problems created by their previous decisions than they did on the original issue.

What’s happening in Cyprus is a perfect example.

The government of Cyprus didn’t ask for a bailout because it had over-spent and was in fear of default. Cyprus has been running surplus budgets for years. The problem was that their major banks were at high risk of default and the government was afraid that without support from the EU, those banks would fail and that would devastate the country. Guess why the banks are in trouble?

They hold a significant amount of toxic bonds and loans from Greece; bonds and loans they were encouraged, along with other lenders, to make by the EU when the EU decided to bail out Greece. In other words, the way the EU handled the Greek bailout has not only created an economic and social mess in that country, it has exacerbated another mess in Cyprus and it is the people of Cyprus who will pay for it.

We pay more now to government than to anyone else in our lives unless we have a drug or gambling problem. Even there, the government is horning in on the gambling action with dozens of lotteries and casinos and is moving in on the illegal drug action with proposals to legalize and control the sale of marijuana and opening and funding safe injection sites for heroin and crack users.

images (2)It’s so bad these days that gangsters are finding it increasingly difficult to make a dishonest living anymore.

So desperate is government for cash that nothing gets in its way; not fairness, not efficiency, not even common sense. Rather than clean up its act, it finds new terminology to try and cover its tracks. The latest term for taking money out of our pockets is ‘revenue tools’. I love this one.

“The government needs to ‘explore’ new ‘revenue tools’ to fund its programs and service debt.

It rankles me that governments take as much of our money as they do but what really gets under my hat is that they think we’re so stupid we’ll think to ourselves,

“Phew. They’re only exploring new revenue tools. I thought they were going to raise taxes. What a relief.”

We pay income tax, consumption taxes, ecco (recycling) taxes and energy and health taxes. We pay user fees for everything from public sports facilities and some roads and bridges our taxes paid to build and for which they fund operations and maintenance. We pay fees to acquire forms that governments require us to fill out and documents and licences they require us to carry.

We are over-regulated, over-licensed, over-taxed and definitely under-loved.

We even pay to park at hospitals, colleges, universities and government offices – all of which our money built and for which our money funds operations  – and all of which belong to us.

We have become little more than organic ATMs for government and I, for one, don’t like where they’re inserting their debit cards. It makes it uncomfortable to sit down.

Governments of all political ideologies and at all levels take billions in Canada and trillions in the United States from the economy. They create nothing, not even a fair tax system.  Fully 36% of individual Canadians and 47% of Americans pay no income taxes at all. Charities, NGOs, unions, churches, foundations  and a whole lot of other special interest groups pay no tax either and yet have a great deal of influence on public policy which always ends up costing you and I more money.

I tell you, my friends, there are days when I think we would be better served if we had a couple of guys named Vinnie and Lefty, in colour-

"Pay your fair share or else!"

“Pay your fair share or else!”

coordinated sharkskin suits running things. Sure, a few people who didn’t pay their taxes on time might have their legs broken or end up sleeping with the fishes from time to time but it would certainly cost us a lot less in the long run. And gangsters would be better dressed than most politicians. At least their ties and socks would colour coordinate with their suits.

The way government operates is nothing less than death by a thousand cuts by people poorly very often poorly dressed.

It has become so bad, the European Union actually forced the Government of Cyprus to pass legislation that allows them to steal – and there is no other word for it – money from people’s savings accounts. This wasn’t money that was proven to be the proceeds of illegal activities or  for which taxes hadn’t been paid. This is money that is legally on deposit; tax paid money that was invested in bank accounts in good faith.

Government and good faith are terms that just don’t go together. They simply change the rules of the game to suit their purposes whenever they need more cash.

EU Finance Ministers on a recent tour of the major banks in Cyrprus

The EU assures the world that this is a ‘‘one of’’ and it won’t happen again which is sort of like some punk crying in front of a judge and promising he’ll go straight if the judge is lenient this time. How long do you think it will take governments around the world to realize that if the EU could get away with it in Cyprus, some variation of it might just pave the way to a whole new series of ‘revenue tools?

Governments are so addicted to spending money that they’re like crack addicts desperate for the next fix and like addicts, nothing is beneath them in trying to find the money they need to finance the habit.

Like all addicts they’re clueless and they’re out of control. All they care about is the next hit and perhaps some chocolate chip cookies in between fixes to help deal with the shakes.

Government drifts from crisis to crisis mindlessly. They throw money at problems without thought or regard for the long-term and spend our money trying to buy votes to keep themselves in power. Why bother? When they’re in power they don’t do anything except make things worse until it’s time to retire. All they have to show for their contribution to society is more debt, more polarization and if they’re lucky, a bridge, a street or an arena named after them.

When they do have an idea, it is almost always a bad one like my city  building an outdoor ice rink at City Hall less than 100 yards from the world’s largest outdoor skating rink on the Rideau Canal or paying to put GPS tracking devices on Blanding Turtles.

Government is nothing more than a collective of bureaucrats and politicians who don’t have a clue about what to do or how to do it. They hold meeting after meeting where they huff and puff over trivialities. They are people who think they can redistribute wealth without consequences, borrow their way out of debt and engineer their society to fit some politically correct fantasy of what they think  it should be like.

It is management of our common resources without thought or ability.

For the level of performance they provide, they take themselves far too seriously and we don’t take seriously enough our responsibility to ensure wenational-debt-by-country have good governance.

In Ontario, the new Premier, in less than three months in office, is implementing the same mismanagement of her predecessor with secret meetings with teachers unions and new ecco tax increases for tires for farm equipment that top a 2200% increase.

Now that’s a revenue tool you can believe in.

Nonetheless, there are actually people in the province who will vote for her because – well – they think she’s a nice person and that she’s trying her best. Sorry folks but her best just isn’t good enough. Just ask a farmer or a low income family who will be paying more for food as a result of the ecco tax increase.

It’s just more of the same old stuff packaged up with new terminology and the more I look around the more I begin to think that just maybe politicians and government are right. We really are as stupid as they think we are. Whoever coined the phrase ‘we get the government we deserve” was talking about us.

At least some of us anyway. How else can you explain that abject failure keeps getting reelected and supported? Like masochists at an orgy, too many of us keep going back for more.

“Beat me, beat me. I haven’t stopped enjoying the abuse.”

Apparently the people of Greece no longer enjoy the abuse and took to rioting to voice their displeasure. It makes me wonder at times if we will have to sink down to that level of economic devastation and violence before people in this country take their heads out of their asses and start to stand up for what is right rather than for what is politically correct, what is expedient or what is in the interest of their special little group.

It might be a good idea if some of us started to learn the Zorba Dance. It might not fix anything but at least we’ll be prepared if and when this country ends  up in the same position as Greece.

We have a lot of fancy dancers in politics these days but they dance for their own purposes. What we are lacking is leadership; real leadership from people with courage, vision and integrity.  It only takes one, leading by example based on principle rather than dictate based on expediency, to bring us together so that we will all hear the music and learn to dance together.

Perhaps I”m losing it but it occurs to me that there is no ideology when we dance together; just strength because we are united rather than polarized. We are happier because we are united in a way government continuously fails to achieve. Perhaps it would do us well to remember, the next time we vote, that dancing together is always better than dancing alone..


© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
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  • dsaar

    Politicians are addicted to spending money we then owe, get rid of the fractional reserve banking system and the central banks who run the scam and politicians would have no source of “credit” to which they could offer our future earnings as collateral.

    Central banks are slavers. National parks are lands held in trust for our creditors!, Not for us!

    people need to wake up and realize the rule of gold still applies even if gold has been removed from the equation and an imaginary value placed on credit of a worthless taxpayer/labor backed paper currency of no real value is used in it’s place.

    Our governments don’t actually run much, they are just middlemen for the slavers in the central banking scheme who demand more more more as their ponzi scheme system implodes around them, Our Governments are too spineless to do what Iceland did, arrest the crooks in the central banking system and toss out the conspiring government agents, lock stock and barrel.

    Don’t kid yourself Politicians ain’t that important in the scheme of things, If they were banks could not launder money with impunity, could not hold trillions in worthless debt(derivatives) while claiming profits and not be brought to justice.

    We pay taxes to service debt, income taxes in a real economy are un-neccasary for the running of a country and the sole right of the provinces besides, but hey constitutions can be reinterpreted by crooked judges given new powers by crooked politicians in the effing charter, far beyond what our constitution intended!

    • MaggiesBear

      There is a quiet move to go back to the gold standard in some countries in preparation for an even bigger credit crunch that is coming. Germany has been quietly and slowly requesting back the gold it has on deposit with other nations, including the United States. It is doing it in a controlled manner so as not to create panic but it is doing it.

      As for your point about politicians, I don’t agree with you. Politicians set policy and they select the Bank Governor who while he doesn’t report to the government, works in cooperation with them. He’s part of the big wheel that keeps on turning but at the end of the day, it’s politicians that spend all the money and it’s politicians that use our money and borrowed money to buy votes.

  • http://twitter.com/charlie981947 Chuck Keil

    Government spending is not the problem, it’s the people who demand that government spend the money on their particular problem. People expect governments to solve every problem and there are politicians who recognize that if they want to be elected all they have to do is suggest that they will provide a solution. As long as it’s politically correct to require that there are no consequences to the individual for their circumstances government will spend on problems not of their making.

    To suggest that 36% of Canadians pay no taxes at all ignores taxes such as GST / PST / HTC, provincial income tax, gas tax, the list of taxes people pay is endless. I’m sure you really meant Federal Income Tax.

    • MaggiesBear

      I agree that too many people demand too many entitlements and expect government to fix all of their problems but where you and I differ is that I don’t see asking as the problem, I see saying yes every time you get asked as the problem. Children don’t get spoiled because they ask for things, they get spoiled because their parents always say yes. Government acts like an over-indulgent child, using our money to win support by handing that money out in programs for this group or that like it was candy.

      They use borrowed money to do that, money that we can’t afford to borrow any more.

      As for your tax point, let me clarify. I was referring to provincial and federal income tax. Everyone pays all of the other taxes, user fees and whatever. Before you decide that the guys not paying income tax must be the rich guys here’s some data from Stats Canada and Canada Revenue Agency.

      The top 1% of wage earners in Canada pay 21.2% of all income tax collected. The top 10% pay a staggering 54.8%. To put that in perspective, there were only 255,000 people in the top 10% but who pay over 50% of the income tax.

      The bottom 50% of Canada’s taxpayer contributed only 4% to the collective tax bill.

      It is the same in the states with the top 10% paying 70% of all income taxes and the bottom group paying only 2.4%.

      All numbers are taken from data for Fiscal year 2010.

      • http://twitter.com/charlie981947 Chuck Keil

        Using the 2012 tax calculator for Alberta a single person with no deductions for RSP, health care, etc starts paying federal tax with an annual income of $12604. Hardly a living wage but still paying.

        We definitely disagree, I don’t see asking as the problem. Having read Atlas Shrugged several times my comment to those who are willing to be bribed (that’s the voting public) is you’d better hope the smart people don’t wise up and go elsewhere.

        • MaggiesBear

          Alberta’s tax situation is slightly different because it has a flat provincial income tax, which I support as the only truly fair method of income tax.

          I’ve also read Atlas Shrugged (don’t watch the movie it’s terrible). I understand what you’re saying about people willing to be bribed but bad behaviour is learned behaviour. Teach someone that they can’t get whatever they want whenever they ask and they become willing recipients of bribes. Refuse and after awhile, they stop asking. It’s the same way you teach children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donna.hornick.3 Donna Hornick

    Great blog! And so sadly true – shared

    • MaggiesBear

      Thank you. I appreciate that.