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Quotational Therapy: Part 123 -- Congress: If It Ain't Broke, Fix It Anyway.

Legislation For The Sake Of "Doing Something"-

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly, and applying unsuitable remedy.

-Sir Ernest Benn (sometimes attributed to Groucho Marx).

Alternative version:

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it wrongly and applying it incorrectly."

Drastically upping the minimum wage. Toilsome tax hikes and regulations on oil companies. The Fairness Doctrine. Sticking it to "Big Pharma." And so on. Tinkering for the sake of tinkering. We need more politicians devoted to calling "shenanigans" on the natural Congressional impulse toward always doing something. Sometimes, it would be nice to scrap every single law in the entire country and start over-- fresh-- adding back only basics that build on the Constitution's penchant for protecting and advancing liberty.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Max Baucus.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 26 January 2007 08:30 PM


I love Groucho! That is a nice quote...

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 26, 2007 09:07 PM

"Our health care system is a crisis."
"Global warming is destroying our earth."
"Our educational system is failing."
"Money corrupts politics."
"Social Security is going broke."
There may be some truth to some of the bumper sticker proclamations that come from Washington, that is why I like your alternate version.

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it wrongly and applying it incorrectly."

When any politician seeks to solve a problem it is going to be solely to benefit the politicians and you can hold on to your wallet, it is going to cost you your hard-earned bucks. And they will not solve the problem, only make it worse. Look at poverty and Social Security. Congress has exclaimed many a time that they have fixed both, only to come back a few years later and tell us it is in "crisis" again.

At this point, we need to declare Congress and the portion of the population who expect government to solve all their personal problems to be in "crisis."

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at January 27, 2007 06:06 AM

EB...I wonder how John Edwards is going to channel into health care?...

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 27, 2007 07:59 AM

I guess he goes to court and sues. In front of a jury that the only thing they know about health care is that IT SHOULD BE FREE.
He will probably channel into Hillarycare, The Cuban health care system, and the western European health care systems that have gone bust or on the way. In his "Two Americas" he will channel that portion of the population that think they have a "right" to free health care and a "right" to have everyone else pay for it. It's all about their "rights" without any responsibility.
There are people in this country who truly believe and tell you point blank, "It won't cost you anything, the government will pay for it." I try to avoid those people.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at January 27, 2007 09:41 AM

Oh good, EB! I love that Cuban health care system! AND how lovely to have everyone else pay for it???

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 27, 2007 11:37 AM

There was a movie starring George C. Scott made in the late sixties, before he became General Patton.
The name of the movie was "The Flim Flam Man," it was of little cinematic importance.Someone asked the character he was playing how he could flim flam honest people. His response was (paraphrasing here)" I have never cheated an honest man." His schemes involved a victim's perception that they were cheating him or someone else.
This is what the democrat party(The Flim Flam Man) party does to its constituency. They think that taxing the rich, limiting profits, more government control, and getting something for nothing is very alluring and will benefit them. It only helps to keep the Flim Flam artists in the democrat party in control.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at January 27, 2007 12:34 PM

I have never seen that movie. I remember the name though. I may have to rent that... Thanks EB!

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 27, 2007 03:24 PM

That's a heck of a perspective, EB. I suppose that's why they want everyone to be a member of a special-interest group.

As to your sentiment about starting over, Will, Jefferson believed that there was no way to stop government from expanding and that every once in a while you had to do just that.

Posted by: JohnJ at January 27, 2007 10:55 PM

It may not be a perspective that produces a good comparison or analogy, but it works for me. Don't know what made me think of that old movie.
It's people's honesty that will keep elected officials from being continually dishonest. That's for both the democrats and the Republicans. The people must be honest to themselves, otherwise a politician's schemes(like Social Security and other programs) will be rationalized into emotional satisfaction and personal gain.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at January 28, 2007 08:20 AM

As good an argument for smaller government as I've ever heard.

Anyone remember that idea, smaller government?

Posted by: Ken McCracken at January 28, 2007 09:08 AM

I do...!

Posted by: zsa zsa at January 28, 2007 10:47 AM

I still don't know of a better way to limit government than to force it into competition, i.e. less federal government and more flexible state governments.

Posted by: JohnJ at January 28, 2007 11:15 AM