Sarah Palin's Hand Job
There has been much buzz in the blogosphere about Sarah Palin's Hand Notes. After criticizing Obama for using a teleprompter, it was discovered that she had crib notes written on her own hand to answer a rather simple, straightforward and indeed "softball" question. This means that she was given the question in advance, but still needed help in answering it.
But missed in all the merriment is what she had actually written, because that tells a story all its own. She wrote "Budget cuts" and then crossed out "budget" to write "tax" cuts. This is the hallmark of the "gimme" generation, the problem with the Politics of Ingratitude. She wants to cut taxes, but is unwilling to talk about cutting the budget. She wants the wars without the cost. She wants the National Security State without paying the cops. She wants the services, but not the expense.
This by now is a time-honored tradition, dating back to Ronald Reagan, who convinced the public that he could finance his tax cuts by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse." That is, no one need fear that their subsidy was in any danger. Anybody who actually advocates a particular service cut will not be elected, and anybody who actually makes a cut will not be re-elected. But even a person who needs crib notes for simple questions can understand that you cannot cut taxes without cutting expenses. That just drives up borrowing, and borrowing is also a tax, just a tax shifted to the next generation. The Tea Baggers are perfect representatives of this mentality. While I certainly respect their righteous anger, I marvel at their incoherence.
We are all taught by the consumerist mentality, a mentality reinforced by the relentless propaganda known as advertising, to seek instant gratification, to live beyond our means, to live our lives on credit and not let anything stand in the way of our pleasures, to demand tax cuts without budget cuts. It is unfortunate that the Tea Party movement is not the antidote to this mentality, but just another sign of it.
Posted by John Médaillehttp://distributism.blogspot.com/2010/02/sarah-palins-hand-job.html