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March 16, 2016

Tax Day Approacheth

Tax day approacheth. Hide the kids, bring the dogs inside and lock the doors — it’s going to get ugly.

In spite of the progressive pressure to move away from competition and any kind of meaningful measurement, we are still a capitalistic, free-market civilization. In general, we still honor productivity and we still reward performance. At least we do in most things — the notable exceptions being government and public education.

If either of those two sacred cows were held to the same standard as the private sector — they would have been reorganized and re-tasked years ago.

Wouldn’t it be nice if “we the people” were once again in control of government and public education? Imagine having the power to withhold payment for poor service and/or breach of trust. Imagine having the power of an everyday consumer to withhold fiscal support for a government or a public school that is not willing to live up to our standards and promote our values.

Imagine sending the IRS a note on April 15th saying, you know what, in good consciousness, I can no longer support you. I’m going to send this year’s contribution to the charity or charter school of my choice. Send my regards to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They will have to find another source for funding their insistent vitriol. Oh, and have a nice day.

Well, good friends and countryman, next November we have that very opportunity! A complete overhaul of government priorities and a change in fiscal philosophy is sorely needed. It’s time to file chapter eleven on both government and public education. We can surely claim moral and spiritual bankruptcy. We obviously can’t fix this eighty-plus-year-old mess overnight — but next November we can start the slow process of returning control of this country to the people paying the bills.

We the people have the power to quit funding an education system that is failing our children. Our public schools are too busy indoctrinating our children in progressive clap-trap to pay much attention to actual education. Who needs math and science when we have safe zones and at-will victimization? We spend considerably more than the rest of the free world on education, and our children fall further and further behind.

Here is some basic math they should be learning in school. If every dollar of our soon-to-be twenty trillion dollars in national debt was converted into a single second of time, it would span the elapsed time between today and the building of the great pyramids. It would span that vast chasm not once, but somewhere between 137 and 138 times! That is a lot of seconds! When are these millennials going to understand that their parents and grandparents do not have the means (or perhaps the will) to pay this liability? You young idealists co-signed this obligation the day you were born. So sorry — here is your inheritance. Enjoy!

Rather than protesting political rallies and fretting about student loans, our students should be asking if they are getting their money’s worth in over-priced and under-performing educational dollars. It’s time to put our academic think-tanks and corporate engines to work looking for viable alternatives. Maybe these millennials should also be having a serious, grown-up conversation with Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, on the fiscal disaster they are in the process of leaving behind.

Crazy old Bernie Sanders says not to worry, we can fleece billionaires to pay for it. And if you squint real hard and suspend reality for a minute, he is sort of right. If we took every nickel from every billionaire on April 15th, it would fund the government for a year, pay the interest on the national debt, and maybe even pay off a tiny percentage of the principal if we had no other unbudgeted expenditures like wars and natural disasters.

Of course, the next April 15th we would have no billionaires left to fleece, and the companies they would no longer own would provide no jobs for those of us without golden portfolio’s … but hey, it was quite a ride while it lasted. We could always go after the millionaires and those corporate sell-outs who so rudely make six figure salaries and perhaps extend the windfall another year or two.

Recent behavior on our college campuses ought to frighten you to your core. This collapse in civic responsibility, mature reasoning and self-respect didn’t happen overnight. Too many years of participation awards and rudderless social interactions. Some of these good kids are simply naive, and more than a few have a sense of entitlement that defies all reason and logic. At least part of the problem is uninvolved parents who have turned the raising their kids over to public sector employees.

Bernie Sanders is a problem, but he’s not the devil. He may well be the early warning sign of truly serious issues to come. In reality he’s just a disenfranchised old guy who talks too much. He is a symptom rather than the disease. But his recent success in drawing in our kids is nothing less than a call to action. Are you paying attention?

We the people have the power to quit funding a corrupt government bent on personal power and personal fortune. Our jobs and our wealth are moving overseas. Poverty is exploding and the standard of living for the middle class in this country is in a slow but steady decline. The only response your elected representatives can come up with is that you would be even worse off without their tireless work and selfless advocacy. What a monumental pile of horse droppings!

But there is hope. Our forefathers conspired to illuminate the path with the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We just need the courage and the stamina to walk that path. It’s time to get back to a government of the people and by the people. This experiment in self-government is not over — at least not yet.

There is still time to man the bail-buckets and take the rudder away from those who believe that utopia comes with the embracing of European style socialism — with the abandonment of Judeo-Christian values, and with the elimination of all free speech that we don’t personally agree with. Crazy old Uncle Bernie says we need a revolution. I suggest that this coming November, we give him one!

In the meantime, maybe it’s time you had a real conversation with your own children!

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