Oregon Magazine

Listen up Children: Government is Talking

by Art Hyland

We have mostly children running our bloated, government bureaucracies, so I guess it’s not surprising they assume we citizens are all children as well.  All you need do is examine the ads the Federal government is running to encourage census returns.  Apparently it’s not enough to just send us the request and be done with it, like in past decades.  Instead, we’re bombarded with the idea that if we send in the census, we’ll all get ... MONEY!  Where it comes from is apparently the secular equivalent of heaven; the message seems to be that Government is now God.

Send in your census and Government/God will give you “YOUR FAIR SHARE” of that pot of gold with our names on it if only you care enough to respond.  Their repetitious video ads show some fool walking around in his pajamas on his home street encouraging his hapless neighbors to follow the government pied pipers dispensing funds and services to all the lemmings that live in the town.  I’m sure they edited out the parting of the seas leading to the town hall center only because they didn't’ have enough time to explain no animals were hurt in the process of filming the ads.  Or maybe all the fish died.

Gifts to the Clatsopians

Here in the coastal northwest corner of Oregon, Census radio spots come with a Skandihoovian accent, telling us that the Mother of the Census bureau already grants Clatsop County $1100 per resident per year, so the message is, just sign and send the government form, Sparky, and Mommy will keep sending you money, and maybe more than before if you’re really good.

So our federal government is bribing us to help them bribe us more later.  It never ends.  Or maybe it never stopped.  For a generation our schools have used sweet snacks or false praise to motivate children for doing nothing more than paying two minutes of attention, so it’s no wonder these now older children turned bureaucrats act out how they were taught.  They have had their collective attention spans trained to react to external stimuli, so they gravitate to this tried and true method of motivation as they move up the GS designated ladder.  Well, it’s time for a collective whack on the side of the head.  Not so much to citizens but to government and its minions in the bureaucracies.

You are invited to a tea party

That’s what the Tea Party movement is generally all about.  It’s somewhat more sophisticated (and it involves wholesale replacement of enablers) but frankly, it’s demanding we act as responsible adults in all that we do, most especially in government at all levels.  Neither governments nor individuals can operate for long with the philosophy that almost everything we need we can take from someone else or magically acquire it without having earned it.  Entitlement has become the philosophy born from a lifetime of expecting something for having done nothing.  State and local governments live off of grants from a federal god above.  And “God” is living off of citizens born thirty years from today.

In their eternal search for funding, local governments have abandoned the concept of paying and planning for their own interests, desires and acts.  If they want something, like say a new bridge in Seaside, the town goes shopping at the well-advertised David Wu store of magical funding (Wu being our Democrat First District congressman).  Recently a Seaside spokesman marveled about how nice His Excellency was to even talk to a town emissary who traveled to Washington D.C. to remind Wu to please, please remember Seaside when he visits the money factory located somewhere near Washington D.C -- the whereabouts of which is known only to the politically anointed (Congressman  Wu even asked how things ARE in Seaside!  He actually wanted to know!  He cares about us!  Isn't’ that thrilling?).  It was disgusting to hear a radio broadcast summary of their conversation recently because of how normal it seemed to a town intermediary to discuss having begged for unearned money from a congressman who is perfectly okay with this process.

These kinds of political conversations are happening thousands of times a week all over the nation.  It has to stop, and the cancer it represents has to be cut out of government life here in the United States.  There isn’t enough money and never was, Children.  Now, get ready for a new teacher beginning the first Tuesday in November!  Or sooner, if we can hire a Substitute in the interim.

© 2010 Art Hyland