Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Government Solution

The Republicans came up yesterday with the newest method of controlling government costs.  The pay freeze on government employees by the President?  Well....they would pass the law to ensure it stays frozen through most of 2014. Then this Republican nifty trick would also be started....for each three employees that leave an organization, you can only hire two.

This hiring rule would trigger this intensive fight within each government agency.  Various departments in a 1,000 man group....would suddenly start fighting each other over the quarterly hiring plan.  You can imagine this scenario.....eighteen individuals leave over one quarter....sixteen of those folks from the 100-man IT department.  So the nifty rule falls into place and the IT department, only because of stupid luck, ends up losing the bulk of the positions terminated.  A year later, you have major IT problems and you just can't figure why they don't have the right mix of technicians on hand to fix issues.

You end up with a comical situation where political thinking determines your business practices, which usually ends up in failure.

My suggestion to the Republicans....maybe we ought to downsize the House and Senate....for each three that are forced out....just hire on two new Representatives or Senators.  I'm thinking things will start to settle quickly, if you offered up some logic like this.

Pray for Taxes

Words by President Obama:

"I think to myself, if I'm willing to give something up as somebody who's been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that's going to make economic sense.  But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus' teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required."

This was part of his speech to the National Prayer Breakfast this week.

I sat and pondered over this.  Politics and religion rarely, if ever, mix.  Here's another political figure who wants some part of a Bible scripture to mix and match with his political agenda.  The sad thing is that you can point out fifty other scriptures in the Bible which conflict greatly with the Administration's general policies, but he doesn't mention that.

At the time of Jesus, you had two classes of people....the working class, and the government-connected folks.  The Roman Empire had some simple rules.  If you were part of the government.....you lived a good life, your relatives all got into government-paid deals, and you had servants.  With the working class....you either worked to survive, or you starved to death.  You didn't have any welfare or unemployment compensation.

Jesus had this one unique quote.....give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give unto God, what is Gods.  He basically said that you had to pay taxes.

There are several interesting features of the Roman Empire.  They built roads and public buildings.  They never financed any technology developments, unless you want to count the huge aqueducts.  A major amount of the money taken into the tax revenue pot....went to sponsor the Roman Legions, which fought off various enemies and went in searching for new enemies when they ran short.  When they came around to discuss the building the Rome Coliseum.....it was mostly to provide an entertainment outlet for folks around Rome so they wouldn't whine about the local government or how bad the economy was.

Would modern times match up with Roman times or the culture of Jesus?  Romans didn't serve up 3k calorie Big Mac meals.  It would have been hard to find a 300 pound Italian guy.

Romans didn't sell cigarettes, treat lung cancer, or provide oxygen canisters to older Roman guys when their breathing capacity declined.

Romans tended to get drunk off wine, not whiskey or vodka.  If you got to be a Roman alcoholic.....you tended to live a short life and probably died in your early 40's.  If you lived to be sixty....you were fairly lucky.

If a Katrina-like event occurred in ancient Rome.....you didn't have to worry about any Roman FEMA or US Army coming to rescue you.....you either took your belongs to escape, or you died.

Healthcare in Roman times?  If you did something stupid and broke your leg.....the odds are that it would never heal right, and you just accepted that.  Got the "fever"?  Don't worry....you got a fifty-fifty chance.

Millionaires?  The only way you got to a point in Roman times of accumulating wealth....was to position yourself with the government.  No one dreamed up Twitter, Facebook, parking brakes, online gambling, or Pepsi One.  No one made Snickers and moved them 300 kilometers overnight.

In two thousand years, we've arrived at this point where someone is quoting Jesus....wanting everyone to jump on board and pay more taxes....so that the government will have more money.  What the government would do with that money isn't discussed, but Rome didn't discuss openly what it was going to do with it's revenue pot either.  If you'd just agree to pay more taxes, like Jesus said, then you'd feel good.

Maybe I'll offer up a new quote...."unto whom much was earned over sweat, risks, and hard work....not much should be required".  Course Jesus was lucky....he didn't have compete against 24-hour a day news coverage, evil Republicans, dimwitted Democrats, honky-tonk bars, wannabe cops working at TSA, neighbors with meth labs, kids blowing up their schools, people keeping tigers as pets in their house, the Oprah Network, Mullah guys who just want to kill, solar energy companies built for bankruptcy, greedy senators, or NCAA bowl selections.

So, lets hold hands now, and pray for more taxes.