Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Anatomy of a Government Program...
Ever wondered how politicians get the ideas for their hare-brained schemes? I have (Damn, I sounded like Andy Rooney there for a second!). What usually happens is that someone, somewhere, identifies a "problem". The "problem" is often something that only affects them directly, but they bring it to the attention of the local Congresscritter who has his staff do some research -- and what do you? -- there's at least seven other people out there that have the same issue! Dammit man, let's write us some legislation!

More often than not, these "problems" are dug up by "think tanks" or lobbying groups than they are by private citizens. Most private citizens couldn't get the time of day from, let alone access to, their "elected representatives", because they don't have money behind them. Think tanks and lobbyists do.

So, one day, some liberal think tank (I know, contradiction in terms) releases a "study" (amazing how they study everything and never seem to get smarter) that shows that 12 out of 7 pre-schoolers cannot tie their own shoes (liberal math is funny that way). Something needs to be done before we have an entire generation of people walking around barefoot. The Republican solution to this problem would be to have parents take 10 minutes a day to teach their kids how to tie their shoes, or, tell them to start dressing the tyke in loafers. A demomoron, however, knows in his/her bones (more often her) that parents are little more than gamete donors, and NEVER take care of their own children. So, the government must step in to ensure that children everywhere learn the difficult craft of tying a bow in their shoelaces.

The firts thing that happens is the advertising. Talk shows, newspapers, CNNMSNBCCBSABCNBC and Oprah will all be shouting about this "serious issue that affects our children" 24 hours a day. Eventually, a B-List celebrity (say Janeane Garofalo) gets involved to soothe her conscience, and the ball is rolling. The message will be hammered home constantly: if your child cannot tie his/her own shoes, and you oppose this important government initiative, you don't love your children, you filthy, Republican-type person you! Now the politicians get involved.

The first thing they do is to carefully plan just how this is going to be packaged. Creating a Government Ministry of Shoe Security would be way too much for the average American to swallow, so what they'll do is invent a "program" that will be subordinate to an existing Federal alphabet soup agency. Usually, this is the Department of Education. To a demodope, "education" is the answer to everything, and if they had their way, Nuclear weapons would be contolled by the Department of Education. Anwyay, the program will be given a cutesy, easy-to-remember acronym so that The Diversity won't forget it. Something like "Shoestring Inititive", or SHIT.

What SHIT will do is distrubute "government money" (i.e. taxpayer money) to those associations and institutions that will devote all of their time and effort to helping children tie their shoes. Schools will be required to include two hours a week of shoe tying instruction in the curriculum. Schools that don't, will not get the "federal grant"(i.e. bribe) that comes with adherance to SHIT. What will happen is that schools will og through the motions of complying with SHIT without teaching a damn kid to tie his shoes. The "fedeal grant" though, will go to help pay for the new administrator necessary to administer the program and keep the paperwork straight, and if they can get away with it, for a new gym floor.

After 20 years of SHIT, we will have a "Shoe tying crisis" in the country, as all those kids who grew up with SHIT will still be unable to tie their shoes because the government didn't teach them to, and their parents abandoned their responsibility once the government took up the cause. This will require more funding for SHIT despite the fact that it never worked, and EVEN MORE legislation, this time requiring shoe manufacturers to design shoes soley (no pun intended) with velcro fasteners. Another study will find that he increased use of velcro either causes cancer or  doesn't decompose quickly in a landfill, that the shoe industry must be investigated and then sued out of business. Their short sightedness in this instance created even more problems than were solved by the use of velcro, but that's businesses fault, not government's. The lawyers pick up a piece of the action and all of our shoe-making jobs wind up in Pakistan. In the end, we'll still have a generation of people who cannot tie their own shoes, when the starting premise was to "ensure this does not happen", and the rest of us, who can tie our shoes (or who switched to loafers since shoelaces went out of fashion) will pay for it. Again.

Someone (I believe it was H.L. Mencken) once said "no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people" or word to that effect. He was right: this sort of thing happens in Washington, DC everyday, and none of us seems to give a SHIT.


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