Public, Servant

That Federal officials responsible for the famous New York fly-over told local officials not to release the information is, I think, typical of what has become a much more prevalent attitude among local, state and Federal governments: one which basically says, “Screw you. We’ll do what we want.” The government increasingly sees the public at best as a source of revenue, more often as a nuisance to be ignored or vilified.

Who’s going to pay for the bailouts and the massive porkulus bill passed by Democrats in Congress? Oh, don’t worry, we’re told. It’ll just be “the rich.” Which reminds me of the Soviet-era joke: a rabbit is caught trying to flee over the border. He’s asked why by border guards. “Because I’ve heard they’re going to castrate all the camels.” The guards scoff, “But you’re a rabbit.” To which the rabbit replies, “Just try telling them different when they say you’re a camel!” So don’t worry: when they come to need the money, you’ll be rich enough.

There’s this story. The District of Columbia is fining people for parking their cars in their driveways, considered privately maintained but publically owned property. Why? The city needs the money. If you want to park your car in your driveway, you have to get a lease from the city.

When the Kelo decision was handed down a few years ago, the New York Times applauded it on the grounds that the city of New London needed the tax revenues from redevelopment more than the owners needed the property.

What’s more, you bastards, how dare you object to having your taxes raised! Have you ever noticed that when a corporation screws up, it’s the result of greed and indifference to the public, but when government screws up, it’s because they don’t have enough of your money? The poor dears!

The old saying about the Habsburg empire was that it was despotism tempered by incompetence. Our glorious radiant future seems to be incompetence compounded by voraciousness.

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