Hooked On Entitlements

Today’s healthcare bill is so full of pork that “health” really shouldn’t be part of its name. And the funny thing is, no one disagrees. Not that they could. The “Cornhusker Kickback”, the “Louisiana Purchase”, the unions’ skate on the Cadillac tax, the closed-door-democrat-only wheels and deals are paint-by-the-numbers pork.

But why is there so much of it? Because, these days, pork is necessary to get most bills passed. In fact, the worse the bill, the more the pork. Looking at it that way, pork doesn’t make a bill bad so much as tell you how bad it is.  Pork is the new barometer of bad.

How did our politicians get so greedy? Through the enormous sense of entitlement that power breeds. Nothing is too good for them. No perk, no bribe, no excess. And the longer a politician stays in power, the larger his sense of entitlement becomes. So, when you get a whole room full of them together, the pork feeding frenzy is uncontrollable.

And now they’re very confident that ordinary Americans are about to be hooked on entitlements, too. In fact, they’re betting their political futures on it. Why are they so sure? Take the healthcare bill as a perfect example. We may want healthcare reform, but we don’t want that bill. Just look at the outcome of the Massachusetts Senate Race. Or the gubernatorial races in New Jersey or Virginia. Or the number of Democrats who have announced their retirement from Congress. Or poll after poll that screams “no”.

Even though every type of “vote no” communication we can send has been sent, the people who hold the reigns of power ignore it.  Every bit of it. They slam their doors on our wishes, horse-trade in secret and pass out pork like it’s none of our business. We might as well be bound and gagged for all the attention we’re getting.

What makes politicians this bold? Why are they so dismissive of their electorate? They’re convinced they have the upper hand. And it’s a two-fisted smack down: votes and a very big hook. As far as votes go, they only need 218 Members of the House and 60 Senators to ram through any legislation they want. And that hook? We may not like the healthcare bill now, but, after we get used to it, we’ll love it. Why? Entitlements are addictive.

So, that’s it. That’s their grand scheme. Force-feed us entitlements until we’re hooked. And, unlike their healthcare haggling, they don’t bother keeping this one a secret. They’re very upfront about it. And, if they’re right, they’ll win a lot more than their next election. Like junkies, we’ll have to keep the dealers around pretty much forever just to keep those fixes coming. And like junkies, it will cost us our way of life.

As addicts themselves, politicians are certain Americans will absolutely love entitlements. And the plan is to have us loving them before the fall elections. But, will we be hooked? Will we allow a sense of entitlement to replace our work ethic and swap an avalanche of debt for a “free” ride?

The answer may resound from Massachusetts in January all the way across the country by November.

See you on the left-side.