A piecemeal approach leaves everyone hungry. Attempting a few half-assed plans every decade or so is no way to fix things or even pretend. Our dysfunctional junkie government got this way by just trying a little bit of angel dust at a time.
Nobody should be surprised that our labyrinth of regulations came about in such a disorientating way. Lack of vision leads to bashing knees on table corners, as seen by those blind to our problems who think little modifications are all that's needed to correct horrible policies.
Our border is naturally leaky considering the efforts to seal the gaps with Scotch tape. If those responsible for our current immigration situation were trying to sneak in the country using the same approach, they'd be stuck on a fence with only Tang powder to stave off dehydration. With their foresight in mind, it's a wonder we don't have turnstiles installed on the edge of San Diego.
A couple bills every now and then that seek to appease foreigners who don't like this country enough to obey its rules have somehow failed to alleviate the problem. We should know by now that people who don't respect our boundaries also tend to be insufferably and doltishly amoral. The question is, what do we do with non-citizens who disobeyed our laws to get here and now think it's our job to accommodate their desire to be here?
The moaning of those who want to melt the pot itself highlights the need for a wholly different strategy. Any approach that doesn't start with spraying Pam on a giant solid fence that stands at our porous country line and the intention to boot anyone we find who sneaked in appeases their interests, not ours.
The expense of not locking the door goes beyond the huge price tag. If we can't control who's here, there's not much that can be kept safe at all. E-Verify won't stop illegal hiring, but background checks for guns will stop crime? Okay. Every chicken wire stopgap fix tacitly presumes the uninvited's rights trump those of the hosts.
Oblivious to the drain caused by whoever last got to raise taxes, today's lawmakers strive to grab a little bit more from those well-heeled segments who are not presently politically fashionable. Don't worry: you'll get your turn to get hosed, presuming you have any hope of making more than you earn today. The only certain tax policy aside from those who oppose onerously high rates getting ironically hassled is that they need more right now than they got before. They're only taking from rich bastards who wouldn't otherwise buy products that create jobs or hire you directly.
The fragmented approach to collecting revenue has turned the economy into smithereens. The incessant rate tweaks and deductions always result in punishment for advancing. It would be far preferable to have one low rate rather than consolation prizes for oppressive brackets that reward relationship status or domicile purchase.
Thank the current income grabbing schematic on oh so well-considered wartime measures that persist long after the war. The withholding of income to fund efforts to expel the Axis from Europe and the Pacific Rim continue to conceal the pain of tax day.
Perhaps trivia ringers can summon an example of when Washington encouraging behavior has ever been a wise idea. Governmental good intentions have led to good results that one time in the future that Keynesians assure us is on the horizon.
The thought of scrapping the capsizing vessel by charging people for their federal services with either one percentage for every income or purchase would reduce the process's invasive nature. But maybe another escalation of the progressive variety is going to fix our finances. Hitting an iceberg on the hull's other side could even it out.
As for our physical beings, we've been sawing off a gangrenous limb with one hacksaw pass at a time. Health care needs a new general diagnosis. Instead, we get a different quack at every upstairs medical clinic. The necessity of constant tweaks should be a sign that the whole is rotten straight through. Getting health care through work indefinitely because of another danged World War II-era law is not a great indicator of foresight.
Our prescription sucks, and the real cure requires a more holistic approach. Specifically, the government should start again and announce you can buy insurance wherever you want. Such an open competition to keep you healthy would beat having to hope for a decent plan at work or, ugh, from your loving government. Making everyone subsidize everyone else is cunning until the first person realizes that they're getting soaked for the privilege of trying.
Just because hindsight is easy doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile endeavor. The fact time exists makes it effortless to look back and see what went wrong than to anticipate the future. It's totally necessary and acceptable to see the way that knee-jerking to momentary problems has left us with only worn joints.
The government's approach to business is not the same as business's approach, as seen in everything your unhealthily reactive leaders have ever done. Washington's needling little responses inevitably damage the intended beneficiaries, but that's just the natural result of not caring enough to do a comprehensively wise job in the first place.
Anthony Bialy is a writer and “Red Eye” conservative in New York City. Follow him at http://twitter.com/AnthonyBialy. Download a free ebook of his 2012 columns at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/270599.